As coronavirus continues to change the way we live our lives, more parents are working from home and more children are spending extended periods in the house – either self-isolating or simply because their school has closed in response to the pandemic.
That means there will inevitably be a lot more parents turning to the TV to help entertain their children while they’re trying to work from home – and so it’s never been more important to know that shows you’re young children are watching are teaching them as well as keeping them occupied.
Luckily there are lots of great shows designed for key stage 1 aged children (that’s the first few years of school, kid’s aged from 4 to 7) available on most major TV providers in the UK.
Here are some of our top picks of great shows to keep the kids entertained and informed in the coming days, weeks and months…
Younger children will love this brightly coloured introduction to the alphabet and phonics. The letters come to life and work together to form short words, tell stories and sing songs…
…while BAFTA-winning companion series Numberblocks does the same for numbers and maths. Counting becomes fun as numbers 1-10 join up to create simple sums, make patterns and go on fun adventures.
If you have kids who love exploring and learning about the natural world, Andy’s Adventure series is definitely for you. His shows range from aquatic and prehistoric adventures to shows about sound and safaris. No matter what the theme, the constant in these excellent shows is Andy’s enthusiasm for learning and fun as children are presented with games, quizzes, clips, facts and songs along the way.
Ask the Storybots
This show follows the fortunes of some friendly robots as they embark upon a journey to answer the questions of real children submitted from around the world. Think “How do you make music?” and “What happens when you flush the toilet?” and you get an idea of the sorts of investigations. A fun and lively way of learning – you might even get the occasional special guest star if you’re lucky.
All 3 seasons of the show are available to stream on Netflix now
Maddie’s Do You Know?
Inquisitive children will love this show from presenter and ‘Edutuber’ Maddie Moate. Ever wondered how they build skyscrapers or where mushrooms grow, what the barcode on shopping actually does and how a kite flies? Well never fear, Maddie and her camera will take your children behind the scenes to help them understand all sorts of fascinating processes and scientific principles – while also keeping them royally entertained.
Although not a “pure” educational show, Beat Bugs is an absolute gem in the Netflix catalogue that will inspire your children to sing, dance – and hopefully develop a taste for excellent music! Episodes are all based around songs by the Beatles and feature reimagined covers of the most famous songs by other megastars including the likes of Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam, Robbie Williams, Pink and many, many more. If you want to inspire a love for music, this is the show for you…
All 3 seasons of Beat Bugs are available on Netflix to stream now
Nina and the Neurons
Science has never been so fun as with Nina and her bunch of helpers. This energetic show introduces basic scientific ideas to children through exciting experiments, games and songs. It is also supplemented by content that encourages science, engineering and coding on the CBeebies website. There are additional resources also available to help parents encourage their children to learn.
Follow the adventures of an alien called Arty and his friends as they travel the galaxy looking to solve problems by using art. It’s a fantastic way for kids to learn about the different disciplines and techniques that make up a lot of the art that they see around them.
Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video now
Art and crafts are definitely one of the go-to subjects to keep young children entertained while developing their creative skills and imagination. Mister Maker brings this world alive with his helpers as he embarks on exciting and interesting projects with glue, paint and card. There’s a lot of supporting materials to help parents on the CBeebies website.