If you’re a stay-at-home mother taking care of your toddler child, it can feel like a huge cliff to climb, especially if you can’t find time to cook, do the laundry, or do anything else to keep the house from falling apart. This is where you take the first big step to introduce your young one(s) to television.
Of course, introducing your tiny ankle-biter to television can be a bit of a gamble; sure they’ve found something that will keep them entertained while you take care of the house, but you also don’t want them to be so attached that they are pulled away or discouraged from their studies. Fortunately, there are dozens of toddler programs that are not only whimsical but educational as well.
Some of the most popular toddler shows, as of this writing in 2020, include:
1. Sesame Street
We start off with the timeless classic in Sesame Street. brought to the world in the 1960s. The show features Elmo and his friends who have wowed and influenced plenty of kids from different generations in the last 50+ years and still continues to do so to this day.
Not only is it amazing for your child’s imagination, but it also offers a sea of amazing topics for learning. For example, Count Von Count teaches children about math and numbers while Elmo teaches kids about everyday activities in their young budding lives. In other words, Sesame Street prepares toddlers for preschool when the time comes.
The show also incorporates good behavior and friendship into the characters’ fun and interactive lessons, making it a wholesome experience for toddlers anywhere.
2. Creative Galaxy
Arty, the friendly alien, loves solving his problems by thinking outside the box using his love of art. Accompanied by his magical companion Epiphany, Arty explores the universe learning more about art and how people can learn to tap their own creativity.
Parents need to know that the show teaches their toddlers about various art techniques and disciplines through the main character’s problem-solving narrative. The young viewers can easily engage in a role model like Arty and the adults in the show who help him learn, especially his own mother, whose own career as an architect has a positive take on gender inequality.
The stories within the show encourage insightful pre-reading skills like color identification, patterns, and counting in exciting ways. And like most toddler shows, Creative Galaxy boasts an interactive format that invites kids to interact with the show’s main character and encourages them to think about how they’ll handle Arty’s challenges in real life.
3. Pete the Cat
This cute little fuzzball is based on a popular book series by Kimberly and James Dean. The only difference, however, is that it differs from the original material as the characters in the show are anthropomorphic, or more human-like. It’s a show that teaches young viewers about having good taste in music. But in all seriousness, the songs used for the show are brilliantly-worded and catchy. The reason why that’s the case is that real-life musicians Diana Krall and Elvis Costello composed the music for the show and portray the parents of Pete as well.
4. Beat Bugs
This sweet, charming series is so endearing that even parents who grew up listening to The Beatles in their times or from their parents will gladly appreciate it as well. That’s because the show incorporates many of the songs from the legendary English rock band into the show while also indoctrinating young viewers with messages about teamwork, exploration, problem-solving, and friendships.
The show centers around five young anthropomorphic bugs with varying personalities and traits who are always put in a situation that involves them having to work together to solve whatever challenge gets in their way. The lyrics of some of the most iconic Beatles songs like “When I’m Sixty-Four” and “Ticket to Ride” is brilliantly tailored into the show’s musical performances and dialogues which help it stand out among other pre-school musicals.
And even though the show’s characters at times display interpersonal woes, it’s the positive lessons that will be the biggest takeaways by the end of it.
The show is widely popular because it has a vast merchandise collection, including coloring books, puzzle games, and activity tables for babies.
5. Daniel Tiger
Daniel Tiger is one of the puppet characters from The Neighborhood of Make-Believe from the Mister Rogers Neighborhood children’s show that ran from 1963 to 1966, hosted by chief puppeteer Fred Rogers. Only this time, Daniel is animated and still retains his kind nature and curiosity from his puppet days.
In this show, Daniel lives with his parents and grandparents and treats their friends, neighbors, and other people with respect and kindness in just about every episode they’re in. It has to do with learning several lessons in life like learning how to send a letter to be able to use the toilet on your own.
Preschoolers will easily gravitate to Daniel as well as his friends and also relate to their experiences with him, including sadness, disappointment, joy, and frustration. By sharing such experiences with the audience, Daniel will demonstrate the most appropriate solutions to educate the young viewers on how to deal with their problems in real life.
But the real core of the show lies in its powerful messages surrounding family and friendship bonds, as well as curiosity. Every episode’s story helps young toddlers prepare for their preschool years by teaching them about counting and letter sounds. It’s quite the full package series for the little ones, and parents who grew up watching Mr. Roger’s show will also have a good time reminiscing some of the messages in this show, especially since Daniel is actually based off of Mr. Rogers.
6. Dr. McStuffins
This is another great show for preschoolers that is loaded with friendship and positivity. Doc McStuffins’ plot revolves around a little girl and her stuffed animal friends, with the former acting as their personal doctor whenever they’re “hurt” and “heals” them in the process. The theme of the show teaches youngsters about caring for another, solving some of the problems at their tender age, and learning about friendship.