Best Educational Cartoons for Kids

It’s okay to admit that you need a few moments to breathe and relax as a parent. If you reach for the remote in those moments, don’t feel guilty! Watching television with your little ones can actually be a beneficial activity for everyone involved if you’re actively watching together.

There are plenty of learning cartoons for toddlers and educational cartoons for kids available to stream – but of all your options, what are the best educational cartoons that teach your children something useful?

We’ve rounded up some of the best shows to stream with your kids that are both entertaining and educational.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: PBS Kids

Of all the learning cartoons for toddlers that are on the market, this show has to be one of our favorites.

“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” is an animated series for preschoolers and young grade school children that is reminiscent of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.” The main character, Daniel Tiger, talks directly to viewers – making you and your kids feel like his neighbors.

This is one of the best educational cartoons on the market because it teaches children valuable social skills through a variety of methods, encouraging children to use their imaginations and creativity.

Parents can rest easy knowing that this show will help their children grow and learn.

Blues Clues & You: Nick Jr., Noggin, Hulu

Hosted by Jose Dela Cruz (the new Steve for all our Millennial parents), “Blues Clues & You,” is a modern reboot of the 90s classic.

The newly updated version stays true to its original premise – following Josh as he solves mysteries through clues left by Blue. Josh speaks directly to his young viewers, asking for help and checking in with how they are feeling.

“Blues Clues & You” is one of those educational cartoons for kids that you can rely on to keep your children entertained and engaged. The new host, Jose, can make even the grumpiest toddlers smile.

Octonauts: Netflix

“Octonauts” is a fan favorite learning cartoon for toddlers for many reasons. The show follows a group of animals that explore the world’s oceans, trying to save other animals from danger.

From an educational perspective, the show’s premise centers around the characters learning many new facts about the creatures they’re trying to save – passing on this knowledge to the viewer. The characters offer plenty of excitement, adventure and action for all who watch, making this one of our favorite educational cartoons for kids.

Bluey: Disney Now, Disney+

Entertaining for both children and parents alike, “Bluey” is one of the best educational cartoons to come out of Australia and has become extremely popular in the U.S. The series follows Bluey and Bingo as they come up with fun and imaginative games to play.

One of the best things about “Bluey” is that it focuses on how important pretend play is in childhood development. Bluey and Bingo’s mom and dad are endlessly supportive, patient, and involved in their kids’ imaginative games – setting a good example on-screen.

This show is sure to warm your heart and teach your kids life lessons, all while making everyone laugh. And, did we mention, it’s Emmy award-winning?

Peg + Cat: PBS Kids

“Peg + Cat” is a learning cartoon for toddlers and preschool-aged children that incorporates foundational math skills in a creative and exciting way. The main character is a young girl who dives headfirst into solving problems with her exceptional math skills and ukulele playing.

Viewers will learn how to solve problems through grouping, sorting, and counting; laying the perfect foundation for Kindergarten and beyond.

Doc McStuffins: Disney Now, Disney+

“Doc McStuffins” has been on the air for more than 10 years, and for good reason. This educational cartoon for kids is beneficial for viewers in a multitude of ways.

Children watching Doc, a 6-year-old girl “healing” her toys by replacing batteries or restitching a seam, use her imagination and practice empathy – two skills that are essential in early childhood development.

Overall, the show teaches young kids to embrace differences, face fears and follow their dreams. Maybe most importantly, the show is a gentle reminder of the importance of personal health and hygiene.

Bubble Guppies

One of the most cheerful and lighthearted learning cartoons for toddlers, “Bubble Guppies” has timely messages about friendship, responsibility, and problem solving.

The main character group of “guppies” are curious about their underwater environment and are excited to learn about and explore it. With plenty of catchy music for viewers to sing along to and relatable stories with encouraging messages, this series is a perfect addition to your educational cartoons for kids lineup.

Beat Bugs: Netflix

This show is certain to make parents happy. The entire series is inspired by music from the Beatles!

“Beat Bugs” is another Emmy award-winning animated series that follows five childlike bugs as they learn lessons about the world from their backyard. Each episode incorporates classic Beatles songs into their adventures.

The bugs have fun exploring, imagining, inventing, singing, and creating. It’s a must-watch for kiddos 3 and up.

Dino Ranch: Disney Now, Disney+

“Dino Ranch” follows the Cassidy family, particularly the three adopted children – Jon, Min, and Miguel – on their adventures.

In their fictional world, dinosaurs and humans live alongside each other. The three siblings embark on different adventures that focus on saving endangered dinosaurs and dealing with their over-the-top neighbors who serve as antagonists to the family.

This show is particularly entertaining for toddlers who love dinosaurs. Each episode reinforces the importance of hard work and helping others. Additionally, it sheds a positive light on the support found in blended families.

Your Kids Will Love These Shows

Of course, it’s still important to be mindful of screen time, but you can live guilt-free knowing that these programs provide kids with entertainment and education.

If you take one thing away from this blog, it should be that the interactive part of these shows is what makes them beneficial. The back-and-forth conversations, whether with the characters or you, are vital in ensuring that the child watching retains the most valuable information.

To learn more about the latest research and recommendations regarding children’s use of technology and digital media, and the ways in which digital devices are reshaping childhood and early childhood education enroll in CCEI’s intermediate-level, 3-hour course CHD103:  The Child’s Digital Universe: Technology and Digital Media in Early Childhood.