If you are a parent who is able to make it through the day without putting the television on for your child, I congratulate you. But for the rest of us, most days, the TV serves as a way to break up the day and give your child some time to wind down.
Now keep in mind, sticking your kid in front of a screen all day is definitely not a good thing, but a hour or two of supervised TV time can be a good thing. With that being said, it’s also probably not a good idea to have them watch what you’re watching, unless maybe it’s Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy! (RIP Alex). So the next question is, what are some good options to have your child watch?
While there are the obvious education shows like Sesame Street and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, there are some other shows out there that might not seem educational at first, but when you dig deeper into them, they actually are.
I will give a disclaimer and say that I am counting YouTube as TV because with smart TVs, basically anything that can be put on a TV screen counts. Also, there are a lot of shows on Nick Jr. that have a info at the beginning of each show saying how they are educational, but I’m not counting that. The exeuctives at Nick are really grasping for straws when they say Peppa Pig teaches collaboration skills. The only thing Peppa teaches kids is how to speak with a British accent and how to jump in muddy puddles….which is a really great thing for them to learn.
Okay with that being said, here are 3 shows that you might not realize are educational:
I’ll start by saying if you’re a parent and you don’t know who Blippi is, consider yourself lucky. The way I describe Blippi to people who don’t know is that he’s basically a mix of Pee-Wee Herman mixed with Bill Nye the Science Guy (before he became Bill Nye the Political Guy). Anyway, at first when my son stumbled on Blippi on YouTube my wife and I were horrified. We weren’t 100% sure who Blippi was, and he looked and acted like a complete idiot.
Well after watching approximately 1000 hours of Blippi vides and his TV show on Amazon Prime, I came up with two conclusions. Either Blippi is a complete dope who got lucky, or he is a genius. The truth could be somewhere in-between those two extremes, but when you get into Blippi you realize he actually is teaching kids things.
He will explore places or things and really give kids some detailed information on the topic. For example he might go to a firehouse and talk about all things related to being a firefighter for a half hour. Or he’ll follow a garbage truck around for the day and talk about what garbage men do…..actually sorry…I mean sanitation workers. He’ll even mix in some catchy songs along the way that will get stuck in your head for days…and days….and days.
In an article from the “Gossip Cop” website (https://www.gossipcop.com/blippi-net-worth/193219/), Blippi’s estimated net worth is about $16 million…not bad for a wacky guy on YouTube huh?
#2: Blue’s Clues and You:
The Blue’s Clues franchise on Nick Jr. has gone through a couple reboots. It originally aired in September of 1996 with a guy named Steve as the star, then he left and a guy named Joe took over, then the show took a break for a while, and then with everything in this day and age, it got a big reboot and now stars a guy named Josh. On the surface, it can feel like you’re kid is watching Josh walking around trying to figure out what Blue is trying to tell him with the clues she leaves. It can also feel like you’re watching him make terrible drawings of those clues and then, make some silly guesses at the end to what the clues mean and then he’ll finally solve the puzzle.
If you watch a little more closely though, the show is pretty interactive and teaches kids to work on their thinking skills. They can also learn that if a Salt and Pepper shaker have a baby it comes out as Paprika? Okay I guess that’s not important. There’s also a bunch of singing and dancing which helps with their memorization skills.
Blue’s Clues and You may not be 100% educational throughout the whole show, but it teaches kids to follow along with basically an investigation and help Josh figure out what the heck his dog is trying to tell him.
#3 Bubble Guppies
For the longest time, I really had no clue what this show was actually about. When it first aired I had a young cousin who would have some of the stuffed animals and all that good stuff, so I just thought it was a show for little girls (not sure if I’m allowed to say that or not). Anyway, years later, my son stumbled onto it because Nick Jr. changed up their schedule recently.
The show follows a group of fish kids…kids that are fish….and their school teacher Mr. Grouper (which is a great fish to eat by the way). Mr. Grouper usually teaches them the lesson of the day, and then they’ll go outside and pretend and imagine about what the lesson was for the day.
Is it silly? Yes. But it is educational. They use singing to help drive home the main points of the lesson and I must say, some of the songs are definitely catchy. They cover some interesting topics and teach kids in a fun and educational way.
Now I know there are a ton more educational shows out there, but I thought these 3 were good to highlight because they don’t necessarily come across as educational at first. One good tip I have when your child is watching TV, is to try and watch it with them, or least have it on high enough so you can hear what’s going on. I like to talk to my son while he’s watching the show to help reinforce some of what he’s watching.
Have any other kids shows that people might be surprised are educational? Let us know in the comments section!