In the middle of an emergence of a new educational structure, many parents have been thrust into the role of educator as their children study from home following school closures.
As a result, the pressure has been on to maintain their child’s study of the curriculum, provide fun educational activities and find resources to keep them engaged and always learning. For many parents, when coupled with their own job…it’s a tall order!
That’s why home schoolers shouldn’t feel guilty if they happen to enlist the help of the television whilst they take a breather. But watching TV and learning don’t have to be mutually exclusive – we’ve put together this list of the best educational TV shows for children that you can use to support your home teaching efforts.
Educational TV Shows for Children
Let David Attenborough’s dulcet tones take you on a miraculous journey through oceans, amazon rainforests and polar climates. Whatever your age, the Planet Earth series is sure to amaze and delight, using stunning state-of-the-art definition and clever storytelling to teach viewers about the planet we live on.
Language used is simple and steady-paced enough so that young children will understand, and many will simply love the beautiful scenery and animal characterisations.
Get Well Soon
‘Get Well Soon’ is presented by real-life doctor Raj Singh and helps young children learn about how to keep healthy. With each episode focusing on different children’s experience of going to the doctor through the eyes of five lovable puppets, the show teaches children how their bodies work, how we get sick and removes the fear and ambiguity around going to the doctor.
Having aired for over 29 years, Arthur has long been a children’s TV show favourite. Many may not immediately regard this programme as educational in the typical sense, but the truth is Arthur addresses many everyday real-life issues other children’s shows may be afraid to, including friendships, family struggles, fear, grief and chasing one’s dreams and goals.
The show drew some criticism in 2019 when it aired an episode where Arthur’s teacher Mr. Ratburn married his male partner. However, the majority of parental audiences applauded the show for sensitively and seamlessly incorporating modern progressive views.
The Lingo Show
The Lingo Show is a spin-off from the Cbeebies website, focusing on teaching children words in different languages. Each episode concentrates on a particular language, with Lingo and his troupe of talented bugs teaching around ten common words, such as ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’, as well as showing the sights and sounds of other cultures.
This show is perfect for introducing very young children to the concept of a second language from an early age.
Dora the Explorer
Bright, loud, and friendly, plenty of children love the adventures of Dora, Boots the monkey, and Swiper the fox.
Taking on a new adventure in every episode, Dora asks children to help her solve puzzles, teaching numbers, shapes, letters, colours, and basic words in Spanish along the way. If you can’t find a showing on television, you can find some episodes of Dora the Explorer on the Nick Jr YouTube channel.
Though Sesame Street is no longer on air, this classic US show from the creator of the Muppets combines children’s education (numbers and literacy) with loveable entertainment and friendship amongst characters Big Bird, Elmo, Ernie and Bert and the Cookie Monster. Many have praised the show for its ability to respectfully educate children about sensitive issues, such as death and failure.
Parents can still harness SS’ nuggets of wisdom over on the Sesame Street YouTube channel.
Based on the best-selling children’s books, Horrible Histories is an entertaining and informative TV series focusing on various eras of human history, from the vile Victorians to the groovy Greeks.
With the same snappy and crude humour of the books, the show uses comedic action and colourfully costumed actors to intrigue, fascinate and educate.