Social Media

back

UPDATED: Best Educational Kids’ TV Shows for Preschoolers, Little Kids, Tweens and Teens

CBeebies show Swashbuckle is an educational kids tv show
Family LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily LifeParentingPost Category - ParentingParenting

Educational kids’ TV shows for kids of all ages (and some that siblings of different ages can watch together too) – ‘cos if they are staring at the screen they may as well learn too right?

What are your kids watching on TV? While we are all about limiting screen time for our kiddos, there are times when a TV show or two has its benefits (Sunday morning lie-in hello!). We’ve found some great educational kids’ TV shows available here in Singapore that are fun to watch and have an educational element thrown in, too.

Here’s our list of the best educational TV shows for pre-schoolers through tweens (and some pitched so that siblings of different ages can watch together, too!). With the scare of sinister content being spliced into well-known children’s videos on YouTube we’ve chosen to only include shows available on local TV stations and streaming channels like iTunes, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+ and Netflix. In fact, Netflix recently introduced enhanced parental controls in April 2020 that include the ability to put a PIN on adult accounts, block individual shows, filter shows by age rating (G, PG, etc.) and even review which shows an individual account has viewed, all of which can help curtail children’s exposure to dangerous content.

Best Educational TV shows for:

Preschoolers (2-4 years old)
Little Kids (5-7 years old)
Big Kids (8-9 years old)
Tweens to Teens (10 – 13+)

Best Educational TV for Preschoolers (2-4 years old)

educational tv kids shows dog loves books
Dog Loves Books
Age:
2 yrs +
Available on: Starhub Channel 407 (CBeebies)
Dog and Pug run a bookshop, and – unsurprisingly – Dog LOVES books. Dog begins each episode by reading a well-known book with Pug, and they are quickly transported inside the story. It’s very engaging content for preschoolers, with familiar characters and not-too-scary villains!
Educational elements: Kids will become familiar with classic fairytales and stories, and the show gently encourages an appreciation of books and reading.

Hey Duggee
Age: 
2 yrs +
Available on: Starhub Channel 407 (CBeebies)/iTunes
This delightful animated show features a gang of young ‘squirrels’ who attend a sort of Scouts group with Duggee. Each episode sees them earn a new badge after gaining some new skills.
Educational elements: Compassion, doing your best, finding role models outside your family, plus much subtler elements like blended families and adoption. (Each of the ‘squirrels’ is a different animal – octopus, crocodile, hippo etc – and each is collected by a parent at the end. All but one are collected by the same species as they are, although this is never commented on.)

contestants on educational kids tv show swashbuckle
Swashbuckle
Age:
2 yrs +
Available on: Starhub Channel 407 (CBeebies)
Part pantomime, part game show, Swashbuckle features the pirate Gem as she recruits four young swashbucklers to help her in her ongoing battle against some goodnatured, ‘naughty’ pirates (cue ‘boos’ from the studio audience of children). The four contestants take on different physical tasks, with plenty of encouragement from Gem and guest appearances from CBeebies stalwarts like Mr Bloom and Nina. The show culminates with at least one of the pirates walking the plank into the ship’s mess (a pit of green slime!).
Educational elements: Teamwork and perseverance are important, and are rewarded with plenty of goodnatured slapstick comedy.


Word Party
Age: 
2 yrs +
Available on: Netflix
Word Party, from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, uses puppeteers to perform digitally animated characters in real-time resulting in more lifelike animation. Cute diaper-wearing baby animals teach vocabulary through engaging songs and colourful scenes.
Educational elements: Vocabulary building and positive emotional messages like friendship and caring. Baby panda doesn’t speak in grammatically correct sentences, however – some say this is so younger kids can relate to him.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
Age: 2 yrs old +
Available on: Amazon Prime Video (may require a VPN), iTunes
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is produced by The Fred Rogers Company and is a very sweet programme that teaches young kids about emotions.
Educational elements: Through stories based around 4-year-old Daniel Tiger, the series gently explores situations young kids may have found themselves in – feeling jealous or scared, or getting a new baby sibling, for instance – and together they explore their emotions and find ways to deal with them positively. Catchy songs highlight each episode’s core message, making it easy for kids (and parents) to remember.

      Read more: A Love Letter to Daniel Tiger (the Toddler Whisperer)

The Stinky & Dirty Show
Age
: 2yrs +
Available on: Amazon Prime Video
The Stinky & Dirty Show is every vehicle-loving kid’s dream show. The series sees two best buddies, a garbage truck and a backhoe, solve problems together in a light-hearted way.
Educational elements: The characters’ can-do attitude is a great example of perseverance and confidence, plus there is lots of info for kids on problem-solving and working together as a team.

   Read more: Best Educational Apps for Kids of All Ages: Preschoolers and Older Kids

Beat Bugs
Age: 3yrs +
Available on: 
Netflix
If mama and dad are Beatles fans, you’re going to have to get the kids on to Beat Bugs! This animated series follows a bunch of best friends, with Beatles songs performed by current artists woven throughout.
Educational elements: An introduction to Beatles music, plus positive messages of helping each other.

Read more: ‘Beat Bugs’: How to Make Your Kids Beatles Fans in One Easy Step

Super Monsters
Age: 3yrs +
Available on: 
Netflix
Super Monsters is an animated series following the adventures of friendly monsters at preschool. Drac, Cleo, Lobo, Katya, Zoe and Frankie are students with dual identities: humans by day and magical monsters (not the scary kind) by night. When one of them gets into a jam, a lesson is learned so they can correct their behaviours and learn from the experience.
Educational elements: Nurturing social relationships through sharing, communicating feelings, and respecting others.

Educational tv kids

Octonauts
Age: 3 yrs old +
Available on: Netflix
Educational elements: If there’s a way to grab kids’ attention and get them to care about the ocean and sea life – then this is it! Your kids will learn lots of fun facts about the stunning and diverse marine life through the adventures of the Octonauts. This is a great show for little kids and older siblings – there’s no violence but instead lots of adventure, teamwork, and facts!

llama llama netflix nelly gnu

Llama Llama
Age: 
3 yrs +
Available on: 
Netflix
Based on the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney, Llama Llama is an animated show highlighting positive messages about strength of character. The lead parent, unlike most nuclear family setups on TV, depicts a single mother who draws on “the village” of grandparents, friends, teachers, and neighbours to help teach life’s key lessons.
Educational elements: Positive qualities like kindness, empathy, and respect.

Read more: Why ‘Llama Llama’ is my 4-year-old’s new favourite show

Ask the StoryBots
Age: 4yrs+ (but the educational element will appeal to older kids, too – hence it’s great for siblings of different ages).
Available on: Netflix
StoryBots mixes animation, video, and songs to make a charming show which follows a group of “storybots” who need to find the answer to a “big question” asked by a kid (“Where does night come from?” or “How do airplanes fly?”, for example). The StoryBots take you on an adventure to find the answer, which is explained a few different times to help younger kids. It’s a great show to watch if you have two kids one younger (who will be engaged by the music and fast-paced animation) and even older kids 7+ will learn something. Parents will also chuckle at some of the jokes – watch out for the hilarious Die Hard reference in “Where Does Rain Come From?” – and recognizable guest stars.
Educational elements: Science, math, geography, physics, and more.

dino dana amazon kids

Dino Dana
Age: 4 years old+
Available on: Amazon Prime Video
Calling all dino fans – this one’s for you! It’s girl power to the max here with Dino Dana, which is a continuation of the series Dino Dan. Dana is a paleontologist with a special field guide that allows her to see dinosaurs in her everyday life. We love how this show blends a live-action setting and CGI animation to really bring dinosaurs to life.
Educational elements: This show lets kids see dinosaurs as they might have lived in the past. Dana observes dinosaur behaviour and applies this insight to a problem she’s facing. Learn dinosaurs’ names, and all about these extinct creatures’ eating habits and defense mechanisms.

Helpsters
Age: 4 yrs old+
Available on: Apple TV+
Do your kids love Sesame Street? The makers of that legendary show have teamed up with Apple and its newly-launched streaming channel for this live-action preschool series featuring cuddly monster puppets who love to solve problems. The show is technically about coding, but is much more basic and fundamental than all that, and combines the warmth and humor Sesame Street’s so renowned for with relatable situations and cool guest appearances (everyone from Rachel Dratch and Aparna Nancherla to musicians like Talib Kweli and Norah Jones).
Educational elements: The giveaway is in the catchy theme song – “Everything Starts with a Plan!” – which teaches preschoolers the fundamentals of coding, like sequencing and following instructions. Of course, this happens via fun situations like climbing a mountain, planning a party, and mastering a magic trick. As a bonus, if your kids become big Helpsters fans, they’re now being incorporated into the free ‘Today at Apple’ kids’ coding activities at The Apple Store.

The Magic School Bus Rides Again educational tv

The Magic School Bus Rides Again
Age: 4 yrs old +
Available on: Netflix
Educational elements: The Magic School Bus Rides Again is a revamped animated version of the ’90s series The Magic School Bus, based on the book series. Each episode tackles a scientific topic (like gravity or cloud formations) which is taught in a fun way alongside the class who go on magical field trips lead by Ms Frizzle. A great series for siblings to watch together – older kids will get the scientific concepts while younger kids will just enjoy the fun the kids have in each episode.

Tumble Leaf
Age: 4 yrs old +
Available on: Amazon Prime Video
Tumble Leaf follows the visually stunning blue fox, Fig, and his little friend, Stick, as they make exciting discoveries that teach science concepts and solutions to problems to little ones. The format is only 15 minutes long so it’s perfect for little ones with shorter attention spans.
Educational elements: Every episode introduces a simple scientific concept in a way that small kids can understand plus there’s problem-solving and creative thinking to inspire pre-schoolers.

Best Educational TV Shows for Little Kids (5-7 years old)

educational tv tiny world on Apple TV+

Tiny World
Age: 5yrs+
Available on: Apple TV+
Educational elements include: Narrated by Paul Rudd, this nature documentary features a series of adorable ‘tiny’ animals. Kids will love the miniature monkeys and other bug-sized mammals, although the sporadic threat from predators may be stressful for some kiddos. Paul Rudd is no David Attenborough, but this is a fun entry point to nature docos.

educational tv kids

Wild Kratts
Age: 5yrs+
Available on: Netflix
Educational elements include: 
Wild Kratts gets kids excited about nature and the environment through its clever animation series. The show is lead by the Wild Kratt brothers (based on real-life zoologists Chris and Martin Kratt) who teach kids about animal behaviour, habitats, and adaptation. Kids will get to grips with lots of facts about wild animals including predator-prey relationships, told through a different adventure for each episode with lots of humour thrown in.

Educational tv kids

Our Planet
Age:
 6yrs+
Available on: Netflix
Educational elements include: Our Planet is a beautiful documentary series similar Planet Earth (listed below), except it has an urgent calling for young (and old) viewers to think about the ways that humans are endangering nature and marine life. The show looks at the survival of different species so sensitive viewers should know that there are scenes of predators’ hunting prey.

   Read more: Best Educational Apps for Kids of All Ages: Preschoolers and Older Kids

Odd Squad
Age: 
5yrs +
Available on: 
Netflix
In this fast-paced show acted by kids, Olive and Otto, are the two main agents from the Odd Squad, who are dispatched to investigate odd problems. Their boss, by the way, is another strong female character (high five!). A math concept is embedded in each of their cases, and Olive and Otto must solve the problem-solve to rescue the situation.
Educational elements include: Math skills are practised here in a fun engaging way: addition, subtraction, fact families and recognising patterns.

Carmen Sandiego
Age: 
6yrs +
Available on: Netflix
Carmen Sandiego is a remake of the popular 1990’s show. Carmen is an infamous’ thief, but more in the Robin Hood vein (returning cultural or historical items to their rightful owners). She’s badass and a strong, empowering female role model (there’s not enough of them around), so this show is great for boys and girls alike.
Educational elements: Geographical, historical, scientific and cultural information as well as strategic thinking in Carmen’s mission of good over evil. We liked all the different accents in here, too – from Australian to posh British to American.

The Who Was? Show
Age: 7rs+
Available on: 
Netflix
The Who Was? Show is a comedy series with teen leads that brings history alive by focusing on the subjects of the popular Who Was? books. There’s a lot of humour to get kids interested in the past (expect rapping and some fart jokes), but this show makes an often dry subject very kid-friendly.
Educational elements: Historical facts and an introduction to important figures.

Horrible Histories
Age: 
6yrs +
Available on: iTunes
Horrible Histories is based on a Scholastic book series of the same name. This award-winning British uses slapstick humour to explore history lessons. Each episode intros a different time in history – from Ancient Rome to Tudor England – and to bring the stories to life all the craziest, most bizarre facts (as well as key historical information) are thrown in, making this a highly watchable show for parents and kids alike.
Educational elements: Historical events (including some battles).

The Blue Planet
Age:
7 yrs
Available on: Netflix
The Blue Planet is a much-watched BBC series for the next generation. It’s stunningly shot and provides a wonderful look at the wonders of nature. As it’s a nature programme there are scenes of hunting and animals killing others so although those younger than the recommended age may be keen to view it’s worth bearing this in mind for sensitive kids.
Educational elements: Fascinating look at nature, wildlife and broader environmental issues.

Best Educational TV Shows for Big Kids (8-9 years old)

My Octopus Teacher
Age: 9+
Available on: Netflix
My Octopus Teacher is a visually stunning nature documentary about filmmaker Craig Foster who is looking to regain his passion for life. By free diving every day in the freezing waters in South Africa he falls in love with nature and in particular a resourceful and intelligent octopus. Good for older kids (Common sense Media says 8 yr olds+ but we reckon older kids will appreciate the story more. As with many nature programmes, younger kids may find the talk about death and predators upsetting.)
Educational elements: A great show for animal lovers. Lots of messaging about appreciating nature, showing perseverance (Craig dives daily for a year in the same place to visiting the octopus), and looking after our wildlife. Another good show to watch with your kids.

educational tv junior bake off

Junior Bakeoff
Age:
8+
Available on: Starhub Channel 432 (BBC Lifestyle)
The format is too long to keep younger kids engaged, but 8+ year olds should enjoy the drama and tension of the competition (and hopefully feel inspired to try cooking at home!). Plenty of humour from the host goes straight over the contestants’ heads, but it’s all good fun and the judges are firm but not overly critical.
Educational elements: The cooking obviously! But also themes of perseverance, supportiveness, dealing with criticism, and coping with disappointment when things don’t work out for them in the kitchen. Younger and older siblings may enjoy watching this, and parents won’t mind having it on either.

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet
Age: 10+
Available on: Netflix
Although the tone is rather somber (so use your judgment if your kids may be too sensitive to this) David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet is a must-watch nature documentary that is a bit of a stark wake-up call about climate change and the state of our planet.
Educational elements: The documentary that David Attenborough calls his witness statement goes into detail about declining animal populations and the destruction of the planet due to human behaviour. There is hope though as the last part of the show gives you pointers on what you and your kids can do to stop the decline of wild animals and turn things around (hopefully!). This show is a great one to watch with your kids so you are all on board with the message.

The InBESTigators
Age: 
5-10 yrs+
Available on: Netflix
InBESTigators is an Australian series featuring four friends who solve mysteries at their school and in their neighbourhood. We love that the gang is unofficially led by a girl and that the kids are all racially diverse with cute Aussie accents.
Educational elements: There’s lots of critical thinking, analysis, evaluation, and explanation in the course of the gang’s investigations. Humour is woven into the dialogue and your kids will be snickering throughout. The theme of teamwork is strong throughout alongside kindness so this show gets a good thumbs up. It’s geared to 10 year olds but younger kids will enjoy watching it too (though they may not understand all the analysis) so it’s a great one for siblings.

Educational Tv for kids

Bill Nye Saves the World
Age: 9yrs+
Available on: Netflix (you may need to change your country region to access)
Educational elements include: 
Bill Nye, is a science guy who brings experts and famous guests to his lab for a fun-filled talk show exploring scientific issues including climate change, video games, and space travel. The original show which ran from 1993-1998 was Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Mythbusters Junior
Age:
8yrs+
Available on: SingTel TV Channel 202 on Mondays at 9:55pm and Discovery Channel (SingTel TV Ch 202) on Saturdays at 2:55pm
This 10-episode series sees the co-host of Mythbusters, Adam Savage, mentoring six kids in the fields of engineering, welding, astrophysics and design. Every week Adam and the kids get into teams to test the science behind claims such as “a slinky toy hovers when dropped from a height” and “spider webs are as strong as steel”.
Educational elements include: Information on engineering, welding, astrophysics and design plus the show highlights the importance of teamwork and lateral thinking.

Best Educational TV Shows for Tweens to Teens (10 – 13+)

The Social Dilemma

The Social Dilemma
Age: 13+
Available on: Netflix
The Social Dilemma, the latest TV documentary by Jeff Orlowski explores how privacy breaches are features, not bugs, of social media platforms. The show is part documentary, part drama and discusses how social media sites are watching our online behaviour (likes, dislikes, searches, purchases) to produce data that can be used for commercial purposes. If your kids have social media accounts this is essential viewing and we recommend watching with your kids so you are all clued up. Be warned teen suicide and self-harm is mentioned.
Educational elements: The documentary paints a grim picture about social media. Right as the credits roll look out for practical tips on how you can take back some control like delete unnecessary apps so your data can’t be collected and turn off all notifications that aren’t timely (so WhatsApp and iMessage are turned on, but IG, shopping, and travel apps have notifications turned off).

Read more: Mums Review Netflix’s ‘The Social Dilemma’ Documentary on Social Media

Explained
Age:
12 yrs+
Available on: Netflix (certain episodes only) 
Educational elements include: 
Explained does what it says on the tin. It explains various topics, in neat 20-minute episodes, from the water crisis to the rise of cryptocurrency, in an accessible way. Parents take note that you may need to check what your kids are watching as some of the topics may not be suitable for younger viewers (one topic is all about weed, another about monogomy and as such certain episodes are not available in certain regions). Great discussions will ensure!

A Series of Unfortunate Events (Season 1)
Age: 10-12yrs +
Available on: 
Netflix
Based on the internationally best-selling series of books by Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler), A Series of Unfortunate Events recounts the tragic tale of the Baudelaire orphans – Violet, Klaus, and Sunny – whose evil uncle Count Olaf is greedy to get his hands on their inheritance. This is quite a dark show (Season 2 is much darker than Season 1), so we’d advise parents to watch yourself first.
Educational elements: Trust your instincts, even as children, along with the value of friendship and kinship.

Tales By Light
Age:
10yrs+
Available on: 
Netflix
Renowned photographers explore far-flung locales, from a fire rite in the Himalayas to watching brown bears in the rivers of Alaska. The footage is a visual treat and is bound to give watchers itchy feet to see the world.
Educational elements: Geographical and cultural insights.

The Mars Generation
Age: 
10yrs
Available on: 
Netflix
The Mars Generation is a Netflix Original documentary that looks at mankind’s future journey to Mars, as told through the eyes of the teens who will be the first ever to set foot on the Red Planet, as well as the leading experts currently pushing the boundaries of technology and innovation in space exploration. The film follows a group of trainees, ages 15-18, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Centre as they prepare to become the engineers, astrophysicists and astronauts of tomorrow.
Educational elements: Get an inside look into the architecture of the modern space race. There’s also insight into the historical, philosophical, and technological implications of becoming a multi-planetary species.

Have we missed your kid’s favourite educational show available here in Singapore? Let us know at [email protected]

Read more:
55 Shows for Mamas to Watch, Stream or Download
The Best Netflix Shows for Family Bonding

Lead image of Dino Dana by Amazon

more sassy mama

What's New

We're social

We're social

What we're up to and what inspires us