Parenting | Radio & TV

8 best educational shows for kids of all ages


From Arthur to Sesame Streeteducational television programming for children is nothing new.

The Carnegie Commission on Educational Television was founded more than 50 years ago, and Congress enacted The Children's Television Act in 1997, which requires each U.S. broadcast television station to air at least three hours of core "programming specifically designed to serve the educational and informational needs of children" each week.

This may be why countless shows bill themselves as educational.

For parents, separating the wheat from the entertainment may not always be easy. But, it's not impossible, explains Polly Conway, senior TV editor for Common Sense Media. Conway is in charge of finding out what's on TV that kids might be interested in, from Daniel Tiger to Game of Thrones, and producing reviews of each and every one of them.

The majority of educational shows streaming or on broadcast television tend to skew toward the pre-school set and focus on fundamental early learning - teaching one topic, say 2+2=4, at a time during an episode. Yet Conway points out that many shows, especially those targeted toward older kids, teach cognitive and life skills, depict culture and diversity, and include social and emotional education.

"I'm thinking of Andi Mack on Disney Channel, which is one of my favorite shows for pre-teens," says Conway. "It doesn't have STEM or math problems; it doesn't teach history; but it does teach how to be a good friend; how to deal with bullying, things like that. To me, that counts as educational." The final season of Andi Mack aired in June 2019, but select episodes can still be watched on Disney Now.

To find shows with an educational bent, Conway urges parents to look for network TV programs that offer supplementary content online. Some show's sites offer additional stories, printable coloring sheets, or episode-related math problems.

She also suggests the "walled garden" approach to limiting your kid's access to only age-appropriate content on streaming services. "If you can create an account so that your kids can only see kid content, that would be amazing," says Conway.

Here are eight shows—a cross-section of educational TV in terms of STEM, history/culture, the arts, and more—for toddlers to early teens.

Ask the Storybots


The show follows the story of how some friendly, funny bots discover the answer to a "big question." The magazine format of this show allows for music videos, letter rhyming, songs, and field trips to different places within the episodes. Netflix, ages 3+

Julie's Greenroom


Julie Andrews plays a performing studio owner and stars alongside original puppets from the Jim Henson Company (as well as some high-power actors) as she teaches kids all about putting on a stage show. Netflix, ages 4+

Rosie's Rules


In addition to learning Spanish language skills and being exposed to Mexican traditions, Rosie's Rules teaches children about cultural diversity with easy-to-understand lessons. Wholesome, educational, and entertaining. PBS Kids, ages 5+



Loveable and huggable, Baymax is more than a cute, cuddly robot. He helps people stay well. Each episode teaches children about living a healhy life. Disney+, ages 5+

Wild Kratts


Saturday morning never had it so good. In this animated series, kids are introduced to a variety of wild animal species and learn about science concepts such as animal behavior, habitats, and adaptation in this show which is brimming with real-life zoologist brothers Chris and Martin Kratt's trademark humor and sense of adventure. PBS Kids, ages 6+



This science-inspired educational series uses experiments and creative presentations to teach about concepts like the senses, neurology, marine biology, and gravity, all at a level relatable for kids—especially tweens. Netflix, ages 7+

El Deafo


According to Common Sense Media, "this beautiful three-part miniseries feels like an animated diary as the show uses audio effects to help viewers understand what the world sounds like with hearing loss. The combination of these effects and the narration helps kid viewers really feel Cece's joys and struggles." Apple TV+, ages 8+

The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder

Relatable stories, good role models, and zany comedy made The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder a great show for tweens, teens, and young adults. Disney+, ages 10+

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.