As parents, it seems like we are constantly battling with technology. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the amount of time my children spend in front of a screen, which was, of course, increased during the height of the pandemic. While we’ve cut back on idle screen time quite a bit, there is still this nagging concern in the back of my head, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this thinking.

Luckily, now more than ever, there is a more relaxed approach to screen time guidelines. “You don’t want your kids always glued to screens. That is common sense,” Colleen Russo Johnson, a child development expert, tells the New York Times. “But these things are not evil. There is a lot of variety, and everything is not created equal.”

Dr. Russo Johnson also went on to say that these hard-and-fast rules about screen time are way more harmful to parents than they are to kids. Raise your hand if you’ve spent more than a few nights lying awake stressing about this very thing!

So what’s the solution? Dr. Russo Johnson suggests asking this question: “How does this particular device or screen, tech or feature enhance or detract from the experience?” Are your children sitting idling watching videos of other kids playing video games, or are they tangibly engaging with technology? The answer to this question makes all the difference.

So parents, breathe a sigh of relief and understand that not all screen time is terrible; in fact, there are several educational television shows that help kids learn about problem-solving, science, space, and more!

Here are just a few to get you started:

Miles From Tomorrowland

Concept:“Blastastic! Join Miles and his intergalactic family as they venture out into outer space! Your wildest imagination is just the beginning in Tomorrowland!”
What it Teaches: Astronomy concepts and vocabulary words, pre-reading skills
Ages : 4 and up
Where to Watch: Disney+, YouTube TV, and Hulu

Llama Llama

Concept: “Beloved children’s book character Llama Llama springs to life in this heartwarming series about family, friendship, and learning new things.”
What it Teaches: Social-emotional skills, problem-solving
Ages: all ages
Where to Watch: Netflix

Little Einsteins
“This innovative new series provides preschoolers with new ways to hear and see music and art. In every episode, our four heroes meet at their backyard clubhouse and, before long, embark on a mission with a specific goal to achieve.
What it Teaches:
Classical music and art, social-emotional skills, problem-solving
Ages: 4 and up
Where to Watch:

Educational Shows

Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum
“Inspired by the best-selling kids book series, Ordinary People Change the World, by New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer and illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum follows the adventures of Xavier, Yadina, and Brad as they tackle everyday problems by doing something extraordinary: traveling back in time to learn from real-life inspirational figures like Marie Curie, Harriet Tubman, and Jackie Robinson when they were kids. Each adventure will help young viewers make the connection between the skills that made these historical figures heroes and those same qualities within themselves, helping them discover that they, too, can change the world.”
What it Teaches: History, social-emotional skills
Ages: 8 and older
Where to Watch: PBS and YouTube TV

Odd Squad
“The show focuses on the Odd Squad, a kid-run agency whose mission is to save the day whenever something unusual happens. A math concept is embedded in each of their cases, as the agents work together to problem-solve and set things right in each episode.
What it Teaches: math, problem-solving skills
Ages: 5–8
Where to Watch: PBS and YouTube TV

“In the world of Cyberchase, the dastardly villain Hacker is on a mad mission to take over Cyberspace with the help of his blundering henchbots, Buzz and Delete. But our heroes, Inez, Jackie, and Matt, are three curious kids determined to stop him with the help of their cyber pal, Digit. Their weapon: brain power.”
What it Teaches: problem-solving, math|
Ages: 8 and older
Where to Watch: PBS and YouTube TV

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