We all want to fill our kids’ days with the most educational and enriching experiences we can. But some days, turning on a TV show can be one of the only ways to get something else done around the house while also keeping your little one entertained.
While it would be amazing if we could fill every waking second with Pinterest-worthy learning activities, sometimes it’s just not possible (and I’m just too tired). And if your toddler is anything like mine, sometimes he chooses to rip pages out of books rather than read them despite my best efforts. In fact, sometimes I simply need to unload the dishwasher, fold a load of laundry, or flip through Instagram (because, #priorities).
I found myself getting a little worried about TV time as the cold weather snuck in. I started to keep a running tally for my toddler’s daily screen time and it was driving me crazy, so I started to do a little research to find a good middle ground.
I found that theAmerican Academy of Pediatrics does recommend keeping screen time for children ages 2 to 5 years of age to one hour per day. It’s also a good idea to talk to your child about what they are learning while watching their television shows, too. I started to break up that hourly limit between morning, after naptime and right before bedtime to wind down.
As I’ve tried to find the right balance for my toddler when it comes to TV time, I’ve started to pay closer attention to what he is actually watching. And I’ve been pleased to see that there are educational TV shows available for kids. I’ve even seen how some of these programs have taught my son important concepts like shapes, colors and even foreign languages.
Here are some TV shows that have made our list – let me know in the comments what shows you’ve found are the right balance between learning and helping you achieve 23 minutes of pure parent bliss.
- Kipper (Amazon Prime + Netflix) – This one isn’t as popular as others on the list, but I love it because it’s soothing and relaxing unlike some other very animated shows can be. It’s a book turned TV show told by a dog with a British accent.
- Super Why (Netflix): This animated show helps kids learn reading, rhyming and spelling skills by little superheroes.
- Daniel Tiger (PBS + Amazon Prime): One of my personal favorites, Daniel helps kids learn important life lessons like sharing, going potty and adjusting to a new baby in the family by expressing feelings.
- Ready, Jet Go (PBS): Kids can learn about space, astronomy, science and technology with some adorable animated characters.
- Veggie Tales – Spanish: We watching Veggie Tales to help him learn about Bible stories we’re also teaching at home. I found the Spanish version is great too because he gets exposed to another language. Lots of other shows available offer other language options, too.
- Team Umizoomi (Nick Jr.): Robot and science-themed characters help teach kids about patterns, counting and other math concepts.
- Word World (PBS): This animated series helps teach kids new words through interactive visuals and storytelling by adorable little animals.
What’s your favorite educational program for toddlers or preschoolers?