It’s no secret that we get a considerable amount of screentime around here. We love movies, and even my 5 year old binge watches shows on Netflix and Disney+. With the upcoming school year looking so different, we are going to have to pivot a lot. While we love to stream movies and shows that are fun (Netflix has some great shows for families if you love music), theres a ton of educational content as well. If you are looking to add some shows to your new homeschool plan, or you just want to feel a little better about all the screen time your kids are getting check out this list. Here are the best educational shows on Netflix broken down by age.
Educational Shows on Netflix for Preschoolers
- Ask the Storybots – The StoryBots are curious little creatures who live in the world beneath our screens. In each episode, the intrepid quintet of Beep, Bing, Bang, Boop and Bo of Team 341B go on an adventure to the human world to help answer kids’ biggest questions, like “Why is the sky blue?” or “Why do I need to brush my teeth?” They deliver their answer at the end of each episode in the form of a musical video.
- Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is an animated program for preschoolers ages 2 to 4 which builds on the pioneering PBS series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. This series, for a new generation of children, tells its engaging stories about the life of a preschooler using musical strategies grounded in Fred Rogers’ landmark social-emotional curriculum. Through imagination, creativity and music, Daniel and his friends learn the key social skills necessary for school and for life.
- Word Party – A vocabulary-building show from The Jim Henson Company that follows four adorable baby animals as they sing, dance and play. The show invites young viewers to help teach the baby animals new words, practice these new words themselves, and celebrate these achievements with a “Word Party!”
- The Cat and The Hat Knows a Lot About That! – The Cat in the Hat leads neighbors Nick and Sally, the Fish, and Thing One and Thing Two on a variety of adventures in his “Thinga-ma-jigger”, a Seussian contraption that can sprout wings, pontoons, booster rockets, change size, and do just about anything else necessary to further the adventure. The adventures are prompted by a question posed by either Nick or Sally at the beginning of each episode, which inevitably leads them around the globe to “make natural science discoveries.” Similar to other PBS Kids series such as Curious George and Sid the Science Kid, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! focuses on introducing preschoolers to various science and learning concepts.
- Earth to Luna – This show for 3- to 5-year-olds originally aired in Brazil. It combines funky music with bright colors and upbeat characters that explore the world around them through their imagination. Luna, her brother Jupiter and their pet ferret Clyde ask questions, test hypotheses and come to conclusions about everything from the formation of rainbows to the reason why cats have whiskers.
- The Magic School Bus Rides Again – In the sequel to the original series, Valerie Frizzle retires from teaching and passes the keys of the Magic School Bus over to her younger sister, Fiona Frizzle, to embark on new adventures with her class.
- LeapFrog: Letter Factory – Join Leap and his friends as they learn letter sounds with the help of some amazing machines! Leap, Tad, and Lily long to learn about new machines. When their magical work building, Factory, leads them into a room, they discover a remarkable alphabet collection and an ABC antics ensue!
- LeapFrog: Phonics Farm – Meet Scout and his friends as they travel to a magical farm to see a collection of letter animals where they learn phonics, the alphabet and make many new friends along the way!
- LeapFrog: Numberland – When the pets long to learn about numbers, their magical car, Axle, whisks them away to Numberland. With the help of a new friend, Max, the pets meet all the numbers in the land and master early numeracy skills.
- LeapFrog: Sing-along, Read-along – Join the phonics jam band with Og, Al, Gus, Izzy and Meg, as they use rhythm, rhyme and repetition to build reading skills and confidence!
- Sid the Science Kid – The main character in the show is Sid, an “inquisitive youngster” who uses comedy to tackle questions kids have about basic scientific principals and why things work the way they do. He tries to answer questions and solve problems with the help of his classmates (May, Gerald and Gabriela), his teacher (Susie), his parents (Mort, and Alice), his Grandma and even his baby brother (Zeke).
- Justin Time – In each 15 minute episode of JUSTIN TIME, main character Justin imagines himself in all sorts of different places, like the South Pole and the Sahara Desert, where he usually meets an animal who needs help. With his imaginary friends Olive and Squidgy, a floating yellow birdlike creature, Justin figures out what the animal needs and how he can help, learning lessons about science and nature along the way.
Honorable Mentions: Alphablocks, Number Blocks, Beat Bugs, Llama Llama, Octonauts
Educational Shows on Netflix for Elementary School
- Dream Big!: Engineering Our World – From the Great Wall Of China and the world’s tallest buildings to underwater robots, solar cars, and smart, sustainable cities, Dream Big celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small, and shows how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. With its inspiring stories of human grit and aspiration, coupled with extraordinary visuals, Dream Big reveals the compassion and creativity that drive engineers to create better lives and a more sustainable future for all.
- Growing Up Wild – “Growing Up Wild” takes audiences to the wildest corners of the planet to tell the tales of five courageous animals as they tackle the very first challenges of their young lives. With a little guidance from sage family members, each must figure out how and where to find food, while learning to recognize the very real threat of danger. From their first steps of exploring their world to their final steps into independence, “Growing Up Wild” reveals the triumphs and setbacks of five young lives in which instinct, parental lessons, and trial & error ultimately define their destinies.
- The Who Was? Show – Fresh voices bring the most famous names in history to life! Watch this live-action comedy show, now streaming on Netflix.
- If I Were an Animal – The first wildlife documentary written as fiction and told by kids for kids. Using the most amazing footage portraying life in the wild, filmed with state-of-the-art techniques, each episode is going to take us inside the life of one particular animal species, adopting the point of view of the “animal child” and his family, at that precious moment when he or she starts to grow up, learns the ropes and of course, plays around. The voice over will be that of budding child explorers who tell us the story of their chosen animal with intimacy and passion, thus making it super easy for kids everywhere to identify with the most adorable, “animal kids” imaginable.
- Carmen Sandiego – CARMEN SANDIEGO is the origin story of the notorious and mysterious titular globe-trotting thief who made her debut as a video game and TV series character in the early 1990s.
- Julie’s Greenroom – The iconic Julie Andrews guides a group of puppet kids through musical numbers in this Netflix original, teaching them all about art along the way. The series features guest appearances from Josh Groban, Sara Bareilles, Ellie Kemper, and David Hyde Pierce.
- Dino Hunt – Dino Hunt follows paleontologists searching for fossils in Canada in the hope of discovering the holy grail of paleontology – a new dinosaur species!
Educational Shows on Netflix for Tweens/Teens
- You vs. Wild – You’ve seen Bear Grylls battle the wild before, but never quite like this. This time, it’s You vs. Wild, and in the wild, every choice matters. (Interactive series)
- Project Mc² – Project Mc² is a group of BFFs using their S.T.E.A.M. skills and talents to go on missions as undercover agents for NOV8 (that’s “innovate”!). NOV8 is a top-secret group of super smart girls and women saving the world one science experiment at a time.
- Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History – Kevin Hart highlights the fascinating contributions of black history’s unsung heroes in this entertaining — and educational — comedy special.
- Brainchild – Prepare to have your mind-blown as we use interactive games, illusions, hidden-camera experiments and magic to explore the universe and explain the amazing science behind topics such as superheroes, outer space, social media and dreams!
- Our Planet – Renowned naturalist David Attenborough narrates a sweeping tour of Earth’s natural diversity and explores how climate change is affecting different species’ efforts to survive. From the frozen Arctic tundra to the lush rainforest to the vast African deserts, this production from the creators of Planet Earth celebrates the marvels of nature, the interconnectedness of animal species, and the responsibilities and hazards of a growing human population’s effect on the planet.
- Night on Earth – Night On Earth explores a variety of species and their methods of survival in environments as diverse as the tundra, the ocean, and the city. Using state-of-the-art, low-light camera technology, documentarians observe animals in the dark of night, and for the first time audiences around the world can watch these incredible species from the comfort of their own couch.
Do you have an educational show on Netflix that your family loves that isn’t listed?