A list of our top educational shows for children that they will surely love.
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If you need to use screens during quarantine, it’s best to go for educational shows that will teach your young kids things they probably won’t even learn in school, like emotional management.
The current pandemic has forced many of us to work from home and most people (many of them parents) are scrambling for ways to get around that when they were wholly unprepared to do so. Hint: Check out these educational shows for children.
Working from home sounds like a dream but it comes with a lot of challenges (check out the resource list at the end of this section), not least of all is making sure that you have the space to work in peace and the time, focus and concentration to be able to do it.
This is difficult enough if you live in a small flat where you can’t retreat to a dedicated office – away from all the distractions that clamour for your attention at home.
Add the presence of family members who don’t know the meaning of privacy (yep, I’m looking at you toddlers and babies) and you now have a dire situation in your hands.
This post is for parents whose kids need a lot of attention and who also know how to get it.
If you’ve tried arts and crafts, Lego, water stations and all the rest that lies at the heart of no-screen activities, all to no avail, then this post is for you.
If you don’t want to succumb to the temptation that is screen time and you’re just looking for activities or ideas for the time you’ll be speeding under indefinite quarantine (for yourself), check out the resources below:
How To Be Productive When You’re Not At The Office – This post was actually for people trying to decide if working remotely was really for them but we’ve moved way past that. Now, most people don’t have a choice but to work from home and this post also gives a list of things you can do to remain productive when you’re not in an office environment.
More Free Time Series – The first thing you need to know is how to stay on top of your time. Trust me, it tends to get away with you when you’re working from home. Or even, when you’re trying to work from home. Until I got this sorted, I’d lose so much time and not have anything to show for it.
How To Work From Home When Quarantined With Children – Get more specific ideas for non-screen activities that you can use to capture your children’s attention for the time you need to do your work.
How To Be Productive During A Quarantine – Not actually working under your quarantine so at a loss as to what you can do with all of this free time? Here’s a list of suggestions to get you on track.
Best Skills To Learn During Quarantine – The 4 skills I highly recommend anybody learn. If you’re looking for change or self-improvement whilst under quarantine, this is what you need.
Educational TV shows for kids #1:
I hated math as a child but if I’d watched a show like this, I might’ve grown to love it.
Team Umizoomi runs for four seasons and emphasises preschool mathematical concepts, such as counting, sequences, shapes, patterns, measurements, and equalities.
My three-year-old loves it and sometimes, I catch him jumping around the sitting room, pretending to be one of the characters – solving people’s problems when they phone in, finding missing items, working with the other characters (this is where either Kevin or I have to jump in sometimes), figuring out how things work and so much more.
Once each problem has been solved, they do a dance that will get your child moving instead of just sitting down.
Educational TV shows for kids #2:
We love Daniel Tiger though I admit I think I love it more than my son mainly because it teaches a lot of non-academic but really important skills such as emotional management – something I prize and really believe is essential to a child’s development.
Unlike Peppa Pig (which I absolutely hate), Daniel Tiger and the rest of his family and friends treat each other with kindness and respect as they go about their daily lives.
My favourite episode is the one where he was trying to grapple with anger and he gets a lot of support, including coping strategies from everyone else – reinforcing the message that it’s okay to feel negative emotions. It’s what we do with them that really counts in the end.
Educational TV shows for kids #3:
This was once my boy’s all-time favourite show and no wonder, you really learn a lot from this show.
But first off, let me just say that Blippi is an acquired taste for many parents. And his songs are proper earworms. One time, I kept humming one of his tunes for days!
I couldn’t stop at all.
Also, this is obviously an American show so if you live in the UK, for example, you’ll have to spend a bit of time convincing your child that you call some things differently where you live.
Getting my son to switch from garbage truck to a bin lorry was such an effort, my husband eventually gave up and now my son gets to call every bin lorry a garbage truck to his little heart’s content.
All that aside, this is a wonderful show where your child will learn basic things such as colours, shapes, emotions but also more complicated things like the parts of a plane, a boat, a monster truck etc.
Eventually, I started enjoying the show too and now that my son has found a new obsession in the form of Team Umizoomi, I rather miss Blippi’s unique take on the world around him.
Educational TV shows for kids #4:
Okay, so Octonauts is a new addition to our list of best educational shows for children and I wasn’t really too keen on it, to begin with.
But, when you’ve watched the first three shows repeatedly every single day, the novelty eventually wears off.
In fact, now, my son watches a bit of the other shows for maybe five minutes before he starts asking for attention. And when he asks for attention, he literally does ask for attention.
He says, “Mam, I need attention just now.”
But when you have a deadline, adorable can be the distraction you don’t really need.
That’s what happened when we discovered Octonauts, which is a show that introduces your child to the wonderful world of animals.
The characters are animals themselves, go on oceanic adventures and talk about the many different animals they encounter.
If you’re going to have to bite the bullet and let your child watch something on the telly, you might as well start with the basics of zoology.
Final tips on letting your kids watch educational shows
If you notice, all our recommended educational shows for children are available on Amazon Prime and this is by design.
No, we’re not just recommending them because we’re Amazon Associates.
All of the shows that we recommended here are also available on YouTube (and possibly YouTube Kids – although I’m not too sure about that) and we used to rely on this site quite a lot.
However, ever since we watched the Ted Talk, The Nightmare Videos Of Children’s YouTube (see below), we’ve scrapped the app from our phones and my son doesn’t get any access anymore.
I urge you to do the same.
If you must let your child watch on YouTube (and I honestly can’t think of any compelling reason to do so), then you have to stay with them and actually watch what they’re watching.
Also, make sure that the recommendations setting is turned off (see resource list below) as well as the history.
YouTube is a rabbit hole and it only takes a few clicks for your child to end up watching what you don’t want them to watch.
Amazon (and other providers such as Netflix) is a lot safer this way.
How To Turn Off YouTube Recommendations – A clear tutorial to help you turn off YouTube recommendations.
How to Delete Your YouTube Watch History (and Search History) – Another clear tutorial that does what it says on the tin.
Children’s YouTube is still churning out blood, suicide and cannibalism – A painful but necessary read if, like us, you used to rely on YouTube to supplement your child’s learning.