If you're looking for some kids programming that's educational and fun to watch, you should watch PBS Kids. I watched PBS shows when I was a kid, and now my kids are watching shows on there too. Typically when I think of watching shows as a kid, I think of the shows I watched on Nickelodeon or Disney. Now that my kids are one and three years old, I am reminded of the educational TV shows PBS Kids offers. This is a list of what my kids and I think are the best PBS Kids shows.
PBS Kids offers a free app for your smart TV or smart phone as well that can be used to watch full episodes of all of their TV shows. There's also educational games they can play along with their favorite characters.
What are the best PBS Kids shows?
Daniel Tiger is largely inspired by Mister Roger's Neighborhood. It opens up with an adapted version of the same theme song with bright illustrations of a little 4 year old tiger named Daniel. Daniel plays with his friends and spends time with his family which he loves. This show draws in the audience of preschoolers because of it's mix of characters that are either humans or animals. All of the characters are very different from each other. Daniel Tiger is fun for kids to watch. It's catchy because of its many songs throughout episodes, and it allows kids to express their emotions in a healthy way and demonstrates how to communicate effectively.
This show is a staple on PBS and has been a favorite show for many generations. Sesame Street's first episode aired in 1969 and it's still creating new episodes in 2021. It has many well-known characters like Big Bird, Elmo, and Cookie Monster to name a few, and guest appearances by well-known celebrities. This show covers many educational topics such as numbers, letters, counting, colors, travel, and culture.
Curious George is another classic show, whose story first came out in 1941. It's about an African monkey named George who was rescued by "the man in the yellow hat." The man takes care of George, who is always getting into trouble because of his curiosity. This show focuses on learning based on curiosity and forgiveness.
Dinosaur train follows a family of Pteranodon dinosaurs who adopted a Tyrannosaurus Rex into their family. Their educational focus is on natural history, natural science and palaeontology. The family travels on a train to explore, meet and learn from other kinds of dinosaurs. There are some live action guests that appear on the show to share more knowledge on the topics introduced each episode as well.
Cat in the Hat
The Cat in the Hat story has been around since 1957 from Dr. Seuss. PBS Kids aired this show with new episodes from 2010 until 2018, with repeats still airing. The show follows the magical adventures of Nick and Sally as they learn about children's literacy in science. With all of the funny words and songs used throughout the episodes it's fun for kids to watch and follow along.
Elinor Wonders Why
Elinor Wonders Why follows a curious bunny named Elinor, whose best friends are a bat and an elephant. We all know young kids are very curious about new things and ask a lot of questions. This show aims to get kids ask questions about things they don't understand and encourages them to learn and discover the answers to those questions.
If you're looking for something to entertain your children while you get some work done, you can feel good about having them watch these shows. There are plenty of other shows on PBS Kids that have just as much education in each episode that focus on topics such as science, art, and travel.