If you’re in search of the best educational shows for toddlers or preschooler-aged children on TV or Netflix, programs that are non-stimulating, wholesome and beneficial, then chances are you may have already grown to dislike many of today’s bright and loud kids TV shows for toddlers.
The List: 100+ Educational Shows For Toddlers
|Old Bear Stories||IMDb||Yes||One of our favorites.|
|Nature||IMDb||Yes||Up top for a reason. Not too much climate fear mongering either.|
|Pingu||IMDb||Yes||We love Pingu! Have only season seasons 1 and 2 so far. Both great. Entertaining, but does have moral lessons and provides honest family insights in its short episodes. Find them all on Youtube.|
|The Busy World of Richard Scarry||IMDb||Yes||Early seasons only, before the introductory song changes.|
|The Crocodile Hunter||IMDB||Yes||We love Steve Irwin. No one like him. Perfect for children.|
|Kipper||IMDb||Yes||Nice show, purely for entertainment, but it's wholesome and nice.|
|Mister Rogers' Neighborhood||IMDb||Yes||PBS. Also, you'll find full episodes on the Mr. Rogers website|
|Little Bear||IMDb||Yes||Find all the good episodes on Youtube.|
|The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends||IMDb||Yes||View an episode.|
|King Babar (Old ones)||IMDb||Yes||Early seasons, before King Babar become a teenager and the intro song was changed.|
|Original Thomas The Tank Engine||IMDb||Yes||We like the UK version one, even though we speak American English 🙂|
|Tumble Leaf||IMDb||Yes||A modern childrens show that's good? Tumble Leaf is a nice show for occasional entertainment that also has an educational aspect and isn't loud, annoying or demeaning. View the Pilot episode.|
|Aesop & Son||IMDb||Yes||Youtube has all the episodes.|
|The Adventures Of Tintin||IMDb||Yes||The 1991 series. Great for boys.|
|David the Gnome||IMDb||Yes||Great old show! I like how the language is just normal English, not super emphasized baby-talk.|
|Guess How Much I Love You||IMDb||Yes||Haven't watched yet, but looks like an OK children's show.|
|Rupert||IMDb||Yes||I'm pretty sure this is a top 10, but haven't watched it since my own childhood, so need to watch again and update its place on this list.|
|The Animals of Farthing Wood||IMDb||Yes||Initial 30 second glance is OK, will need to give it a proper view and update its list placement.|
|Mush Mush & the Mushables||IMDb||Yes||Another YES that may be better off elsewhere. We have not watched this yet, but I have a feeling it will be suitable as okay for entertainment. Here's the Official Mush Mush Youtube Channel|
|Mr. Bean||IMDb||Yes||A classic!|
|Wishbone||IMDb||Yes||I never watched this one as a kid, but it's a good one to have in the educational screen time mix.|
|Reading Rainbow||IMDb||Yes||Another classic PBS kids show.|
|Mighty Machines||IMDb||Yes||It's different. A good one to have in the mix of good educational kids shows.|
|The Red Green Show||IMDb||Yes|
|The New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh||IMDb||Yes||Disney+. One of the few from Disney I'd let my son watch are these old classic Winnie the Pooh episodes.|
|The Joy of Painting||IMDb||Yes||Bob Ross. Another classic personality and show that is perfectly educational.|
|Zoboomafoo||IMDb||Yes||Approved from a clip. We haven't watched yet. Looks nice for occasional entertainment in English that's wholesome and educational.|
|The Magic School Bus||IMDb||Yes||Old episodes are best.|
|This Old House||IMDb||Yes||The series with Roy Underhill|
|The Jetsons||IMDb||Yes||An American classic.|
|The Hardy Boys||IMDb||Yes||For older (5+) boys.|
|A Charlie Brown Christmas||IMDb||Yes||Another American classic. A short TV movie.|
|How It's Made||IMDb||Yes||Informative short documentaries. These are excellent children's educational videos.|
|The Tweety & Sylvester Show||IMDb||Yes||Short made for TV movie.|
|Around the World with Willy Fog||IMDb||Yes||Short TV Movie|
|Flipper||IMDb||Yes||Another American classic.|
|The Little Drummer Boy Book II||IMDb||Yes||A classic TV movie.|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||IMDb||Yes||Only old ones. Here's the classic Intro! https://youtu.be/5bI1RscA6rE|
|The Flintstones||IMDb||Yes||Another classic! We haven't watched this one yet, but pretty sure it will remain here as a "Yes."|
|Curious George||IMDb||Yes||There's an original and then another from mid 2000's. Haven't watched the newer yet.|
|Schoolhouse Rock||IMDb||Yes||Every 80's and 90's public school kid in America knows Schoolhouse Rock.|
|Draw Squad||IMDb||Yes||Remembered this one while writing that sentence about Schoolhouse Rock. EVERY 90's kid in southern California knows Draw Squad!|
|Secrets of the Zoo||IMDb||Yes|
|Educational Video Library||YT Channel||Yes||A large mix of wonderful educational stories and videos for children. We have a separate channels list, but this one's great I wanted to include it here.|
|US Auto Industry||YT Channel||Yes||Another great Youtube channel. The last I'll include here on this shows list.|
|The Woodwrights Shop||PBS Page||Yes||A PBS show.|
|Spider-Man||IMDb||Yes||This is the good, original Spiderman cartoon from 1994. New Spidermans are no good. For older.|
|Danger Mouse||IMDb||Yes||Another classic American children's cartoon.|
|The Adventures of Spot||IMDb||Yes||If you watched Kipper, then this one paled in comparison. Might give it another shot sometime.|
|The Woody Woodpecker Show||IMDb||Yes||American classic. Need to rewatch this to see if it has any well spoken language in it. Otherwise it's another one of the classics that is OK for occasional entertainment but not much more, nor often.|
|Popeye the Sailor||IMDb||Yes||A classic. Every boy needs to know about Popeye! Good for very occasional entertainment.|
|Land Before Time||IMDb||Yes||The movie is better. It's on our best movies list.|
|Clifford the Big Red Dog||IMDb||Yes|
|Tom and Jerry||IMDb||Yes||Some great laughs we've had from the few times watching both old and new Tom and Jerry episodes (not the movie).|
|Percy the Park Keeper||IMDb||Yes||The 2nd show I have on the Yes list before even watching. I have a good hunch on this one. Will update.|
|Inspector Gadget||IMDb||Yes||Somewhat a classic. OK for occasional entertainment. Tintin way better imo.|
|If You Give A Mouse a Cookie||IMDb||OK||On Amazon Prime. Haven't watched yet, but from the certain reviews I'm putting it in the OK list until I watch it.|
|Trash Truck||IMDb||OK||Netflix Jr. Have not watched yet, but it has good Common Sense Media Reviews, so I'm putting it on the OK list until I watch it.|
|The Huckleberry Hound Show||IMDb||OK||A classic.|
|The Smurfs||IMDb||OK||Another OK cartoon we don't watch because we simply don't watch much.|
|Care Bears||IMDb||OK||Care Bears is another classic cartoon. Not educational.|
|The Roadrunner Show||IMDb||OK||Not Educational. Ok for short periods, occasionally.|
|Sesame Street (Early Seasons)||IMDb||OK||Older ones slower-paced and better|
|Puffin Rock||IMDb||OK||Netflix Jr. Show. Only saw a clip. Will adjust ranking up or down after seeing more.|
|Stella and Sam||IMDb||OK||Clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo6MXzS21Xc|
|DuckTales||IMDb||OK||For older. Oldest DuckTales best.|
|Simon||IMDb||OK||Probably one of the better cartoons. Not educational. Not my cup of tea. But not bad.|
|Mighty Max||IMDb||OK||Clip I saw was OK, need to watch more to have real opinion.|
|Salute Your Shorts||IMDb||OK||For when older. The Intro! https://youtu.be/s-SE96Q9dDU|
|The Yogi Bear Show||IMDb||OK||Classic American cartoon. Good because compared to one that doesn't have any dialogue, this one uses suitable adult-level language at a level that children should learn to pick up on. If you need more exposure to regular talking instead of baby talk, which in my opinion, can't be helpful or beneficial to children. Maybe in the first few months of life, but not after that.|
|Veggie Tales||IMDb||OK||Might be ok for occasional entertainment that isn't horrible. Only saw a clip. Haven't gotten to this one yet. Not my type of show.|
|The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show||IMDb||OK||Not educational.|
|Hey Arnold!||IMDb||OK||Dialogue is OK and not too overly done. For older, entertainment.|
|Speed Racer||IMDb||OK||Ok for older preschooler boys. Not edu.|
|Ask The StoryBots||IMDb||OK||Might or might not be your thing. It is educational. 30min of StoryBots on YouTube.|
|Classical Baby||IMDb||OK||Season 1 on HBO.com I hear this one is good, so putting it on OK list until we watch.|
|Recess||IMDb||OK||For older. For entertainment. Not a bad Saturday morning type cartoon for older preschoolers.|
|Waffles and Mochi||IMDb||NO||Garbage|
|Octonauts||IMDb||NO||Haven't watched, but looks targeted to 2 year olds or younger - we didn't watch these types at that age, just animal vids and docs with real footage not much animation or screen time at all (infancy to toddler was mostly music, drawing, blocks, books, and a few toys).|
|Primal||IMDb||No||I've heard this is good, so I have it bookmarked. Haven't watched. I believe it is NOT for children. Hopefully will enjoy this one with my son when he's older.|
|I Am Groot||IMDb||No|
|Animaniacs||IMDb||No||Not a fan of Speilburg, and too what I'm trying to avoid.|
|Grizzy & the Lemmings||IMDb||No|
|Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum||IMDb||No|
|Franklin||IMDb||No||Franklin's a whiner. Turned it off pretty quick. I believe it was right in the beginning of S1 E1.|
|Adventure Time||IMDb||No||Definitely not for children. And it's garbage for teens (and for adults too if adults watch these?). Seems targeted to teens or young adults.|
|Shaun the Sheep||IMDb||No||BBC. I'm saying No because this seems like the type of show I don't like. Will update after giving it a chance one day.|
|Caillou||IMDb||TBW||From memory this is a No. Will watch again to confirm and update my rating.|
|Bluey||IMDb||TBW||Entertaining cartoon that's not the most annoying based off a 30 second clip I saw of it. Placing in the No unless it ends up being better.|
|Elinor Wonders Why||IMDb||TBW||Here's a clip.|
|Square One Television||IMDb||TBW|
|Thundarr the Barbarian||IMDb||TBW|
|Misfits of Science||IMDb||TBW|
|Numberblocks||IMDb||TBW||Math show for children.|
|Alphablocks||IMDb||TBW||Phonics learning show.|
|The New Adventures Of Jonny Quest||IMDb||TBW||Purely entertainment. For when older (5+)|
|Samurai Jack||IMDb||TBW||Have not watched. I have a hunch it's not for children, but I am not sure atm. Will update.|
|Mysterious Cities of Gold||IMDb||TBW||I don't know anime, but hear this one's good.|
|Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood||IMDb||TBW||We never watched this one or those geared at infants/young toddlers. Busy World was where we started.|
|Dragon Tales||IMDb||TBW||For older. Episode 1 on Youtube.|
|Swiss Family Robinson||IMDb||TBW||1 series|
|The Secret Squirrel Show||IMDb||TBW|
|The Amazing Adventures of Morph||IMDb||TBW|
|Lucky Luke||IMDb||TBW||Old kids show, not the movie.|
|Pat & Mat||IMDb||TBW|
|The Great Grape Ape Show||IMDb||TBW|
|The Wonderful Adventures of Nils||IMDb||TBW|
|Maya||IMDb||TBW||This one I think will be OK or a Yes for a cartoon.|
|Art Attack||IMDb||TBW||Have never watched this. No idea what it will be. I just read 1 review that recommended it.|
|Fraggle Rock||IMDb||TBW||I've heard good things as far as educational show for toddlers, but have not watched this one yet.|
|Droopy: Master Detective||IMDb||TBW||I remember this one slightly. Just a cartoon. Might be OK for mindless entertainment from what I remember. Inspector Gadget is better.|
|Jabberjaw||IMDb||TBW||Somewhat a classic.|
Educational Toddler TV Shows List PDF Download
It would be easiest to have this shared in a spreadsheet or PDF. For now I’ll get a PDF download of this list up here in the near future.
Keep in mind this is a very subjective list and I made judgements based on my personal preferences for my son. The list might be different if I had a daughter. Or maybe it’d be the same and I’d share with her the original Ninja Turtles? Haven’t ever thought about it.
But all the first TV shows up top on this list marked “Yes” would be the same, Old Bear Stories, Nature, Pingu, Mr. Rodgers, Kipper, etc.
These 5 I just mentioned our some of our favorites. Within those educational shows for toddlers and preschooler children I do allow him to watch, he does have his favorites and I grant his special requests on videos days.
What’s On This Best TV For Kids List?
This isn’t your usual best educational shows for toddlers list. But over time this list will get added to and might be better. I might just drop all the “No” shows from the list and keep it to approved (“Yes”) and prospective (“TBW”) shows only.
This list has both new and old kids tv shows, nature shows for kids, music videos and other educational videos, learning shows and cartoons for toddlers. You will not find many shows like Blippi on this list as we tend to avoid these Pee Wee Herman/Blues Clues guy type character led children’s shows. Steve Irwin however, is #1 around here. We watch random videos downloaded from Youtube, but if he has a series on IMDB it will be added.
- Nature documentary shows
- Host-driven character shows
- Educational cartoons for toddlers
- Good stop frame animation
- Good stop motion animation (Pingu is a computer generated claymation)
- Educational children’s shows from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, 2010s up to today.
- Some of the good, popular shows of the past several decades.
Children Show Average Age Brackets
For your general information, and in case it may be useful when browsing other children’s educational shows, here is what these age ranges are called:
- Infant: Birth to 1 year old
- Toddler: 1 to 3 years old (some say to 2)
- Preschoolers: 3 to 6 years old
- School-aged children: 6 to 12 years old
- Adolescent children: 12 to 18 years old
A quality educational show for toddlers, one made of substance, should be enjoyable for anyone of any age – child, teen or adult.
Modern vs Old Kids TV Shows
You may find that you enjoy older educational shows for children. There seems to have been more good during the 80’s and 90’s. Most old kids TV shows still have a good sense of morality.
Introduce Old Kids Shows Before New
The order of introduction is simple a personal preference. I assume a child can be spoiled with 4K/HD to the point where they’d even be disappointed with 480p video, even its perfectly fine and able to be watched. I’m at the point of mixing these up, and also some older shows, like Mister Rogers and Thomas The Tank Engine, have been remastered and look great.
As long as the dialogue is clearly audible, the good old educational shows for children are still great to watch, even if it’s as low as 360p or 480p.
What about modern educational shows for toddlers?
Are there any good NEW kids TV shows?
With modern toddler shows, the only thing you can guarantee is a good amount of computer-generated animation (Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) for video graphics is known as “CGI animation”). And if it’s a live-action show (real people, not an animation), silly bright outfits and loud, whiny characters and sound effects. These types of live action shows with goofy main characters can be good, but most of them out there you’ll come across when browsing are not. It would not surprise me to see characters wearing face masks as if it were normal in any of today’s popular educational programs, for example. This puts the idea together in a nutshell. Classic, timeless educational shows for toddlers for the most part are not mixing in social issues. They’re educational programs not actual social programming shows. Whether real, cartoon, CGI or puppet, these modern kids shows all have that same weird production style and feel.
View our article 5 Reasons To Avoid Screen Time & Most Kids TV Shows for more on this subject.
What I’m now finding is that there may perhaps be some good modern educational children’s programs. Tumble Leaf is one of these good new ones.
Watch The Fox And The Bird in its entirety on Youtube:
The Benefits Of Educational Kids TV Shows
- It’s a different take on children stories that hopefully they first learn from on books
- It could help visual learners as a learning tool
- Learn traditional sayings and classic jokes
- Helps learn the usage of metaphors, similes and other proper language usage
- Helpful for English as First Language children living abroad.
For Americans abroad, being raised outside of English speaking countries at least part time, traditional programs like Mr. Rogers or American Tall Tales for example, and others that are wholesome and educational are very beneficial for the screen-time days. They give you a taste of traditional American culture which is different than anywhere else abroad.
- Increases listening comprehension abilities
- Increases vocabulary and thus the ability to express thoughts
- For busy parents: Nap in peace knowing wholesome content is on the screen
- Helpful for ESL children
This list of shows is a work in progress. There is enough on it to make it a useful resource now, but it will be updated periodically.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Cocomelon, this list should have something better to replace it with. If you’re looking for toddler shows that aren’t annoying, the few on this list we like better than the Blippi, Coco Melons and PAW Patrol type shows.
We’re content with what we have and don’t need to keep looking, but if there are some good ones out there I should know about, I’ll add them to this list if anyone lets me know or I come across it.
What do you think? Have any good learning shows for toddlers to add to the list?
Do you know of any educational shows for toddlers that I should have on this list?
Are they on youtube or available online somewhere?
Would be great to know and add to this list!
I might have to split off the YouTube channels and series and make that a separate list.
Thanks for coming by our blog.