Make the best out of screen time. Kids don’t know what they don’t know until you (and later other people) expose them to all the things. With my child, I made sure that I prioritized educational content from the beginning, and so far, that’s spurred my son’s curiosity in math, science, and has improved his vocabulary. Don’t get me wrong, he still loves the other stuff *AHEM* LEGO and Ninja dude stuffs, but now he appreciates the educational stuffs too. SO… While you have the power*, pump their little minds full of all the info you want them to learn about. Fortunately, thanks to the shows I’m about to mention, your kiddos can learn while entranced in the televised version of joyful education (Psychology Today agrees, read their take about that here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/files/attachments/4141/the-neuroscience-joyful-education-judy-willis-md.pdf) .

*Power – The ability to manage your child’s day-to-day activities. Read more about why this matters here from the good folks at Vandy U: https://my.vanderbilt.edu/developmentalpsychologyblog/2014/04/how-do-you-affect-your-child/

The Magic School Bus (old & relaunched versions available to view)

This show is tried and true – you’re probably familiar with the books. The teacher character in this series, Mrs. Frizzle, is the best at taking a complex science concept and literally turning into it with the students for a first-hand adventure in the way things work e.g. becoming a piece of food and traveling through the digestive system. This method makes science processes and terminologies memorable and fun! Needless to say, the vocab is great too!

Platform: Netflix, YouTube, Amazon

Sesame Street (duh)

Foundation is everything, especially when put into song. And Sesame Street is the best at that and making repetition learning creative, interactive, and engaging for youngsters. Mastering fundamentals is overrated because there’s ton of kids’ content out there and easy to introduce advance concepts to little brains prematurely. You can’t go wrong with starting your child’s screen time with incremental doses of  Sesame Street.

Platform: Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO

Blaze and the Monster Machines

I was so impressed by this show (and still am!). Created by a really, really smart group of people (who also are writers for Team UmiZoomi – it’s up next), is a cartoon that attacks introducing technology, engineering, and science through monster trucks and their human 8-year-old techie friends. My son finished episodes understanding concepts like force, adhesion, acceleration, and friction. He couldn’t get enough – because Monster Trucks, duh.

Platform: Amazon Prime, Nick Jr.

Team UmiZoomi

Math is a subject that needs to be embraced early on IMO. If not properly introduced, we humans have a tendency to find it tedious and intimidating. Team UmiZoomi gives the characters and the viewer the challenge of saving the day and incorporates math problems as a part of the ‘game’. Your child will be adding and subtracting and identifying greater than and less than scenarios correctly without even realizing it!

Platform: Amazon Prime, Nick Jr.

Minecraft Choose Your Adventure (Requires smart TV,  laptop/desktop HDMI connection, or iOS device)

This one is for kids who are a bit older. Because there are words that require convo for the youngins. But, other than that, let me tell why this interactive screen time option is good. Reading and critical thinking. This show allows kids to choose what happens next on a trackpad to click the options. That said, they have to read and decide based on the content they’ve seen what ‘makes sense’ in the next part of the show. The vocabulary is pretty good too.

Platform: Netflix

COMING SOON: 5 Quality Screen Times for Your Littles Part II

Written by Aryeonne Johnson