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Not all TV Shows for Kids are Created Equal

Superwhy Main ImageSUPER WHY is the kind of show that makes me believe that some TV is okay for kids–educational entertainment that makes learning fun for preschoolers.

The SUPER WHY characters–superheroes with individual super powers–engage the viewers (our kids) by talking directly to the screen and asking them questions about what will happen next in the show. The show celebrates books and learning, and each adventure introduces the kids to a new or familiar story while the superheroes teach letters, spelling, colors, and more.

A true test that a show (or movie for that matter) is a winner in our house is if my kids–when they finish watching whatever it is they are watching–don’t stay seated as a couch potato once the show is done. Instead they are revved up to make their own fun–they jump up to play the characters, make up their own stories, or run into their playroom to create their own make-believe world.

Other preschool favorites include:
Bear in the Big Blue House (Disney)
Between the Lions (PBS)
Blues Clues (Nick Jr.)
Reading Rainbow (PBS)
Sesame Street (PBS)
The Magic Schoolbus (ABC)
Wordgirl (PBS)
Zoboomafoo (PBS)

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  • Martha Speaks is a new show on PBS KIDS that aims to improve the oral vocabulary of 4- to 7-year-olds. The series, which features the (mis)-adventures of Martha, a family dog, who eats alphabet soup and is able to speak, is based on the best-selling books by Susan Meddaugh. On Friday, September 19, the series airs a special, two-part episode called “Ain’t Nothin’ But a Pound Dog,” in which Martha learns how fortunate she is to have a family of her own after a botched bath time lands her in the local animal shelter. You can watch clips of the episode on YouTube; just search for Martha Speaks.

  • I was going to chime in with Sid the Science Kid too. That new “Martha” (pbs dog, not the one with Martha Stewart’s daughter) show seems good, but not in the get-up-and-go way that the Raoof boys prefer. More of a couch potato, quality entertainment show. For the schlumps in your life.

    These opinions are offered without having actually watched more than ten seconds of each one myself.

  • I agree, Cyberchase is another great show that was on the list until my sons thought it should be removed since their was an evil villain. They thought it may be too scary for some preschoolers.

    I agree I wish their were special episodes dedicated to what is going on today.

  • Personally, I like Cyberchase (PBS) which is focused using math to solve problems. Although the problem usually involves some kind of evil villian trying to conquer the world (or another planet), the show is entertaining and teaches a lot of practical math at the same time. And with the fun voices of Gilbert Gottfried and Christopher Lloyd it’s a bit silly and keeps kids attention. Now if they could only have an episode where they save the housing market, use alternative energy, or solve world hunger, maybe our current government could learn something too.