“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
Trust me when I say, I’m a HUGE advocate for less screen time & more outdoor play. But on the other hand, here in Alaska, when it’s below freezing 8 months out of the year, it’s nice to have a bit of entertainment indoors & something positive simply running in the background while your little one plays with toys or eats some lunch.
One of my biggest pet-peeves with children’s shows, nowadays, is that they always seem to have at least one antagonist in the show, that represents behavior and characteristics that aren’t exactly what you want your child to be presented with. Children, especially toddlers, are highly impressionable and when they are this young, they oftentimes aren’t ready and able to differentiate between behavior that is right or wrong & can more times than not, start to act out that negative behavior on their own.
In saying so, I made it a point to find TV series that have positive characters and educational qualities, that also spark some sensory play and creativity. It can surprisingly be rather difficult to find one that has all of these qualities yet lacks a character that portrays negative attitudes and mannerisms. The vast majority of the series that we turn on for Atlas are on (Amazon) Prime TV/Video. It comes with a Prime subscription & they just seem to have the best selection of shows that fit what we look for. What I also enjoy is that it comes with a whole slew of PBS Kids TV shows, which I absolutely adored as a kid. It’s super fun to see Atlas enjoying the same shows that I use to!
We don’t have cable so we solely rely on Netflix & Prime Video when we want to sit, relax & watch some television. With that in mind, I will be listing the top 3 children shows that we love from each of these “channels”. (A few of them also have some full-length episodes on YouTube! You just have to do some digging.) Also, you will notice that these shows are aimed towards pre-schoolers but I don’t see any issue introducing your children to them prior to that age range!
(AMAZON) PRIME VIDEO
Peg + Cat
Okay, this is just the cutest show I have ever seen & the Intro song is constantly stuck in my head. “In each 11- minute episode, Peg and Car find themselves thrust into the middle of a wacky word problem. This problem isn’t just an academic exercise for them, it’s a real life problem… a messy funny crisis they have to solve to get them out of trouble. Along the way, they grapple with all kinds of loony, loopy obstacles, under intense time pressure. They write out diagrams and charts on the graph paper that comprises their background… By using characters kids relate to and laugh with, and situations they’re thrilled and entertained by, Peg + Cat makes math problems cool”, says PBS.com. This is Atlas’ #1 show right now & every time the song starts, he can’t help but laugh & dance along. Plus, the bright colors really spark some great sensory play!
This series is one of my favorites- From the quirky characters to the use of creative problem-solving, it’s certainly a hit in my book! Amazon.com states, “Tumble Leaf is a series aimed at preschoolers, set in a whimsical land where a small blue fox named Fig plays each day and discovers adventure, friendship and love around every bend in the path. Children will be enriched by these narratives that promote play, the fun of learning and understanding the world around them.” (We also named Atlas’ toy fox, Fig! Obvious inspo from the show.)
This is one of the first shows that we discovered on Prime TV! The use of colors, creativity & history of Art is so, super neat to me & Atlas also really enjoys singing and dancing along to the theme song & watching Artie discover & create different “masterpieces”! Amazon.com says, “Follow the adventures of Arty and his sidekick Epiphany, as they search the galaxy to solve problems with art! Whether Arty needs to create a painting for the new children’s library, a stuffed animal for his sister, or make a mask for his jungle pretend play, he can enlist the help of the most creative of all – the preschool home viewer.”
I’m sure by now, we have all heard of and have watched Little Einsteins! One of the biggest aspects of this show that I appreciate & love introducing Atlas to, is the history of Art & Music. This show finds creative & silly ways to intertwine classic musical & art pieces into the episode. It really has an amazing way of bringing life to the pieces & offers a great introduction, for your children, to these highly important areas of life & sparks their imagination! Google.com states, “Leo, Annie, Quincy and June are the Little Einsteins. This preschool series is full of adventures that introduce kids to nature, world cultures and the arts. Each episode has a mission and journey of discovery that incorporates a celebrated piece of classical music and a renowned work of art or world culture. The Little Einsteins use their passion and talents to work together and solve challenges.”
We found this show recently & as soon as I turned it on, I noticed that the characters sing their own renditions of classic Beatle’s songs (sung by famous artists like P!nk, Sia, Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam, and more) throughout each episode. When I heard this, I was shocked & ecstatic all at the same time! I thought it was so cool that they chose to incorporate such an amazing band into their show. I love introducing Atlas to awesome, old-school music & bands. In addition to this, like the shows I discussed previous to this one, the bright colors and vibrant characters really exercise a toddler’s imagination & appeals to their senses. Netflix.com says, “With songs made famous by the Beatles, five friendly bugs learn big lessons about the world around them — all from the safety of their own backyard.”
The Magic School Bus
This is another series that I am sure all of you Mama’s have seen. The Magic School bus is the epitome of fun & educational TV shows for kids. I use to watch it way back in elementary school & I was always so drawn in by Ms. Frizz & all the predicaments that the class would get into & now its the same for Atlas! Even though they have a new rendition of it, Atlas & I still watch the OG Magic School Bus. Nothing can beat a classic! Netflix.com states, “Join Ms. Frizzle as the Magic School Bus travels to outer space, under the sea, through an anthill — and even inside the human body!”
If you Mama’s enjoyed this post, want to share your thoughts on these shows or want to recommend some that you adore, be sure to leave a comment & Subscribe to receive notifications, each week, about new Alaskan Mama posts!