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13 Educational TV Shows for Kids That They'll Love

13 Educational TV Shows for Kids That They'll Love

These educational TV shows for kids will not only keep them learning but give you a much-needed break from homeschooling.


Many quarantined parents have allowed their kids more than their usual share of TV-watching. And hey, that’s okay. We all need a time-out from homeschooling and stuck-in stress. But what if that TV was educational? Even less guilt, right? That’s why we asked Common Sense Media to recommend the best educational TV shows for kids ages 3 and older. From math tips to world history lessons, the following series (plus these kid-friendly documentaries) will boost your kids’ brains and give parents the break they deserve. 

Educational TV Shows for Kids Ages 3-5
Educational TV Shows for Kids Ages 5-8
Educational TV Shows for Kids Ages 8-12
Educational TV Shows for Kids Ages 12 and older

Educational TV Shows for Kids Ages 3-5

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (ages 3+)

Produced by The Fred Rogers Company and similar in tone to the iconic Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, this animated series follows the adventures of Daniel and his friends as they experience friendship, family bonds, and various emotions such as disappointment, sadness, frustration, and joy. There are also lessons for basic preschool skills like letter sounds and counting. Available on VUDU, Google Play, Apple TV and Amazon Prime.

Team Umizoomi (ages 3+)

Kids learn math and reading skills by interacting with the characters in this animated series—which features a team of mini space travelers who require help from viewers in solving problems like shape recognition and color identification along their journey. Available on VUDU, Apple TV, Google Play, FandangoNow and Amazon Prime

Sid the Science Kid (ages 4+)

Sid and his friends are always excited to learn new things like "Why are my shoes shrinking?" and "Why do bananas get mushy?" The show—which is co-produced by The Jim Henson Company—introduces kids to the basics of scientific study using song, dance, and humor. Available on Netflix, Apple TV, Google Play, FandangoNOW and Amazon Prime.

Wallykazam (ages 4+)

This endearing young troll and his forest friends go on silly adventures while kids learn essential reading skills. In each story, viewers are encouraged to read words, identify letters, make rhymes, and generate synonyms, all in ways that don’t feel like real school. Available on VUDU, Google Play and Amazon.

Educational TV Shows for Kids Ages 5-8

The Electric Company (Ages 5+)

This update/remake of the popular 1970s series of the same name uses quirky comedy, music, and animation to teach young readers important language skills, including phonics, grammar, and language rules. Available on Google Play and Amazon

Odd Squad (Ages 5+)

During each episode, the squad of upbeat and optimistic kids has to solve a problem with grade-school math skills. Viewers are right there with them, interpreting clues and even learning from their mistakes. Available on VUDU, Google Play, Apple TV and Amazon Prime.



Our Planet (Ages 6+)

This beautiful nature docuseries from the team behind Planet Earth is narrated by David Attenboroughwho will be teaching geography on the BBC’s new Bitesize Daily. It exposes viewers to several amazing species and their survival methods as they deal with overcoming harsh climates, scarce food sources, and dwindling resources for shelter. Available on Netflix.  

Educational TV Shows for Ages 8-12

Brainchild (Ages 8+)

In this science-inspired educational series, the youthful host and helpers (a science expert and a sleight-of-hand magician) teach kids about concepts like the senses, neurology, marine biology, and gravity through entertaining visual aids, expert insight, and fun facts. Available on Netflix

Genius by Stephen Hawking (Ages 8+)

The six-part series simplifies sweeping scientific concepts into experiments and demonstrations done by teams of volunteers. Each three-person team is given a challenge (like using a code to find a location), which relates to the episode's specific theme. Available on VUDU, Google Play, Apple TV and Amazon Prime

One Strange Rock (Ages 8+)

This beautifully filmed docuseries, hosted by the actor Will Smith, is all about life on the strange rock known as Earth. It will appeal to science-fans, as well as those kids who like a good puzzle or an eye-catching visual. Available on VUDU, Google Play, Apple TV, Disney Plus and Amazon.

Educational TV Shows Ages 12 and Older

America: The Story of Us (Ages 12+)

The six-part documentary offers a detailed, though sometimes graphic, look at some of the prominent figures and events in America over the last 400 years. Beginning with the Revolutionary War, it uses dramatic reenactments and special effects to illustrate each significant period in America’s history. Available on Apple TV and Amazon Prime. 

Finding Your Roots with Louis Henry Gates (Ages 12+)

African-American history scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. hosts this docuseries that explores the ancestral past of some of America's most fascinating figures—from race-relations activist and congressman John Lewis to musicians like Harry Connick, Jr. Available on VUDU, Apple TV, Google Play and Amazon

White Rabbit Project (Ages 12+)

This spin-off of MythBusters  investigates a different topic on each episode: famous heists, crazy WWII weaponry, technology that grants superpowers. The hosts come up with six examples of each topic—say, difficult jailbreaks—then investigates each one with dramatic reenactments. Available on Netflix

Main image courtesy PBS KIDS

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Shana Liebman

Author:

Shana Liebman is the features editor of NYMP. She’s a writer and editor who has worked for magazines including New York MagazineSalon, and Travel & Leisure—and she is the mom of two energetic little boys.

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