Winter. Is. Coming.
Our days of carefree outdoor time with our little ones are numbered. Sure, some autumn and winter days will allow for us to shoo our kids outside to play. Those days will, unfortunately, be less frequent than our spring and summer days.
And with that, parents are scrambling to find ways to keep their kids busy and occupied. I don’t fully endorse using screens or the television to distract children. However, I’ll be one of the first to admit those things can be a godsend on the hardest and coldest of days.
As a childcare provider, I’ve shuffled through my fair share of kids’ shows. I know which ones my kiddos love most, and which ones I can endure long enough to get lunch cooked and served.
I’ve also got an inside scoop on the educational ones.
Let’s face it, my son would watch Teen Titans Go and The Amazing World of Gumball all day, but he’s not getting anything out of those shows. I feel much more confident in my decision to let the TV do the parenting in short bursts when I know the shows my kids are watching are educational as well as entertaining.
For those of us who rely on streaming services, there are dozens of family-friendly, worthwhile viewing options for children. Here are my favorite streaming shows for kids:
Both of these platforms offer nothing but educational content wrapped in bright colors and upbeat music. PBS Kids is a free provider that can easily be installed on a smart TV or Roku. Our favorite shows offered by PBS Kids are Daniel Tiger, Pinkalicious, Curious George, and Sesame Street. Noggin has dozens of titles, and they’ve all proven to be crowd-pleasers. The only downfall of this platforms is they shows are geared more towards toddlers and preschoolers. They may not be as beneficial for the school-agers in your family.
This is our go-to. We frequent the kid’s section of Netflix more often than not and are well-versed in the best of the best. For starters, Story Bots is great for all ages. Honestly, I’ve gotten fun factoids from the show and chuckled at the comedic aspect. If you’ve never seen Story Bots, it’s incredibly educational, and each episode centers around a question that needs to be answered–questions like, “How many animals are there?”, “How do eyes work?” and “Why do I have to brush my teeth?” Other much-loved titles are Llama Llama, Kate and Mim-Mim, and True and the Rainbow Kingdom.
The nice thing about Hulu is you don’t have to rely only on the shows. Hulu is home to a number of educational movies, including a few of the Curious George full-length features. They also offer a number of Disney Junior titles such as Henry Hugglemonster, Doc McStuffins, and Chuggington, all without having to download another platform or register another membership.
Our most favorite rainy-day daycare show is Blippi. Yes, the YouTube sensation has a number of episodes available to Amazon Prime subscribers. They’re bound to turn your little one into an unblinking zombie. Blippi may be one of the harder shows for me to withstand personally, but he is accepted with open arms by the kiddos. Blippi also does a lot of educational topics, like exploring rescue machines, discovering buoyancy, or finding items for each letter of the alphabet. Prime also has a few original titles for the younger kids. You may want to check out Pete the Cat, Creative Galaxy, and Tumble Leaf.
For the Older Viewers
Some of the more educational shows I’ve found for my school-ager are The Hollow, Inbestigators, The Last Kids on Earth, and Carmen Sandiego, all on Netflix. These shows aren’t strictly teaching school-aged children the type of stuff they’d learn in the classroom. They’re teaching problem solving, teamwork, and perseverance. They also throw some mysteries and issues at the viewers to make them think, see what’s not there, and to read between the lines.
I wish all parents the best of luck during the shut-in season. I hope these titles help bring you some guilt-free comfort in your kids’ viewing.
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