11 Best Educational TV Shows for Preschoolers

When we first dipped into the world of kids’ screen time, we learned a valuable lesson early on. It’s not entirely about the amount of screen time – but what your kids are watching. After our 4 year old stumbled across The Grinch (The 2000 version to be clear. The 2018 version is what she calls “the good Grinch”), we went on a quest to find the best educational tv shows for preschoolers…and not the ones that will scare the pants off them. It’s easy to assume just because it’s on kids Netflix, it’s ok. We figured as long as we don’t let our kids go down the rabbit hole of Youtube or have endless access the internet to stumble upon things, we were good. But different themes and characters can affect kids differently (such as the Grinch in our case). So no matter which way you fall on screen time, we’ve assembled our list of the 7 best educational shows for preschoolers to get you started.

1. Doc McStuffins

Doc McStuffins | best educational tv shows for preschoolers

The first show our kiddo ever watched, and now at 4 years old she still watches it today. We’ve seen just about every episode of the 5 seasons and can back the educational value. It’s a show about a little girl, Doc McStuffins, that dreams of being a doctor just like her mommy. She practices by fixing up her toys and stuffed animals (who come to life). It’s cute and the little names they use for the diagnoses are creative. Especially good if your little one has a fear of going to the doctor. Each episode shows your child how to navigate life’s challenges in an age-appropriate way, like teeth brushing, going to the doctor for check-ups, etc.

Where to watch: Disney+, Hulu

2. Tumble Leaf

Tumble Leaf on Amazon stop motion educational show for kids

If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can access this show for free through Prime Video. It’s a very unique approach using stop motion. It follows a blue fox (Fig) and his pal, Stick, who is a caterpillar. They use a fun approach to teaching kids basic science. This is one we’ve recently discovered and we love it. They also teach two lessons per episode so it packs a punch.

Where to watch: Amazon Video

3. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood | best educational tv shows for kids

You’ll probably find Daniel Tiger on every ‘best educational tv shows for preschoolers’ list out there. And for good reason. If you’ve ever seen Mister Rogers, you’ll likely recognize this land of make believe. The show features a tiger, aptly named Daniel Tiger, as he learns a lot of really good life lessons. The songs are quite possibly the best part of the show because you can use them in your daily life to help reinforce some of the themes taught in the show. Seriously, they are catchy and educational. We use the “take a step back and ask for help” (sung in tune) when our 4 year old needs a little extra help calming down.

Where to watch: PBS, Season 1 available free on Amazon Video

4. Story Bots

Story Bots on Netflix best educational tv shows for preschoolers

Wait, what? A kids show with Snoop Dogg in it. Yes, you read that right. Along with a variety of other guest appearances like John Legend, Jennifer Garner, and Jay Leno. It has received a lot of praise and won quite a few awards including a variety of Daytime Emmy awards. The show is about these little creatures, Story Bots, that ask some really important questions like “How Do Airplanes Fly?”, “Why Can’t I Eat Dessert All the Time?” and “Why Do I Have To Brush My Teeth?”. You know, all those questions your kids ask. At the end, there’s a cute little song to summarize the answer. It’s creative, engaging, and educational. Bonus points if you ask them the question at dinner and they can give an answer back to you.

Where to watch: Netflix

5. Puffin Rock

Puffin Rock on netflix educational tv show for kids

Originally aired in Ireland, and set on an Irish island, this show follows two little puffins: Oona and Baba. They go on all kinds of adventures and the show teaches its young viewers about nature and encourages little explorers. It’s different than some of the other shows focusing on life skills or science principles and instead has an ecology spin.

Where to watch: Netflix

6. The Magic School Bus

The Magic School Bus Rides Again is a reboot of the classic Magic School Bus tv show

Did you know they created a Magic School Bus reboot? Miss Frizzle is back at it. If you haven’t seen the original, Miss Frizzle is a teacher (very interactive I might add) and she takes her students through land, sea, and sometimes even the human body to teach them all sorts of educational lessons about the world we live in. All in a magic school bus. It took our 4 year old a couple episodes to get into it, but now she watches it all the time and even suggests it herself.

Where to watch: Netflix

7. Bubble Guppies

Bubble Guppies is one of the best tv shows for kids

A sleeper pick when it comes to best educational tv shows for preschoolers. And at first I wondered if this show was truly educational because it seemed more like the adventure type show just on first glance. But it actually packs educational value. It follows a group of merpeople (pre-school aged) as they attend an underwater school. Each episode they learn some type of lesson and it often changes: science, math, life skills. The characters are cute and it’s a safe show that won’t scare the pants off your little one (looking at you Grinch).

Where to watch: Amazon Video, Hulu

8. Word Party

Word Party | top educational tv show for preschoolers on netflix

Warning: the theme song to this show will get stuck in your head. Countless times. But it’s also very cute, perfect for preschoolers, and made by the Jim Henson Company. It features a little group of animals as they teach preschoolers about words and how to use them. But it’s not all about the words because as they are teaching new words, there are some things that go on in the background to also teach other skills like being a good friend and expressing feelings.

Where to watch: Netflix

9. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse | educational tv shows for toddlers

Another good pick if you want something educational on Disney+. Not only will your kids likely recognize Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and the rest of the crew, but it’s an interactive show. They’ll ask a question, pause, and then wait for your kids to answer so they can help solve the puzzles. There’s some math, adventuring, and critical thinking involved in the show and it’s great for all ages. Pretty much guaranteed to be a slam dunk with the kids.

Where to watch: Disney+, Hulu

10. Llama Llama

Llama Llama educational tv shows for kids on netflix

If your child is a fan of the books (or even if they aren’t) this one is sure to be a hit. It follows Llama Llama on all of his adventures where he encounters some real life scenarios and learns how to approach them. It touches on subjects like bullying, telling the truth, and sharing. It’s really cute and an approachable way for young kids to learn new skills – especially in the realm of family and friends.

Where to watch: Netflix

11. Treehouse Detectives

Treehouse Detectives tv show for preschoolers

Another favorite in our household. And another that will get stuck in your head. You’ll be singing “use the clues, figure it out” while you make dinner and maybe even in a work meeting or two without realizing it. The show follows two bears, brother and sister Toby and Teri, as they follow clues to solve mysteries. And the mysteries are, as you might guess, educational. Kids learn all about science and nature as well as some valuable problem solving skills as they try to answer questions about the world around them.

Where to watch: Netflix

After hours of research (albeit fun research), these are our picks for the 11 best educational tv shows for preschoolers. Now we want to hear from you! Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments which tv shows you are most excited to try!

More tips for your preschool aged kids:

The Clever Way to Limit Toddler Screen Time (and Help Them Sleep)
Why Playing Outside in Winter Weather is Important for Kids
How to Organize a Playroom as a Non-Organized Person
17 Real Ways to Make Money as a Stay at Home Mom or Dad

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