The Ultimate Guide to the Best TV Shows for 3-6-Year-Olds: Educational and Entertaining Options
Are you tired of sifting through countless TV shows, trying to find the best ones for your 3-6-year-old? Look no further! We've compiled a list of the best educational kids' shows that will captivate young minds and spark their curiosity. From the adventurous world of "Super Why!" to the magical realms explored in "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!", these TV shows are not only entertaining but also filled with valuable learning opportunities. So, gather your little ones and get ready to embark on an educational journey like no other.
TV Shows for Children Ages 3-6 Years
1. Mickey Mouse Club House:
One cartoon character that is recognizable to anyone is Mickey Mouse. In this interactive TV show for preschoolers by Disney, Mickey, along with his friends Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto, embarks on a new adventure every day. Toddlers love this show because it teaches them important skills such as counting, spelling, singing, and critical thinking through interactive methods.
Network: Disney Junior, Youtube
2. Sesame Street:
Currently in its 49th season, Sesame Street is one of the longest-running children's TV shows. This PBS production, which began in 1969 and now airs on HBO, focuses on educating children through storytelling. Kids enjoy the catchy songs by Elmo or the comical Cookie Monster gobbling up cookies.
Network: HBO, Youtube, DVD
Did you know? Sesame Street has been broadcasted in over 120 countries and is locally produced in more than 30 countries, including France, Israel, and South Africa.
Pocoyo is a curious toddler who loves exploring and discovering the world around him. Together with his friends, Pocoyo embarks on a new adventure each day, allowing children to learn and discover alongside him.
Network: Netflix, Youtube, DVD
Pingu is a baby penguin who lives with his family in an igloo. Although mischievous, Pingu learns valuable lessons through the series of adventures he encounters. This popular show from the 90s captivated children with its adorable penguin character and unique language, Penguinese. If you want to introduce your children to a world without the internet, Pingu is a great choice.
Network: Youtube, DVD
5. Bob the Builder:
Bob and his talking machines assist the villagers with their construction projects in this charming show. Each episode concludes with a valuable lesson for children. Originally airing from 1999 to 2011, the show underwent a complete makeover and relaunched in 2016.
Network: Youtube, Channel 5
Point to consider: Spending quality time with children is essential for positive parenting. So, watch these shows with your little ones and nurture your bond with them.
6. Thomas and Friends:
This TV show brings the imaginative world of talking train engines to life. Join Thomas and his engine friends as they embark on exciting adventures and assist humans with transportation.
Network: Youtube, Channel 5, Amazon Instant Video, DVD
7. Dora the Explorer:
Follow the adventures of Dora, a young girl who explores and learns new things. Accompanied by her monkey friend Boots, her cousin Diego, and her talking backpack, Dora engages children through interactive storytelling and encourages them to participate by asking questions.
Network: Nick Jr., Youtube
Oswald, a big blue octopus, and his dog Weenie are the main characters in this show. Oswald teaches children important safety rules, such as looking both ways before crossing the street.
Network: Voot, Youtube
9. Curious George:
Curious George, a mischievous monkey, always finds himself in trouble. Luckily, his friend, the man in the yellow hat, is there to help him. Along with having fun, children also learn scientific concepts, such as how kites fly and how hand pumps work.
10. Paw Patrol:
Puppies to the rescue! This show follows the adventures of six rescue puppies and their human friend Ryder as they help their neighbors. When an emergency arises, Ryder uses his handheld communicator to summon the puppies, each of whom has a unique role and utilizes cool gadgets and patrol cars.
Network: Dailymotion, Nickelodeon
11. Doc McStuffins:
This show centers around a 6-year-old girl who aspires to become a doctor like her mother. With her backyard clinic, she tends to her toys, restitching them and ensuring they stay healthy. Occasionally, she seeks advice from her doctor mother to learn how children can stay healthy.
Network: Disney Junior
12. Word Party:
Word Party is a great show for toddlers who are learning to talk and spell. It features four baby animals (Bailey, Franny, Lulu, and Kip) and Clickety Clock, who teaches them when to eat, sleep, and play. The show includes catchy songs and offers a fun way to learn various words, animal noises, and more.
13. Noddy the Toyland Detective:
Noddy is an ever-curious boy who works as a detective, helping the people of Toyland solve mysteries. Armed with his tablet, Noddy seeks information to crack each new case. This show keeps children entertained with its daily dose of new and exciting mysteries.
Trivia: Noddy was first performed on stage at London's Stoll Theatre in 1954 with a full theater orchestra. Most of the cast comprised children and teenagers from the Italia Conti acting school.
Educational Kids' Shows: "Super Why!"
What it's about: "Reading is power, and 'Super Why!' is the only preschool property created to help kids learn the fundamentals of reading through interactive storybook adventures. . . . The program represents a novel approach to preschool educational television, featuring a team of superhero characters with reading powers who jump into books to find answers to everyday preschool challenges."
Concepts it teaches: literacy, social skills, problem-solving
Ages it's best suited for: 3 and up
Where to watch: Amazon Prime and YouTube TV
Educational Kids' Shows: "Handy Manny"
What it's about: "Handy Manny and his friendly, silly tools are the go-to guys in their neighborhood whenever a problem occurs. The series follows the humorous adventures of this warm-hearted fix-it man and his eclectic group of talking tools, while providing preschool viewers with model conflict resolutions and problem-solving skills. Handy Manny is a multicultural series that emphasizes the importance of finding solutions and making things work."
Concepts it teaches: problem-solving
Ages it's best suited for: 3 and up
Where to watch: Disney
Educational Kids' Shows: "Nature Cat"
What it's about: "Grounded in a natural science curriculum, 'Nature Cat' is designed to encourage children ages 3-8 to go outside and explore the outdoors while learning about a variety of scientific topics. The show follows Fred, a house cat with a dream of exploring the great outdoors."
Concepts it teaches: nature investigation, science
Ages it's best suited for: 3-8
Where to watch: PBS and YouTube TV
Educational Kids' Shows: "Cyberchase"
What it's about: "In the world of 'Cyberchase,' the dastardly villain Hacker is on a mad mission to take over Cyberspace with the help of his blundering henchbots, Buzz and Delete. But heroes Inez, Jackie, and Matt, three curious kids, are determined to stop him with the assistance of their cyber pal, Digit. Their weapon: brain power."
Concepts it teaches: problem-solving, math
Ages it's best suited for: 8 and up
Where to watch: Amazon Prime and YouTube TV
Educational Kids' Shows: "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!"
What it's about: "Voiced by award-winning actor Martin Short, Dr. Seuss's 'The Cat in the Hat' guides friends Sally and Nick — with a little help from the Fish, Thing 1, and Thing 2 — on fun-filled adventures where they make natural science discoveries, from how bees make honey to why owls sleep during the day."
Concepts it teaches: curiosity, scientific exploration, discovery
Ages it's best suited for: 3 and up
Where to watch: PBS
Educational Kids' Shows: "Arthur"
What it's about: "'Arthur,' based on the best-selling books by Marc Brown, is television's longest-running animated children's series. This iconic show has touched audiences worldwide with its heartfelt and humorous stories about family, friends, and the challenges of growing up."
Concepts it teaches: empathy, morality, perspective
Ages it's best suited for: 4-8
Where to watch: PBS and YouTube TV
Educational Kids' Shows: "Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum"
What it's about: "Inspired by the best-selling kids book series, 'Ordinary People Change the World,' by New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer and illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos, 'Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum' follows the adventures of Xavier, Yadina, and Brad as they tackle everyday problems by doing something extraordinary: traveling back in time to learn from real-life inspirational figures like Marie Curie, Harriet Tubman, and Jackie Robinson when they were kids. Each adventure helps young viewers understand how qualities displayed by these historical figures can be found within themselves, empowering them to believe they, too, can make a difference in the world."
Concepts it teaches: history, social-emotional skills
Ages it's best suited for: 8 and up
Where to watch: PBS and YouTube TV
Educational Kids' Shows: "Treehouse Detectives"
What it's about: "Treehouse Detectives" follows the adventures of Toby and Teri, a brother-and-sister team, as they solve mysteries to help their animal friends. Using clues and facts, they unravel secrets right in their own backyard.
Concepts it teaches: This show focuses on teaching science, nature, and problem-solving skills to its young viewers.
Ages it's best suited for: "Treehouse Detectives" is suitable for kids of all ages, making it an enjoyable and educational experience for everyone.
Where to watch: You can watch "Treehouse Detectives" on Netflix by clicking here.
Educational Kids' Shows: "Little Einsteins"
What it's about: "Little Einsteins" is an innovative series that introduces preschoolers to music and art in unique ways. The show centers around four young heroes who meet in their backyard clubhouse and embark on exciting missions with specific goals.
Concepts it teaches: This show focuses on teaching classical music, art, social-emotional skills, and problem-solving to young viewers.
Ages it's best suited for: "Little Einsteins" is best suited for kids aged 4 and up, providing them with engaging and educational content.
Where to watch: You can watch "Little Einsteins" on Disney+ by clicking here.
Educational Kids' Shows: "The Ruff Ruffman Show"
What it's about: "The Ruff Ruffman Show" is a PBS Kids series designed to teach core science concepts to kids ages 4-8. Through videos, game-play, and hands-on activities, the show follows the adventures of Ruff Ruffman, a canine host, as he answers questions from real kids, takes on challenges, and learns about perseverance.
Concepts it teaches: "The Ruff Ruffman Show" focuses on teaching science and inquiry skills to its young viewers.
Ages it's best suited for: This show is best suited for kids aged 4-8, providing them with educational content in an entertaining format.
Where to watch: You can watch "The Ruff Ruffman Show" on PBS by clicking here.
Educational Kids' Shows: "Muppet Babies"
What it's about: "Muppet Babies" brings the beloved characters Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Animal, Gonzo, and Summer to life as they embark on imaginative playroom adventures. Together, they use their creativity and imagination to make their dreams come true.
Concepts it teaches: This show focuses on teaching imaginative play to its young viewers.
Ages it's best suited for: "Muppet Babies" is best suited for kids aged 3 and up, providing them with a fun and educational experience.
Where to watch: You can watch "Muppet Babies" on Disney+ by clicking here, and on YouTube TV by clicking here.
Educational Kids' Shows: "Miles From Tomorrowland"
What it's about: "Miles From Tomorrowland" takes kids on blastastic adventures through outer space. Miles and his intergalactic family venture into space, unleashing their imaginations and exploring the wonders of the universe.
Concepts it teaches: This show focuses on teaching astronomy concepts and vocabulary words, as well as prereading skills to its young viewers.
Ages it's best suited for: "Miles From Tomorrowland" is best suited for kids aged 4 and up, providing them with exciting and educational content.
Where to watch: You can watch "Miles From Tomorrowland" on Disney+ by clicking here, and on YouTube TV by clicking here.
Educational Kids' Shows: "Puffin Rock"
What it's about: "Puffin Rock" is set in the beautiful Puffin Rock, where puffling Oona, her baby brother Baba, and their friends learn important lessons about nature, friendship, and family.
Concepts it teaches: This show focuses on teaching kids about nature and developing social-emotional skills.
Ages it's best suited for: "Puffin Rock" is suitable for kids of all ages, providing them with an enriching and educational viewing experience.
Where to watch: You can watch "Puffin Rock" on Netflix by clicking here.
TV Shows for Kids of age 6-9 years
14. Tangled The Series:
"Tangled The Series" continues the story of Rapunzel after she reunites with her parents. This animated series takes viewers on exciting adventures as Rapunzel regains her magical hair and embarks on various missions.
Network: You can find "Tangled The Series" on Amazon and Disney.go.com.
15. The Boss Baby: Back in Business:
"The Boss Baby: Back in Business" is a show about a cute yet bossy toddler who, along with his brother Tim, helps Baby Corp. in maintaining the love for babies. Despite their differences, they learn to work together as a team.
Network: You can watch "The Boss Baby: Back in Business" on Netflix.
16. Duck Tales:
"Duck Tales" is a beloved TV show from the 90s that reunites Uncle Scrooge with his nephews for new adventures. Every day brings a different exciting journey for this lovable duck family.
Network: You can watch "Duck Tales" on Disney XD and Disney Channel.
17. Crikey! Its the Irwins:
"Crikey! Its the Irwins" follows the Irwin family as they continue Steve Irwin's legacy of wildlife conservation. Kids can witness the running of the Australian zoo, encounter a variety of animals, and learn about conservation efforts.
Network: You can watch "Crikey! Its the Irwins" on Animal Planet.
18. Ask the StoryBots:
"Ask the StoryBots" answers kids' biggest questions with the help of five curious little creatures. This educational show addresses various topics, such as why we need to brush our teeth or how night happens, satisfying kids' curiosity.
Network: You can watch "Ask the StoryBots" on Netflix.
19. Teen Titans Go!:
"Teen Titans Go!" revolves around five young superheroes who live together without adult supervision. While they often clash, they ultimately learn the value of teamwork and cooperation.
Network: You can watch "Teen Titans Go!" on Cartoon Network and Netflix.
20. Phineas and Ferb:
"Phineas and Ferb" features two genius brothers who build extraordinary structures and embark on thrilling adventures. Meanwhile, their sister, Candace, tries to expose their creations to their mother. Additionally, Phineas and Ferb's pet platypus, Perry, is a secret agent saving the world from evil.
Network: You can watch "Phineas and Ferb" on disneynow.go.com.
21. Sofia the First:
"Sofia the First" is a TV show that fulfills every child's dream of becoming a prince or princess. The story follows Sofia, a commoner-turned-princess after her mother marries the king. Along the way, Sofia learns the importance of friendship, doing what is right, and caring for others.
Network: You can watch "Sofia the First" on Dailymotion and disneynow.go.com.
Educational Kids' Shows: "Clifford the Big Red Dog"
What it's about: "Clifford the Big Red Dog" is based on the best-selling Scholastic book series by Norman Bridwell. The reimagined animated series features the larger-than-life dog, Clifford, and his best friend Emily Elizabeth. The show takes place in fresh and colorful locations, offering teaching moments as it entertains with Clifford-sized humor.
Concepts it teaches: "Clifford the Big Red Dog" focuses on teaching social-emotional skills, early literacy, and imaginative play to its young viewers.
Ages it's best suited for: This show is best suited for kids aged 3 and up, providing them with educational content that sparks their imagination.
Where to watch: You can watch "Clifford the Big Red Dog" on PBS by clicking here, and on Amazon Prime by clicking here.
Educational Kids' Shows: "Doc McStuffins"
What it's about: "Doc McStuffins" runs a clinic for toys out of her playhouse with the help of her stuffed animal friends. Together, they provide care and nurture for the toys while teaching valuable lessons.
Concepts it teaches: This show focuses on teaching social skills, problem-solving, and basic health and medical concepts to its young viewers.
Ages it's best suited for: "Doc McStuffins" is best suited for kids aged 3 and up, engaging them with educational content in a delightful format.
Where to watch: You can watch "Doc McStuffins" on Disney+ by clicking here, and on Hulu by clicking here.
Educational Kids' Shows: "Ask the StoryBots"
What it's about: "Ask the StoryBots" follows five curious little creatures as they find answers to kids' biggest questions. From explaining why we can't eat desserts all the time to how our ears hear, this educational show satisfies children's curiosity.
Concepts it teaches: This show focuses on teaching curiosity, letters, and colors to its young viewers.
Ages it's best suited for: "Ask the StoryBots" is suitable for kids of all ages, providing them with engaging and educational content.
Where to watch: You can watch "Ask the StoryBots" on Netflix by clicking here.
Educational Kids' Show: "Curious George"
Description: "Curious George" is a television series that aims to inspire children to explore science, math, and engineering in a fun and engaging way. Each half-hour episode features two animated stories, followed by short live-action segments showcasing real children who investigate the concepts introduced by George. The show encourages inquiry, curiosity, and hands-on exploration while also providing guidance to parents and caregivers on supporting children's science and math-related play.
Concepts Taught: The show focuses on promoting inquiry, curiosity, and hands-on exploration. It also provides guidance to parents and caregivers on how to support their children's science and math-related play.
Recommended Age Range: Suitable for children aged 3 and above.
Where to Watch: You can watch "Curious George" on Hulu.
Educational Kids' Show: "Dinosaur Train"
Description: "Dinosaur Train" follows the adventures of Buddy, a preschool-aged Tyrannosaurus Rex, and his adoptive family of Pteranodons. They embark on journeys on the Dinosaur Train, where they encounter various dinosaurs from different eras and learn fascinating facts about these incredible creatures.
Concepts Taught: The show focuses on teaching life science, natural history, and scientific-thinking skills.
Recommended Age Range: Suitable for children aged 3 and above.
Where to Watch: You can watch "Dinosaur Train" on YouTube TV.
Educational Kids' Show: "The Magic School Bus Rides Again"
Description: "The Magic School Bus Rides Again" features Ms. Frizzle's sister, Fiona, taking the lead at Walkerville Elementary. The class embarks on wild science-fueled adventures, learning various scientific concepts along the way.
Concepts Taught: The show focuses on teaching science and nature.
Recommended Age Range: Suitable for children aged 5 and above.
Where to Watch: You can watch "The Magic School Bus Rides Again" on Netflix.
Educational Kids' Show: "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood"
Description: "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" is the first TV series inspired by the iconic "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." The show follows 4-year-old Daniel Tiger, son of the original program's Daniel Striped Tiger, as he invites young viewers into his world, providing a kid's-eye view of his life.
Concepts Taught: The show focuses on teaching practical strategies, social skills, and promoting imagination.
Recommended Age Range: Suitable for children aged 2 and above.
Where to Watch: You can watch "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" on PBS and YouTube TV.
Educational Kids' Show: "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse"
Description: "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" invites preschoolers to join Mickey and his friends for interactive adventures that involve early math learning and problem-solving skills. Through engaging storytelling, Mickey leads kids on a journey of learning and fun.
Concepts Taught: The show focuses on teaching problem-solving, critical thinking, and math skills.
Recommended Age Range: Suitable for all ages.
Where to Watch: You can watch "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" on Disney and the Disney Channel.
TV Shows for Kids Aged 9-12 Years
Show 22: Powerpuff Girls
Celebrate girl power with the beloved super girls of Townsville as they save their city from bad guys. Introduce this classic cartoon show to your kids and let them enjoy the same entertainment you did as a child.
Show 23: Ben 10
Follow the story of Ben Tennyson, a boy who gains the power to transform into various alien forms through an alien watch called the Omnitrix. With these new powers, Ben must learn the responsibility of using them for the betterment of humanity.
Show 24: Masterchef Junior
Masterchef Junior is a cookery competition for kids aged 8-13. Young chefs compete in various rounds until one emerges as the Masterchef. Along the way, they have the opportunity to learn culinary skills from renowned chefs like Gordan Ramsey and Graham Elliot.
Network: Fox, Youtube
Show 25: Pokemon The Series
Join Ash as he embarks on a journey to become a Pokemon trainer. Alongside his friends, he captures new Pokemon and learns the skills required for Pokemon battles while facing challenges created by the notorious Team Rocket.
Show 26: Hannah Montana
Hannah Montana, featuring Miley Cyrus, is a Disney production. The show revolves around Miley Stewart, a 14-year-old girl with a secret double life. By day, she is an average middle school girl, and by night, she becomes Hannah Montana, a popular teenage pop singer. The show explores how Miley manages her double life while safeguarding her true identity.
Network: disneynow.go.com, Youtube
Show 27: Young Justice
Follow a group of young sidekicks as they strive to prove themselves as heroes while dealing with the challenges of adolescence. Through their experiences, kids can learn how to solve conflicts and work together as a team.
Show 28: MythBusters
MythBusters is a show that satisfies the curiosity of inquisitive kids by exploring and testing famous urban legends. Hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage use math, geometry, physics, and chemistry to design experiments that either prove or disprove these myths, making it an educational science show for kids.
Network: Discovery Channel
Show 29: Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
This show is the fourth animated series in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. It follows four young mutant turtles with ninja arts powers who must work together as a team to unravel the mysteries of New York City.
Network: Nickelodeon, Youtube
Show 30: Full House
If you're looking for a clean, funny, and old-school show to enjoy with your kids, "Full House" is a great choice. This classic 1987 sitcom offers a mix of humor and family values that can be enjoyed by both kids and adults.
Over the years, numerous cartoon shows have gained popularity among children. The graph below depicts the popularity of some cartoon shows in the United States between January 1st and March 21st, 2018. Among them, "Spongebob Squarepants" ranks as the most popular show with the highest average demand among children.
Most Popular Children's Shows
Source: Parrot Analytics; Which children's content is most in demand in North America?
1. Are there effective ways to encourage children to watch educational TV shows?
To encourage children to watch educational TV shows, you can watch the shows with them and engage in discussions. Additionally, inviting their friends over to watch educational shows can create interest and foster learning.
2. How can parents ensure that their children watch age-appropriate TV shows?
Parents can follow TV ratings to ensure their children watch age-appropriate shows. However, it is essential for parents to personally select shows for their children. Opt for shows on networks like PBS, Discovery Channel, Learning Channel, or History Channel, as they mostly offer content suitable for children, excluding a few shows.
3. What are the potential risks of excessive TV watching for children?
Excessive TV watching can impact a child's behavior, as they may imitate habits or mannerisms unsuitable for their age. Additionally, appealing TV commercials can mislead children into adopting unhealthy eating habits and skipping meals.
TV shows for kids serve as a valuable tool for both education and entertainment. Visual media has a profound impact on young minds, making it crucial to filter age-appropriate content. From teaching family values to igniting scientific curiosity, these shows offer a range of learning opportunities.
- Television shows for kids cover various categories and provide ample learning opportunities.
- Choose shows that align with your child's educational needs while keeping them engaged and entertained.
- While promoting fun learning, it's important to set limits on screen time to maintain a healthy balance.
In conclusion, when it comes to finding the best TV shows for 3-6-year-olds, there are plenty of educational and entertaining options to choose from. From the adventures of "Super Why!" and "Handy Manny" to the inquisitive nature of "Nature Cat" and "Cyberchase," these shows not only capture young minds but also nurture their learning and curiosity. As they venture into the world of "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!" and "Arthur," children are exposed to valuable life lessons and problem-solving skills. With shows like "Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum" and "Treehouse Detectives," kids are encouraged to explore history and develop their detective skills. And as they embark on intergalactic journeys with "Miles from Tomorrowland" and immerse themselves in the wonders of nature with "Puffin Rock," children's imaginations are ignited and their love for learning is nurtured. So, the next time you're looking for educational kids' shows, make sure to check out these amazing options that not only entertain but also educate.
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