Looking for the right kind of television show to engage your children this summer vacation? Here's our pick of the top 10 TV shows, from new ones to old classics, that your kid must see.
Does your child like being glued to the television, no matter how hard you try to engage them in outdoor activities?
There’s still a way you can encourage them to learn and grow, even within the comforts of home.
Here’s our pick of 10 television shows that are as fun as they are informative, to not only give your child a well-rounded purview of arts, science, adventure, maths, and more, but also help them evolve with important life lessons:
1. The Jungle Book
Lessons in courage, facing one’s fears, and the importance of friendship and respecting elders
An adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s collection of stories by the same name, The Jungle Book was telecast in 1989 on Doordarshan and was a big hit with kids. Through the legendary character of Mowgli, the show teaches one to be courageous enough to face his/her fears and emphasises on leading a simple yet happy life.
While several versions have come out over the years, Walt Disney’s remains a classic, and received huge acclaim. It has aired across the world in different languages.
“A timeless cartoon adaptation that can be enjoyed by all ages,” writes a viewer on Google reviews.
Watch it on: Zee5
An insightful journey into the world of science, from dreams, germs, and neurology to superheroes and social media
This is an interesting and fun series that plays around with science and answers questions and concepts that children encounter everyday. The show takes children through real-life scenarios and challenges while teaching them about different science-related topics.
The show, produced by Pharrell Williams, came out in 2018, and has one season with eight episodes.
“This program is absolutely genius. It explains science in a way that children not only can understand, but also find relevant,” writes a mother on Google reviews.
Watch it on: Netflix
3. Malgudi Days
Timeless lessons in morals, honesty, integrity, respect, and hard work
A beloved show from the 80s, Malgudi Days was based on RK Narayan’s 1943 collection of short stories by the same name. The story, set in a fictional village named Malgudi, revolves around Swami, a ten-year-old boy who has a tough time living up to his father’s expectations, and his two friends Rajam and Mani. The simple and moving stories are timeless, and teach several moral values.
The show was first telecast in 1986 on Doordarshan, and has 39 episodes, where each tells a different story. The series, directed by Shankar Nag, features child actor Master Manjunath and other acclaimed actors including Girish Karnad, Vaishali Kasaravalli, Ananth Nag and Arundhati Nag.
“A classic show, where one gets new wisdom every day and every moment during the show. Even today, it gives one the nostalgia of watching the show during their growing up days,” writes a viewer on Google reviews.
Watch it on: Amazon Prime, Voot
4. Dora, The Explorer
An interactive journey that teaches your child how to count, read, share, and be accepting of others
This American animated television series is about a seven-year-old girl named Dora, who goes on adventures with her friend, a five-year-old monkey named Boots. Dora calls her young viewers to help her finish various tasks. Finding her way using maps and carrying a backpack around, she takes the viewers on her journey to solve obstacles on the way. Finally, once she and Boots achieve the goal, everyone joins in on her signature ‘We did it!’ dance.
Created by Chris Gifford, Valerie Walsh Valdes, and Eric Weiner, Dora, the Explorer was first telecast on Nickelodeon TV, but was later dubbed in different languages across the world.
“Dora, The Explorer is a cartoon that is a live example of learning by fun. It helps a child improve their skills in different aspects,” writes a mother.
Ages: 3 – 7
Watch it on: Nick Junior, Amazon Prime
5. The Dr Binocs Show
An easy and fun way to build your child’s general knowledge
The Dr Binocs Show is a colourful and cheerful animated series that educates children on various topics to enhance their general knowledge. The show also appeals to parents and teachers alike, and can be used as a teaching tool for explaining different topics.
Produced by Rajshri Entertainment, it has over a million subscribers on Youtube under the ‘kid’s entertainment’ channel Peekaboo Kidz.
“My kids love Dr Binocs. My younger son in particular is very interested in science and has learned many interesting facts from Dr Binocs,” notes a father.
Ages: 6 -13
Watch it on: YouTube (Peekaboo Kidz)
6. Sesame Street
Valuable lessons in fundamentals of reading, arithmetic, geometric forms, cognitive processes, and basic life skills
One of the most popular educational television programmes designed for children, Sesame Street is also recognised as a pioneer in combining education and entertainment in children’s TV. It is also one of the longest running shows in television history, with over 4,500 episodes. The show uses a combination of puppets, animation, and live actors to teach young children the fundamentals of reading and maths. It also imparts knowledge of basic life skills, such as how to cross the road safely, the importance of proper hygiene, and healthy eating habits.
The series is produced by Sesame Workshop, formerly known as the Children’s Television Workshop (CTW).
“This show is so amazing. Every child should watch this. It teaches kids things in all different categories. It also teaches children to be kind to one another, and understand one another,” a parent points out in one of the Google reviews.
Watch it on: YouTube (Hindi & Telugu)
7. Ask the Storybots
Answers all the fascinating questions your child asks every day
The animated educational TV series has been created based on characters from StoryBots’s educational website and videos. Storybots are curious little robots who live under the screens of our computers and phones to help kids find answers for their fascinating questions. In every episode, the storybot answers questions such as ‘Why is the sky blue?’ ‘How do people catch a cold?’ and so on.
The show, which started streaming in 2016, is created and produced by JibJab Bros. Studios.
“I have a two-year-old and a four-year-old, and we are all addicted to this show. The songs are super catchy, and we are all memorising information about the solar system, dinosaurs, principles of flight, bones in your body.. the list is long!,” says a mother on Google reviews.
Ages: 3 – 8
Watch it on: Netflix
8. How it’s made
Eye-opening insights on how everyday objects are made
This Canadian documentary television series takes a look at how ordinary everyday objects that we rely upon are made. It talks about objects such as trumpets, sinks, bike tyres, cowboy boots, and so on, by finding out what it takes to manufacture them.
The show takes viewers behind the scenes at different factories around the world and explores the high-tech processes used to transform raw materials into the final product. Each half-hour episode usually features the making of three or four items.
The series premiered in 2001 and has around 32 seasons with 12 episodes each.
“Each episode has several things that are made and seems to cover items that appeal to all ages of kids. The show is fast paced and interesting enough to keep kids’ attention,” says a mother who watches it with her whole family.
Watch it on: Discovery+, YouTube
9. Odd Squad
To help your child develop skills in problem solving, teamwork, and perseverance
Odd Squad is an Emmy-winning series for children which features a team of young agents whose problem-solving, teamwork, and perseverance help them overcome the ever-changing ‘oddness’ in each episode. Besides, the agents use effective mathematical practices, as well as critical mathematics concepts and skills, to ultimately solve each case.
The show, created by Tim McKeon and Adam Peltzman, has three seasons and its own digital apps, merchandise, online games, an award-winning short form series for mobile and digital platforms, and a podcast featuring characters from the series.
“This show is extremely educational and fun to watch. It is one of the few kids shows that both my 5-year-old and I can agree to watch. Some of the references (such as some funny 1980s spoofs) will resonate with the grown-up watchers as well,” says a mother in reviews.
Ages: 5 – 8
Watch it on: Netflix
10. Little Einsteins
Four friends embark on trips every day to learn lessons in art and music appreciation by integrating famous or culturally significant works
The children’s television series features a group of four musically gifted and ethnically diverse children, along with their artificially intelligent rocket named Rocket. Together, they solve different missions by using their passion, talents, and teamwork, and travel around the world discovering new things on every trip. The show presents adventures and introduces children to nature, as well as different cultures and arts around the world.
Little Einsteins, created by Douglas Wood and Eric Weiner, has 67 episodes.
“It is a great show! perfect for kids. We watched this show when we were kids and now we let our brother watch it. It is very inclusive and exposes children to arts and music,” says a viewer on Google reviews.
Watch it on: Disney+ Hotstar
(Edited by Divya Sethu)