Pediatricians recommend that kids spend most of their time being active outdoors and playing with their peers. However, that doesn’t mean TV has to be taken out of the picture. There are several educational TV shows that help your children learn before and after they enter school. Take a look at these six TV shows that your kids should watch.

1. Sesame Street

As one of the longest-airing children’s shows on TV, Sesame Street is still a favorite among parents. It teaches kids about sharing, being a good friend, and other important values. Additionally, words and letters are introduced through fun scenes and songs with favorite characters like Elmo, Big Bird, Zoey, and Cookie Monster. The show even has guest appearances from famous people for a real-world charm.

You probably enjoyed watching this show as a kid, and your children can too. Sesame Street has aired on PBS (and other networks) since 1969. Plus, most TV packages include this channel, so you don’t have to pay a lot of money to entertain and educate your kids.

2. Super Why!

What kid doesn’t like a superhero? Well, Super Why has four of them: Alpha Pig with Alphabet Power; Princess Presto with Spelling Power; Wonder Red with Word Power; and Super Why with the Power to Read. This TV show teaches kids how to put letters together to make words and how to sound out words when reading. It’s great for kids from preschool to second grade. Plus, several companies have given the show high ratings for education and entertainment, such as Common Sense Media. Super Why! has aired on PBS and PBS Kids Sprout since 2008.

3. Dora the Explorer

This interactive cartoon for preschoolers teaches kids about colors, shapes, numbers, and more. Kids are enlisted to help Dora, a Latina heroine, solve problems and go on adventures while singing songs and having fun. Common Spanish words and phrases are also incorporated into the show to give children a jumpstart on learning a second language. It helps kids interact with children of diverse backgrounds when they get to school. Nickelodeon has been featuring Dora the Explorer since 2000, and the TV show Go, Diego, Go! stemmed from its success.

4. Thomas and Friends

Based on the Railway Series books by Reverend Wilbery Awdry, Thomas and Friends follows the story of locomotive friends who live on Sodor Island. There are large engines and small engines, and the story examines the differences and focuses on the strengths of each individual. It teaches kids to accept others for who they are and always do their best in everything. After all, the catch phrase of the show is “I think I can.” Thomas and Friends has aired since 1984. However, the show was totally redone in 2003 by ITV.

5. Imagination Movers

Imagination Movers is a live-action series about a New Orleans band that likes to solve problems. Rich, Dave, Scott, and “Smitty” hang out in the “Idea Warehouse,” where they solve emergencies and make music together. This children’s show is fun to watch because the upbeat music keeps kids listening while teaching them how to think things through. After watching the show, kids should be able to tackle any problem that comes their way. Imagination Movers has aired on Disney since 2003.

6. Arthur

Based on a classic children’s book series by Marc Brown, Arthur is about an 8-year-old boy from Elwood City. He has to deal with several circumstances that many children face today. For instance, the show explores several health-related and social issues, such as cancer, dyslexia, and other disabilities. The stories, along with the theme song “Believe in Yourself,” teach kids how to deal with these problems and accept everyone. Arthur has aired on PBS since 1996.

TV is full of things that your children shouldn’t see, which is why you should carefully select the programs that they’re allowed to view. The TV shows mentioned here are some of the best because of their educational value. What other children’s TV shows would you recommend to parents? Leave a comment below.

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Featured photo credit: group of happy kids watching tv at home via Shutterstock

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