TV for preschoolers can be both educational and entertaining. Parents can use TV time to supplement what kids are learning at home or at school, and glean ideas from games and activities on the shows to make learning fun for kids at home. Here are some of the top shows for preschoolers organized by subject. Some shows overlap, covering different curriculum elements, but I have listed them under the main educational focus of the show. Click on the "read review" links to find out more about the educational focus of individual shows.
1. Early Literacy Skills and Reading
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Preschoolers are all about learning the alphabet, phonics, and the basics of early literacy. The following shows help kids learn about a variety of literacy skills from the alphabet to storytelling, and a couple of them even aspire to teaching reading skills such as phonics and blending. Attaining literacy skills at an early age helps kids' confidence and makes other subjects easier, so it can't hurt to supplement your preschooler's learning during TV time too!
2. Early Math Skills
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Preschoolers' series based on a math curriculum are not as numerous as the literacy-based shows; however, concepts such as shapes, size, and color are pre-math skills and are often covered in TV shows for 2-5 year-olds. The following shows focus significantly on math skills and often include numbers and counting in addition to the pre-math concepts:
3. Science and Nature
Science-based shows for preschoolers are becoming more popular, and they encourage thinking and exploration. Kids see examples of how show characters explore the world around them and become excited about the discovery process. The shows also teach kids fun facts about nature and science.
4. Art & Music
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While some of these shows often include a factual based curriculum as well, the main focus is art and/or music. Kids will have a blast singing and dancing along as they learn about creative arts.
5. Social Skills, Life Skills, and Humor
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Social topics such as cooperation, respect, and sharing (among many others) are very important for preschoolers. The characters on these shows model good social skills as they overcome their own challenges and pass on good manners and social skills to viewing children.
6. Problem Solving & Thinking Skills
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Nothing is more important education wise than teaching kids how to think and solve problems on their own. The following shows model problem solving and thinking skills, often calling attention to the steps of problem solving with catchy songs or phrases that kids can remember during their day as the "Think, think think!"
7. Preschoolers' TV Shows Based on Book Series
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These popular shows for preschoolers were first successful as book series. Now, kids can read about their favorite characters and watch them on TV too. The shows present an excellent opportunity for parents to instill a love of reading by incorporating books about the characters they love on TV.
8. Foreign Languages and Culture
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Thanks to Dora and others, more and more shows for preschoolers are incorporating Spanish into the education and entertainment. Now, Ni Hao Kai-lan brings us a Chinese-focused series as well. Here are some shows that incorporate foreign languages and customs into the preschool curriculum: