Options to entertain your little ones have never been so extensive. From gaming to streaming movies on your wireless devices, kids have it easy these days when it comes to finding entertainment.
Luckily, there are plenty of entertainment options that are educational for the kids and fun for parents too. A moderate dose of appropriate TV programming is one of the best ways to disguise learning.
Check out this ultimate guide to the best TV programs for kids—from preschoolers to preteens, there’s something for everyone:
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
This animated TV series invites kids to join Mickey and his friends on adventures. The show was intended for preschool age children and is available to watch on Disney Junior and Disney Channel networks.
The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!
Dr. Suess’ Cat in the Hat makes a TV debut with this popular animated kid’s show. The episodes are educational and quirky for little kids to enjoy. Listen to Martin Short as the voice of The Cat in the Hat on the PBS Kids network.
Catch this educational TV series on the PBS Kids network and pair the experience with the Super Why! interactive website for extra fun. The show is CGI animated and helps kids ages 3-6 learn reading and other great skills.
A favorite to kids of many ages, Spongebob Squarepants is an animated series on the Nickelodeon network. Memorable characters and good comedy writing make this a popular choice for kids and adults alike.
Blue’s Clues ran for ten years on the Nick Jr. network and featured an unforgettable pairing of animation and real-life acting. It was one of the first TV shows to use American Sign Language as a learning tool and invited viewers to participate in the activities.
Also on Nick Jr. network, Wonder Pets! Is an animated series that uses a teamwork theme to educate young viewers. Watch a trio of heroes rescue baby animals in this hit TV show.
Curious George is a popular animated TV series on the PBS Kids network. Based on the Curious George books by Margret and H.A. Ray, the Curious George TV series was designed for preschoolers and young viewers. The TV series and books both feature an adventurous monkey named George and The Man with the Yellow Hat.
Everyone’s favorite eight-year-old aardvark stars in this long-running TV series on PBS Kids. The animated series focuses on the value of books and relationships.
CGI animated animals team up to imagine great adventures in their backyard. Check out Backyardigans on the Nickelodeon network.
Paw Patrol is a children’s television show on the Nickelodeon network. This preschool series stars an animated pack of puppies that use problem solving skills and teamwork to be heroes. It’s rated Y and can be seen during weekdays on Nick Jr.
These TV shorts can be seen Friday nights between programs on the Disney Channel. The Mickey Mouse animated miniseries is rated Y7 and follows the adventures of the traditional Walt Disney characters—like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Daisy Duck.
Peg + Cat
This unique animated math series premiered Fall 2013 on PBS Kids. Peg and her sidekick cat take preschooler viewers on adventures while learning math basics.
The Haunted Hathaways
The Haunted Hathaways is a non-animated family sitcom on the Nickelodeon channel. This original series tells the story of a single mother and two daughters that move into a haunted home with three ghosts (a single father and two sons). Watch it Saturdays at 8:30pm.
Reality TV just got more interesting with Masterchef Junior on the FOX network. The show follows a younger group of aspiring chefs (ages eight to thirteen) in a culinary competition each week. It currently airs Fridays at 8pm.
Liv and Maddie
This sitcom features fifteen-year-old twin sisters, Liv and Maddie, which have opposing personalities. Catch the funny teen/family sitcom on Sundays on the Disney Channel.
Also known as Adventure Time with Finn and Jake, this TV show is a hand-drawn animated series that first gained popularity on the web. Catch the viral Sci-Fi show on the Cartoon Network with your kids.
This award-winning, long-running TV series uses sketch comedy to educate children. Muppets and animation drive the humor of this show, which can be seen today on PBS, Noggin, and PBS Kids Sprout.
Jessie first premiered in 2011 and gained popularity as a teen sitcom. Watch it with your kids on the Disney Channel and sing along with the “Hey Jessie” theme song.
Phineas and Ferb
This hit animated TV series has been called a comedy-musical with many comedy elements aimed at adults (such as examples of pop culture references). Catch this successful show on the Disney Channel.
Watch Carly Shay, a thirteen-year-old blogger, become Internet-famous because of her online show and great sense of humor. iCarly is a popular teen sitcom that can be seen on the Nickelodeon channel.