My sweet toddler's newest obsession is wrapping her chubby little arms around my thigh and holding on for dear life. While it is just about the cutest thing ever, it also makes lunch preparation, laundry folding and the occasional mindless social scrolling a little complicated. When I need a few (or 15) minutes all to myself, I turn on one of these ten shows that keep my little one entertained and learning while I sneak in a little alone time.
Even the tiniest toddler will love this 5-minute highly educational show. And if you're lucky, your little one might stick with a few episodes because each one teaches a new number-related concept. With everything from a single number to more complicated multiplication facts, Numberblocks will give you just enough time to go to the bathroom in peace.
Leapfrog Letter Factory Adventures
Add these highly educational and frog-filled fun episodes to the top of the list. Leap, Tad, Lily, and friends take your toddler on learning adventures that inspire imagination. Ask almost any mom around, and she'll tell you this show helped her kiddo learn the alphabet, numbers, phonics, and even how to read. You might find yourself singing along with the catchy songs too.
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
An adorable 4-year-old tiger picks up where our childhood favorite, Mr. Rogers, left off. With his red sweater and neatly tied shoes in place, Daniel invites tiny tots to learn practical skills like kindness, potty training, routines, and friendship in his neighborhood of make-believe. O the Owl, Katerina Kittycat, Prince Wednesday and Miss Elaina ride along as he navigates daily life and lots of new feelings.
Take the tunes we all know from childhood, add in new lyrics that teach emotions, habits, and preschool topics, and you've got a show your toddler will ask for over and over again. If you decide to watch an episode or two, it's helpful to learn some of the songs and sing them as you practice new concepts with your little ones.
Molly of Denali
Join Molly, an Alaska Native girl, her dog Suki, and friends Tooey and Trini on their adventures in epically beautiful Alaska. Along the way, Molly relies on maps, guide books, websites, weather reports, and more to explore her hometown and get herself out of some sticky situations. Her adventures teach problem-solving skills and self-confidence.
It's hard to believe, but your new favorite playlist might come from your toddler's new favorite show. This Emmy-winning kids' series features the talents of P!nk, Sia, Eddie Vedder, James Corden and other big-name stars as they sing re-imagined Beatles songs. Your little bug-lover will be up and dancing with the musical critters featured on this groovy show.
The Super Readers are ready to help your little one learn to love reading. Alpha Pig, Princess Presto, Wonder Red, and, of course, Super Why invite kids to participate in literacy games that teach the alphabet, rhyming, spelling, writing and reading. While they're learning early literacy skills, toddlers also learn about friendship, teamwork and respect.
If you have a dino-lover in your house, then this show makes the list. Four quirky dino kids and their parents travel through the Jurassic, Cretaceous and Mesozoic eras on a time-traveling train to meet dinosaurs from around the world. Their adventures teach toddlers about the scientific method, research and paleontology.
Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum
Even though this show is recommended for slightly older kiddos (4-7), Xavier, Yadina, and Brad's adventures are surprisingly exciting for little kids too. The characters face everyday problems by traveling back in time to learn from real-life heroes when they were kids. They'll ride the bus with Rosa Parks and travel the underground railroad with Harriet Tubman. Your toddler will learn about challenging issues facing our society and historical events in age-appropriate ways.
This list wouldn't be complete without mentioning a timeless classic featuring so many all-time favorite characters. A recent study from researchers at the University of Maryland and Wellesley College found that watching Sesame Street delivers educational benefits as effective as preschool. The study also indicated that the show improved school performance, particularly for boys. And it is still just as fun to watch as it was when we were little.