"8 Must-Watch TV Shows to Help Energize Your Preschooler's Education"
Preschool TV has entered a golden age of choice, with an abundant range of programming available that can help children learn important concepts from social-emotional skills to STEM subjects. The line between education and entertainment is increasingly blurred, with TV shows such as Sesame Street leading the way. However, not all educational TV shows are created equal, and it is important to choose programs founded on childhood-development principles, quality research and an understanding of how kids learn from media. Many shows are able to incorporate learning effectively and creatively into their content by following the guidance of experts, researchers and advisors, resulting in richer and more engaging experiences for children.
Sesame Street, with its focus on teaching counting, the alphabet and friendship over the past 45 years, is a pioneer in the field. The show’s influence has inspired other great exemplars of the genre, such as Arty’s Magical World, a visually appealing program which encourages children to participate in creative problem-solving through art, with simple art-history lessons included for good measure. Creator Angela Santomero emphasizes the importance of kids being part of the action and contributing to the story-line, as this ensures they actively participate in the learning experience.
Another standout program, Curious George, teaches children important concepts through George's daily adventures with the Man with the Yellow Hat. A study in 2012 demonstrated that children who read about and watched Curious George had significantly better knowledge of measurement, hibernation, colors, weather, buoyancy, sound, sorting and plant life than those who did not. Programs like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood focus on developing children's social-emotional skills, while lessons in counting, teamwork and math skills can be found in Peg + Cat.
Parents can take comfort in the knowledge that many educational TV shows are developed by experts who understand how to deliver content effectively to preschoolers. These programs are not only entertaining, but also offer a unique opportunity for children to learn in a fun, interactive and engaging way.
Discover the thrilling world of Super Why, where Whyatt Beanstalk and his squad turn into superheroes before diving headlong into an adventure-packed storybook. Each book contains clues that help them solve the problem of the day - perfect for building problem-solving skills, teamwork, communication, and compassion. Not only does Super Why boost early literacy skills like letter identification, letter sounds, simple spelling, and word recognition, but it was also designed to be interactive, drawing children into the story through challenging games and activities. A study proved that this format encourages children to practice critical skills they require to read.
Tumble Leaf is an exciting series bound to fascinate preschoolers with adorable animal characters, including little blue bear Fig and his animal buddies. It provides simple but age-appropriate scientific concepts, problem-solving activities, and prereading skills such as rhyming and shape recognition woven into various stories. Play is an essential aspect highlighted on the show, where children learn how to do things in the outdoors, such as science, through their play.
Wally Trollman's journey in the forest with his dragon BFF Norville and a magic stick is another excellent pick for preschoolers. Together with his friends, Wally creates words and solves problems that teach children early reading basics, including phonics, letter knowledge, and letter-sound association. The show is Nick's first foray into literacy and education, and it comes with an excellent companion app that enhances the experience.
Meet Doc, the little girl in a doctor's coat and stethoscope, as she cares for her stuffed patients, encouraging independence and instilling a can-do attitude in kids. Doc's character is a fantastic role model and an essential element in promoting diversity, with the show's focus on an African-American family and gender role reversal. Hollywood Health and Society, an organization that advocates for accurate medical information in the entertainment industry, collaborates with the show to ensure medically sound content while the Artemis Medical Society uses the character to promote diversity in medical and STEM careers.
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