These 17 PBS Shows Teach Kids Everything From Science to Being a Good Friend

Sep 12 2020 - 5:50am

There is so much content for kids to consume [1] across various streaming platforms and television networks. PBS Kids prides itself on its quality material [2] for toddlers and beyond. According to PBS.org, "PBS's educational media helps prepare children for success in school and opens up the world to them in an age-appropriate way." PBS Kids achieves this through various shows that teach kids everything from math and science concepts to how to be a good friend and other social-emotional lessons.

Keep reading to learn more about some of PBS Kids's best shows for toddlers, preschoolers, and little kids.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!

PBS's description of the show: "Voiced by award-winning actor Martin Short, Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat guides friends Sally and Nick — with a little help from the Fish, Thing 1 and Thing 2 — on fun-filled adventures where they make natural-science discoveries, from how bees make honey to why owls sleep during the day. Filled with both adventure and silliness, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, based on the acclaimed The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library book series, will appeal to preschoolers' natural curiosity, and engage them in the process of scientific exploration and discovery."

Ages its best suited for: 3 and up

Super Why!

PBS's description of the show: "Reading is power and Super Why! is the only preschool property created to help kids learn the fundamentals of reading through interactive storybook adventures. . . . The program represents a novel approach to preschool educational television, featuring a team of superhero characters with reading powers, who jump into books to find answers to everyday preschool challenges."

Ages its best suited for: 3 and up

Clifford the Big Red Dog

PBS's description of the show: "Based on the best-selling Scholastic book series by Norman Bridwell featuring the larger-than-life dog and his best friend Emily Elizabeth, the reimagined animated series offers a fresh and colorful new locations, while providing a strong emphasis on social-emotional skills such as empathy, along with a solid curriculum designed to boost early literacy and encourage imaginative play — teaching as it entertains with Clifford-sized humor."

Ages its best suited for: 3 and up

Elinor Wonders Why

PBS's description of the show: "This animated series for preschoolers aims to encourage children to follow their curiosity, ask questions when they don't understand and find answers using science inquiry skills. The main character Elinor, the most observant and curious bunny rabbit in Animal Town, introduces kids ages 3-5 to science, nature and community through adventures with her friends Ari, a funny and imaginative bat, and Olive, a perceptive and warm elephant. As kids explore Animal Town, they meet all kinds of interesting, funny, and quirky characters, each with something to teach us about respecting others, the importance of diversity, caring for the environment, and working together to solve problems."

Ages its best suited for: 3-5

Pinkalicious & Peterrific

PBS's description of the show: "Follow the adventures of Pinkalicious and her brother Peter in . . . Pinkalicious & Peterrific. Pinkalicious imagines creative possibilities everywhere she looks. She is an artist at heart — and, like most creative people, she sees the world differently from others. She knows what she likes, and is not afraid to express herself — though she sometimes needs help from her brother, Peter, and her neighborhood friends. . . Pinkalicious & Peterrific encourages kids to engage in the creative arts and self-expression, covering areas such as music, dance and visual arts."

Ages its best suited for: 3-5

Curious George

PBS's description of the show: "Curious George the television series is designed to inspire kids to explore science, math and engineering in the world around them in a fun and entertaining way. . . . Each half-hour episode includes two animated stories followed by short live-action pieces showing real kids who are investigating the ideas that George introduces in his stories. The series encourages inquiry and curiosity, promotes hands-on exploration, and shows parents and caregivers how to support children's science and math-related play."

Ages its best suited for: 3 and up

Donkey Hodie

PBS's description of the show: "The imaginative puppet series follows the adventures of Donkey Hodie, the granddaughter of the original Donkey Hodie character (now known as 'Grampy Hodie'), a puppet from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, who appeared in 59 episodes of the beloved classic children's show from 1968-1993."

Ages its best suited for: 3-5

Nature Cat

PBS's description of the show: "Grounded in a natural science curriculum, Nature Cat is designed to encourage children ages 3-8 to go outside and explore the outdoors, while learning about a variety of scientific topics along the way. Nature Cat follows Fred, a house cat who dreams of exploring the great outdoors. Like many of today's kids, Nature Cat is eager and enthusiastic about outside activities, but is at times intimidated by them. With the help of his animal friends, Nature Cat embarks on action-packed adventures that include exciting missions full of nature investigation, 'aha' discovery moments and humor, all while inspiring children to go outside and 'play the show.'"

Ages its best suited for: 3-8

Dinosaur Train

PBS's description of the show: "Dinosaur Train encourages kids ages 3-6 to apply scientific thinking as they discover new types of dinosaur species, and to embrace the living sciences of paleontology and natural science. Dinosaur Train is seen through the eyes of Buddy, a preschool-aged Tyrannosaurus Rex. Buddy and his adoptive family of Pteranodons go for adventures on the Dinosaur Train to meet all kinds of dinosaurs in different eras and learn fascinating new facts about these incredible creatures."

Ages its best suited for: 3-6

Hero Elementary

PBS's description of the show: "Hero Elementary is a school for budding superheroes, where kids learn to master their innate powers, like flying and teleportation, while exploring science along the way. Hero Elementary aims to give children ages 4 to 7 the tools to solve problems by thinking and acting like scientists and igniting their natural curiosity and empathy."

Ages its best suited for: 4-7


PBS's description of the show: "Arthur, based on the best-selling books by Marc Brown, is television's longest-running children's animated series. The iconic series has touched audiences around the world with its heartfelt and humorous stories about family, friends, and the challenges of growing up."

Ages its best suited for: 4-8

Let's Go Luna!

PBS's description of the show: "Follow the adventures of three friends — Leo, a wombat from Australia; Carmen, a butterfly from Mexico; and Andy, a frog from the U.S. — as they traverse the globe with their parents' traveling performance troupe, 'Circo Fabuloso.' At each of the Circo's stops, Luna the Moon, voiced by Judy Greer, guides the trio as they get to know the local region and its people. The gang's adventures take them through cities around the globe — from London to Cairo to Beijing — where they explore the food, music, art, architecture and other features that make each place distinctive."

Ages its best suited for: 4 and up

The Ruff Ruffman Show

PBS's description of the show: "The Ruff Ruffman Show is . . . designed to help kids ages 4-8 learn core science concepts through videos, game-play and hands-on activities. The PBS KIDS series stars canine host extraordinaire Ruff Ruffman, who, along with his assistants Blossom and Chet, answers questions from real kids, takes on challenges and learns the value of perseverance — all while modeling science inquiry skills."

Ages its best suited for: 4-8

Odd Squad

PBS's description of the show: "Odd Squad is an Emmy-winning live-action media property designed to help kids ages 5-8 learn math and problem solving skills. 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."

Ages its best suited for: 5-8

Molly of Denali

PBS's description of the show: "Molly of Denali is an action-adventure comedy that follows the adventures of feisty and resourceful 10-year-old Molly Mabray, an Alaska Native girl. Molly helps her mom and dad run the Denali Trading Post, a general store, bunkhouse, and transport hub in the fictional village of Qyah, Alaska. Each episode follows Molly, her dog Suki and her friends Tooey and Trini on their daily adventures in Alaska, from fishing to building snow forts to delivering a camera to friends on a volcano via dog sled."

Ages its best suited for: 5 and up

Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum

PBS's description of the show: "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."

Ages its best suited for: 8 and up


PBS's description of the show: "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 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. Each episode takes the heroes on a thrilling adventure driven by a different math concept, and kids learn that math is everywhere and fun to use! In For Real, the live-action segment following each animated episode, Harry and Bianca show kids how math can help solve life's wacky problems in the real world."

Ages its best suited for: 8 and up

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