Yes I know, we shouldn’t let children watch TV until age 2 according to the AAP, BUT, the reality in our day and age for most of us (especially if you have more than one kid) is that TV and/or social media will be present in our toddlers life before that age. So I wanted to make a list of my top 5 educational shows/cartoons for toddlers.
Must watch: These shows not only provide entertainment for tots, but they also have a lot of educational elements.
1. Sesame Street: Sesame Street is a classic, must watch for any kid at any age. I have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t like Elmo!! The show is not only educational, by teaching numbers and colors, and the alphabet but it is also fun and sweet. (PBS)
2. Mickey Mouse Club House: Classic Disney with a twist. It has all the favorite Disney characters and it teaches kids numbers, colors, shapes. The vibrant digital show retains kids attention and who doesn’t like the theme song… M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!!! (Disney Junior)
3. Dora the Explorer: Trying to make your tot learn some Spanish? This is THE BEST WAY. Even adults have used Dora for years now to practice some Spanish and be able to learn about other cultures. Dora not only teaches a different language in a fun and easy way, she also teaches colors, numbers and shapes. (Nick Jr.)
4. Team Umizoomi: Best show to teach toddlers math. It’s fun, colorful and the focus in math makes it different than other shows. Of course, it doesn’t really limit to math. It teaches colors, measurements, shapes and social skills. (Nick Jr.)
5. The Goodnight Show: This show is the equivalent of a variety show for kids. Nina and Star will make your tot learn, play and relax before going to bed. The show also teaches children Spanish and sign language. In between they run shows like Bernstein Bears, Caillou, Sarah & Duck, Thomas & Friends, Angelina Ballerina, and my favorite Stella & Sam. What I also like the show is that they do a Sprout Stretch! My kiddos love to their stretch. And best of all the show is broadcast twice at 6pm and 9pm EST!!! (Sprout)
On the other hand there are some shows that I could do without:
1. Caillou: His life lessons seem a bit more of those for a 10 year old than a 4 year old. I know I’m not the only parent in the country and the World who has a problem with the show and the character itself. Don’t get me wrong, I still let them watch it because they already like it, but if I could go back I would not had let them spend time with Caillou. (Sprout)
2. Bubble guppies: Bubble guppies lack interesting topics. They are underneath water but they have cars?? It gives me Sponge Bob Square Pants vibe (and if there is one cartoon I absolutely despise is Sponge Bob)!!! It’s appealing to the kids, and I do like that it has some musical numbers, but sometimes those musical numbers are just strange, like the hairstyle episode!! Yikes! (Nick Jr.)
3. Jake and the Neverland Pirates: I LOVE Jake. I could watch Jake everyday. I just feel it really has nothing to give the kids except for the “life lessons”. I don’t like Hooks character and the whole Hook versus them I don’t understand! Where is Peter Pan?? Is this gang part of the Lost Boys? Too many questions to answer to my kid… By the way I am obsessed with Sharky and Bone and want their soundtrack REALLY, REALLY BAD!!! (Disney Jr.)
4. Thomas & Friends: Ok, I know Thomas & Friends is HUGE. It’s been around for a very LONG time, but that’s just it, it feels old. My kids love it but only for 10 minutes, after that they fall asleep or just go bananas (I guess is good to make kids fall asleep!). Seriously, can they update the colors or something? I do have to admit I like the song! (Sprout)
5. Yo Gabba Gabba: Do I really need to explain? I can’t go over 5 minutes of YGG, without getting a stomach ache! It’s just too much! Avoid at all cost, because once you’re hooked it’s over!!! (Nick Jr.)
I know some of you love or hate some of my favorite and every kid will have it’s favorite show as they learn what is their personality and their interests at the time. I also made the list with my own personal likes, since I- as a parent, have to sit there and watch these shows with them!!! Let me know which are your tots favorite shows!!
Also most of these shows are available on your smartphone, via the channels app and webpages. Check out Disney Jr. Nick Jr. Sprout Channel and PBS for more information.