The Top 10 TV Shows for Preschoolers

'Sesame Street' 40th Anniversary Temporary Street Renaming
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There's no shortage of TV shows for preschoolers that are both informative and fun. Both parents and little ones have their favorites, from "The Backyardigans" to "Sid the Science Kid." The shows listed below rank among the best for their entertainment and educational value.

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The Backyardigans

The Backyardigans are five adorable friends who put their imaginations together to turn their backyards into fantastical settings as they sing and dance their way through epic adventures.

Each animated show features original music, and the dance steps are performed by real dancers whose movements are recreated in animation. The show is incredibly entertaining—so much so that there are numerous parent blogs devoted to it—and it exposes kids to all kinds of music, from South African Township Jive to rock opera.

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Super Why

"Super Why" follows four friends—Alpha Pig with Alphabet Power, Wonder Red with Word Power, Princess Presto with Spelling Power, and Super Why with the Power to Read—as they use fairy tales to solve problems in their everyday lives.

The Super Readers invite you to come into the pages of a magical storybook world and help them. Kids follow along as the readers read a story, talk with the characters, play word games, and relate the story's lesson to a problem they are trying to solve.

The brightly colored characters make letters, spelling, and reading fun for preschoolers. Kids adore them, and fans of "Super Why" can be found searching for "super letters" in grocery stores, on signs, or wherever the familiar symbols might pop up.

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Bubble Guppies

Mixing learning, music, dancing, and fun in a variety show format, "Bubble Guppies" takes kids on underwater adventures with adorable fish-tailed characters.

Each episode finds the Bubble Guppies on their way to school. They find a subject of interest on the way, and they explore the subject from many angles throughout the show. With the help of their teacher Mr. Grouper, the Bubble Guppies put their thinking and exploring skills into action as they have fun and learn.

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Team Umizoomi

An animated show from Nick Jr. (who also bring you Paw Patrol), "Team Umizoomi" educates and entertains kids as characters Milli, Geo, and Bot use their mighty math powers to help children solve problems.

In each episode, a real child calls Team Umizoomi through Bot's belly TV for help with a problem or situation. Team Umizoomi gets right to work, using their mad mathematical skills to help them along the way.

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Dora the Explorer

A pioneering show in the realm of interactive cartoons for preschoolers, "Dora the Explorer" features characters who enlist the help of viewing kids to complete educational adventures.

Kids learn about colors, numbers, shapes, and more as they help Dora solve riddles and puzzles along the way. Dora, a seven-year-old Latina heroine, also throws in Spanish words, and kids are asked to repeat them and sing along with songs incorporating the words. The show has been a hit for many years and will be beloved by young ones for many years to come.

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Between the Lions

"Between the Lions" features a family of lions—Mom and Dad, named Cleo and Theo, and their children, Lionel and Leona—who run a library that is filled with the magic of books.

The series combines puppetry, animation, live action, and music to develop a literacy curriculum geared to beginning readers aged four to seven; however, younger preschoolers will still enjoy the show and get a lot out of it. Characters from books come alive, letters sing and dance, and words play in the world between the lions.

Every episode addresses the five key areas of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. As far as TV shows go, educational content does not get any better than "Between the Lions."


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Sesame Street

Any list of top shows for preschoolers is obviously going to feature the main staple of kids TV—"Sesame Street." The show has been on the air since 1969, and the characters are known by almost every kid alive.

Each new season of "Sesame Street" brings a new area of educational focus along with funny parodies and exciting characters. The producers are continually assessing and refining the show to meet the educational needs of preschoolers, and there is a wealth of online "Sesame Street" resources to help kids continue learning.

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Imagination Movers

Scott, Rich, Dave, and "Smitty" are in a rockin' band from New Orleans called the Imagination Movers.

In this live-action series, the Movers hang out in their "idea warehouse," where they make music and solve "idea emergencies." If a problem needs solving, the Movers are up to the job. After a little brainstorming, they come up with some possible solutions and test them out. "Imagination Movers" uses upbeat music, comedy, and behavior modeling to entertain kids and teach them to think things through. The show empowers kids to solve their own problems and tackle challenges with a positive attitude.

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The Little Einsteins

"The Little Einsteins" was created for preschoolers and incorporates classical music and art to entertain and educate.

The show takes kids on adventures that teach them about actual places and things. Sometimes, the setting of the adventure is actually an animated version of a famous work of art. Also essential to each themed show is the musical score, and the Little Einsteins incorporate musical terminology and concepts into each adventure.

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Sid the Science Kid

Each episode of "Sid the Science Kid" finds Sid with a scientific conundrum. His mom helps him explore the topic online, and at school his friends and teacher give him additional insight into the question. By the time he gets back home, Sid has a good handle on his new knowledge, and he is ready to share it with his family and put it into practice.

The show teaches kids to be excited about science and problem solving. Parents can also glean some good ideas from the show about how to incorporate science into their kids' everyday lives.