The face of educational television may have changed over the years, but there are still some recognizable standards out there that many parents enjoyed when they were young. The key to children’s educational television—create something kids love that doesn’t make parents crazy. There’s a reason the likes of Calliou are not still on today. Many of the children’s shows that parents love are the ones that they themselves grew up watching, only now they have a slightly different look.
Take Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood for example. Mr. Rogers is long gone and we all miss him, but this spin-off has Mr. Rogers charm with the fun cast of characters children loved in the original. Only this time, they’re animated instead of puppets.
Sesame Street is another standby that still plays a significant role in children’s television. They manage to stay relevant by adding characters that fit and address a modern demographic. While some older characters, sorry Snuffleupagus, rarely make appearances, they’ve been replaced with a diverse cast of characters like Rosita, Zoe, and Abby Cadabby. But don’t worry, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and Oscar the Grouch still play an important part of educating the next generation.
Another classic children’s show that manages to stay relevant is Reading Rainbow. With an ever happy host in Levar Burton, children still explore the ins and outs of their favorite books. As technology has taken over the book world it’s nice to see this show embrace and encourage learning in a modern setting. Who can forget the catchy phrase, “Take a look, it’s in a book.”
While there are some newcomers on the scene like Wild Kratts and Peg + Kat, it’s reassuring to know that some educational television allows parents to connect through shared experience. Sitting down with your child to watch an episode of Sesame Street is something that builds bonds and lets parent relive their childhood.