Because if screen time is going to happen, it might as well teach them something, right?
If you’re a parent taking care of kids through the pandemic with limited or no screen time, we salute you. That sounds hard. But if you’re OK with a few TV shows—or you aren’t, really, but you’re doing it anyway out of necessity—you may want to opt for a show with an educational element, just so they’re learning a few things. And yet, these shows also have to be good enough to hold your kid’s attention…
So, here are the best educational TV show for preschoolers that are also entertaining. We’re talking three year olds and four year olds here, but your mileage may vary; your two year old might enjoy some of these, and your five or six year old might, too.
Note: Any information provided about where/how to watch the shows is intended for Canadian readers, at time of publication.
Ask the Story Bots
Based on the award-winning educational apps, the StoryBots are curious little creatures who live in the world beneath our screens and go on fun adventures to help answer kids’ questions. Available on Netflix.
A classic! On a very special city street, the inhabitants—human and muppet—teach preschool subjects with comedy, cartoons, games, and songs. Available on YouTube.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
The adventures of the children of the characters of Fred Rogers’ Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Available on CBC Gem and Netflix.
Chris and Martin Kratt are brothers who explore the wild throughout the world to learn more about animals and share conservation information. Available on Netflix.
If I Were An Animal
Curious kids Emma and her big brother Tim observe different animals as they make their way through various life milestones, from birth to adulthood. Available on Netflix.
Dana is a 9-year old girl who loves dinosaurs. Her life changes forever when she’s given a Dino Field Guide, which not only teaches her new things about dinosaurs, but gives her the power to imagine dinosaurs into real life. Available on TVO. You can also try Dino Dan.
Friendly dinosaurs climb aboard a train to visit different times throughout the prehistoric age, learning about dinosaurs and having fun adventures. Available on PBS Kids’ YouTube channel.
An intrepid band of explorers roam the oceans in search of adventure and fun. Led by a valiant polar bear and a daredevil kitten, these eight talented critters are always ready to embark on an exciting new mission. Available on Netflix.
Sid the Science Kid
A young and curious boy constantly wonders the fields of science. Available on Netflix.
Peg + Cat
A spirited little girl named Peg and her sidekick Cat solve problems using foundational math concepts. Available on YouTube.
Super WHY! helps children learn to read through interactive story adventures. Each 22-minute episode features a team of fairytale superheroes who soar into classic storybooks and use their unique reading-based powers to find answers to everyday preschool problems. Available on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
The Magic School Bus
Join Ms. Frizzle as the Magic School Bus travels to outer space, under the sea, through an anthill—and even inside the human body! Available on Netflix.
Let’s Go Luna
Leo the wombat, Carmen the butterfly, and Andy the frog travel around the world to learn about culture with their friend, Luna the moon.
Energetic Blippi is known for his goofy mannerisms and friendly demeanor. Kids seem to love his fun personality and innovative teaching lessons.
One Strange Rock
This one isn’t exactly a kids’ show but many kids love it. It’s the extraordinary story of Earth and why it is special and uniquely brimming with life among a largely unknown but harsh cosmic arena; astronauts tell the story of Earth through unique perspective. Available on Disney+
Puffin Rock follows the adventures of Oona, her little brother Baba, and their family and friends on a gorgeous and wild Irish island. Available on Netflix.
The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!
With the help of fish, thing 1, and thing 2; the Cat in the Hat teaches kids about many things through song and games. Available on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Join the students at Stardust Space Academy, while they go on missions to learn new facts while having fun. With engaging and fun characters the leader of the Space Racers, and Hawk. Available on Netflix.
Molly of Denali
An action-adventure comedy that follows the adventures of feisty and resourceful 10-year-old Molly Mabray, an Alaska Native girl, her dog Suki, and friends Tooey and Trini on their adventures in epically beautiful Alaska. Available on CBC Gem.
This is a YouTube channel, not a show, but we love the short (four-minute) episodes, the quick pace, the engaging host and the variety of topics covered. Available on YouTube.