10 April 2023
Finding appropriate television content that’s enjoyable and educational for little ones can be tough – but it doesn’t have to be. Fortunately, in recent years, educational TV shows have been on the rise, filling the gap for quality, purposeful and engaging content, while serving as a fun and interactive way for families to learn together. In addition, research has shown that educational TV shows can have numerous benefits, from improving cognitive skills and knowledge retention to promoting creativity and social skills.
With the Easter holidays in full swing, take a look at some of our top picks your children will surely enjoy between your outings, playdates, visiting family and doing holiday homework.
The effects of TV on kids have forever been under debate and rightly so, yet, when exposed to good, educational, quality shows, it can serve as a great tool for educating children in a fun and engaging way. Here are some more benefits of watching educational television:
Among the most popular TV channels, which resonate with both kids and teenagers, Cartoon Network’s shows are known for being brightly coloured and visually appealing, while they include distinct characters, making it easy for children to relate to and understand. With jokes and storylines especially designed for our little ones’ interests and sense of humour, the channel has it all – from classic favourites to original programmes. But best of all, this timeless channel is the perfect way to relive your nostalgia, while bonding with your kids.
Many of Cartoon Network’s shows highlight imaginative concepts that often feature fantasy, magical themes and coming-of-age storylines, which enable children to fantasize, exercise their creativity and learn important life lessons, such as humility, friendship and problem-solving.
It has become a classic among kids for generations thanks to its programming, which is designed to connect with kids of all ages and features relatable characters and storylines that children can easily identify with. And the channel that once showed quintessential characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald, Pluto and others, has transformed to showcase a wide variety of animation, family sitcoms, drama and reality shows to cater to all age groups. In addition, the Disney Channel is also known for its high-quality productions and creative storytelling, which can hold the attention of even the fussiest young viewers.
Many of Disney Channel’s shows feature positive messages, which in our book, is always a plus. Programmes, such as Doc McStuffins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Sofia the First offer a variety of life lessons about helping others, being kind and spreading positivity through storytelling that drives children to understand complex issues.
One more popular kid-approved TV channel, Nickelodeon has a mix of animated and live-action shows and a diverse range of programming, which typically resonates more with a slightly older audience – think of tweens and young teens. In fact, what sets this channel apart is the fact that it provides an immersive experience for kids as they explore exciting fictional worlds, tackling various challenges along the way, while instilling positive values, such as teamwork, persistence and problem-solving skills. And just like its counterparts above, Nickelodeon also features characters from different backgrounds and cultures, creating an inclusive environment for kids to learn about and appreciate.
Many of the shows on Nickelodeon promote positive messages like friendship, teamwork and perseverance – values that can help kids develop important social skills and build strong relationships with their peers.
From offering a mesmerizing look into life in the jungle or an intricate explanation of food, the Discovery Channel is the go-to channel for educational programming. With shows about the natural world, science, history and culture, there’s no better channel than this to help your child learn about the world around them and explore new ideas and concepts. What’s more, the programmes aired often showcase real-life scientists, engineers and innovators who are making a difference in the world through their work. By seeing these role models on TV, kids may become inspired to pursue careers in these fields themselves.
Apart from the fact that the channel offers educational content that is engaging and accessible, several of the programmes encourage kids’ innate curiosity. Not to mention that many of the shows will require your child to think critically and analyse the information presented to them.
History is one of those subjects that have gotten a bad rep for being boring, so asking your children to sit and watch a historical show will, in most likelihood, be met with rolling eyes. Yet, the History Channel is great at educating your little ones as it offers everything from in-depth re-enactments of historical events to child-friendly programming about life before we came into existence. What’s more, most of the shows present different perspectives on historical events and figures, which can help children understand that history is not always a straightforward narrative. Instead, it can be shaped by multiple factors, such as culture, politics and economics. By understanding history’s complexities, they can have a broader understanding of how the past has shaped the world we live in today.
Many programmes on the History Channel are created with a family audience in mind, which means that they are engaging enough for both kids and adults alike. At the same time, by introducing children to historical events and figures, they can gain a better perspective on current issues and develop critical thinking skills. Plus, it can encourage creative and analytical thinking by showing children how people in the past came up with solutions to complex problems.
With the aim to celebrate the diversity of animals, their behaviours and their ecological importance, Animal Planet provides a unique blend of education and entertainment, helping children of all ages develop an appreciation for the natural world and its many creatures. Expect to immerse yourself into visually stunning and captivating sceneries, with shows that are set to keep your children engaged and interested in natural science, as you explore different animal species from across the globe, their habitats and how they interact with people and other animals.
Animal Planet’s rich educational content can inspire conservation, animal welfare and appreciation of the animal kingdom’s beautiful diversity. At the same time, it teaches kiddos the importance of respecting animals, which in turn can encourage a love for pets and animal welfare.
While serving as a form of education and entertainment, you certainly wouldn’t want your child parked in front of the TV set watching various’ shows for hours on end. Make sure you limit their screen time and have set time frames allocated for when they can do so. Even better, watch TV with them and discuss what you’re watching. In this way, they’ll be fully engaged with what they’re viewing, while you’ll be able to tell whether they are truly learning and enjoying themselves. And if you’re concerned about them tuning in sneakily without you knowing, remember that most modern televisions and streaming devices come with parental controls so that you can monitor your kids’ TV viewing.
Watching TV can be a fun and educational experience for kids and there are plenty of kid-friendly TV channels to choose from. By finding the right programming and monitoring your kids’ TV viewing, you can ensure that your children are watching age-appropriate content. So sit back, relax and enjoy some quality TV time with your kids.