28 Dec

Screen Time for Littles

10 quality TV shows for young children

It is that time of year where we are in the thick of winter break and holiday festivities. Having your kiddos home for extended periods of time may make you feel like you are running out of activities and experiences to keep them entertained. While it is true that we recommend face-to-face interactions, hands on experiences and play time, sometimes turning on the T.V. is just easier.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no screen time for children under 18 months of age, but FaceTiming with family members is okay. For children 18-24 months and up, aim to choose high-quality content and engage alongside the child. This could even be watching an animal documentary and discussing what you are viewing together. If your child is 2+ years, the AAP requires limiting screen time to one hour per day, choosing high-quality content and co-viewing when possible. Finally, the AAP recommends no screens during meals or one hour before bedtime.

At the end of the day, every family needs to make the choices that are right for them. Technology is a big part of our lives and coming up with a plan on how to and navigate it to meet the needs of your family can be beneficial. Think about the content and that quality matters, how to interact with your child around media and what your family’s interests are.

With that in mind, here is a list of some recommended shows that are positive, educational and overall good quality for your little ones.

What it’s about: Bluey is a cute show created in Australia that focuses on themes of family and growing up.

Who it’s for: Bluey is great for ages 3 and up

Why we like it: The show is so heartwarming and the episodes are short (8 minutes). This helps with monitoring screen time. The show also has really great social and imaginary play lessons in each episode.

Where to find it: Disney+

What it’s about: Sesame Street follows characters like Elmo and Big Bird as they learn new things and work through big emotions.

Who it’s for: Sesame Street is great for preschoolers as it is full of early-literacy content and is great for kiddos getting ready for school.

Why we like it: Sesame Street always provides kids with positive messaging and role models. It also helps kids make sense of big emotions and hard to understand social situations.

Where to find it: PBS Kids Online, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Youtube, Roku

What it’s about: This show is so calming and sweet. It teaches science concepts to preschoolers and also provides great examples of interpersonal relationships.

Who it’s for: kiddos age 3+

Why we like it: soothing colors, positive sibling relationship, slower paced

Where to find it: Netflix

What it’s about: Who doesn’t love different types of transportation? If you have a little one obsessed with big trucks, this show is great. It celebrates imagination and is gentle and soothing.

Who it’s for: 2.5 years and up

Why we like it: The use of imagination and relatable themes makes this show easily digestible.

Where to find it: Netlfix

What it’s about: Each episode follows Daniel as he has positive social and learning experiences as well as moments of disappointment. He is great at helping your little one make sense of their emotions.

Who it’s for: 2 and up

Why we like it: The songs as well as make believe play make this show one of the best.

Where to find it: PBS Kids, Hulu, Amazon, Youtube

What it’s about: Bear lives in the Big Blue House where he is a caregiver for his friends Ojo, Tutter, Treeo and Otters Pip and Pop. He and his friends have many adventures together solving problems, working as a team and developing social and life skills.

Who it’s for: 3 and up

Why we like it: Each episode focuses on a theme that includes a lesson, songs, and a problem the characters have to solve.

Where to find it: Disney+

What it’s about: Elinor is a curious bunny that encourages preschoolers to follow their curiosity and ask questions when they don’t understand.

Who it’s for: 3+

Why we like it: Elinor covers topics such as science, nature and community

Where to find it: PBS Kids, Hulu, Amazon, Youtube

What it’s about: Little Bear is a six-year-old small, curious, and imaginative grizzly bear cub who lives in the forest with his family and friends.

Who it’s for: 3+

Why we like it: The Characters teach viewers about manners, kindness, and nature.

Where to find it: Paramount+. Roku, Apple TV, Youtube

What it’s about: A collection of original kids songs and classic nursery rhymes combined with captivating animation and puppetry.

Who it’s for: 1 and up

Why we like it: The songs and animation are low stimulation, but interesting. Each video is created to make sure young viewers are learning new concepts while having fun!

Where to find it: Roku, Youtube

What it’s about: Super Why is an animated television series and website that helps children learn key reading skills, including alphabet, rhyming, letter identification, spelling, decoding, encoding and reading comprehension.

Who it’s for: 3 and up

Why we like it: Each episode is 20-24 minutes long, takes an innovative approach to learning to read and is interactive.
Where to find it: PBS Kids, Hulu, Amazon, Youtube

Posted Thursday, December 28th, 2023