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I have no shame in admitting that I will turn on a show for the kids just so I can grab a quick uninterrupted shower or nap. Mom’s got to do what mom’s got to do to keep her sanity in tact! We usually watch an hour or two a day after lunch while the littles ones are sleeping. I do, however, try to make sure that the majority of what we watch is educational shows. I simply tell my kids “pick a learning show”, and thankfully they know what that means and follow instructions! We do not subscribe to any television service, and instead us Netflix and Amazon Prime to stream the shows that we want to watch without the bother of annoying commercials. Both services will give you a 30 day free trial.
**some of the shows listed are not a part of the Amazon Prime free service, but can be purchased or rented through their streaming service. We often do this as well and have a great digital library of our favorites**
Leapfrog movies are some of the best for basic reading, and grammar. They are fun adventures that get the kids engaged and their repetition (while slightly annoying for mom) really helps drill the information into the kids heads. We also really love Super Why, Word World, and Word Girl.
All the kids are interested in science, but Ben especially loves watching natural science shows like NOVA. There are tons of other nature and science related documentaries on both services as well including National Geographic, PBS Specials, and independent films. There are also several cartoons the kids love such as Octonauts, Sid the Science Kid, Wild Kratts, and of course The Magic School Bus. Two really fun TV shows are Brain Games and Street Genius. Be warned with Street Genius, however, it is filmed in Vegas, which occasionally means minimal clothing, and many episodes talk about alcohol or he offers a beer as a reward. May not bother many, but also a show some parents may want to watch with their kids.
Once again Leapfrog is the star of the show here. There are several episodes that include basic numbers, skip counting, adding and subtraction, and even multiplication and division. We also enjoy Electric Company and Monster Math Squad.
History isn’t as big of an attention grabber around here, but it often creeps up in the science documentaries that the kids love. In addition they do enjoy Mr. Peabody and Sherman as well as a few of the National Geographic or NOVA episodes about ancient peoples.
Education isn’t all about the academics. Teaching kids good morals such as kindness, empathy, sharing, etc. are every bit as important as the math and reading. Dragon Tales, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Sofia the First, and VeggieTales in the House are the most popular ones around here for that type of learning. WE also enjoy the American Girl movies and many of the Disney/Pixer greats.
What are your favorite educational shows? What types of restrictions do you have on screen time? How do you use screens in your educational plan?