Best children's TV for education and fun, including Bluey, StoryBots and Brainchild

These calming and informative series will help to keep toddlers and tweens informed and entertained

Numberblocks on Netflix is aimed at children aged three to eight years. Photo: Alphablocks / Youtube
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As most parents know, the right TV show can provide children with a much-needed reset during a difficult day. And while there are a wealth of educational shows available, separating the wheat from the overstimulating chaff is not always easy.

Often, the last thing children need is a dizzying cacophony of bright colours, erratic pacing and frantic soundtracks. Here, The National features a selection of six soothing shows that model good behaviour, provide buckets of educational value and are slow-paced enough for developing minds – be it toddlers, tweens or little ones in-between.

Puffin Rock

Best for: Ages two to seven years

Available on: Netflix

Arguably the calmest children’s show of all time, this sweet Irish animation is set on an idyllic island populated by puffins, owls, crabs and pygmy shrews. The series follows a young Atlantic puffin, Oona, and her baby brother, Baba, as they explore the island, learning about biology, ecology and geography along the way.

The siblings watch caterpillars metamorphose, witness the supermoon and rescue seals caught in fishing lines. Each episode is narrated by the familiar and instantly soothing voice of Chris O’Dowd, which is the cherry on top.


Best for: Ages two to seven years

Available on: Disney+

This heart-warming Australian series follows a family of Heelers as they navigate daily life – from long car rides to DIY store visits. And while the storylines are relatable, the episodes centre on the world of imaginative play and how important it is.

The show shines a light on the delight and strangeness of children’s imaginations. With no-holds-barred, it gives a gutsy insight into what family life really looks like today – chaotic and challenging, but filled with love and learning.

Beautifully animated and thoughtfully scripted, the seven-minute-long episodes are packed with sweet moments that are entertaining and meaningful for parents, too.


Best for: Ages three to eight years

Available on: Netflix

Developed in collaboration with the UK’s National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics, this colourful show is designed to help children with their core maths skills.

With 128 easily digestible episodes, the show covers everything from introducing numbers to counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division – all through catchy songs, clever dialogue and cheery creative animation.

Simple yet educational, what sets this series apart from other mathematics shows is that the characters are actually the numbers – Numberblock One is made of one block, Numberblock Two is made of two blocks and so on. All the numbers have their own personality – they act and behave in mathematical ways: counting things, discovering patterns and playing games.

Ask the StoryBots

Best for: Ages three to eight years

Available on: Netflix

This educational series follows Beep, Boop, Bing, Bang and Bo – five robots who come together for fact-finding missions to answer the big questions little ones have: why is the sky blue? How do eyes work? Why do people look different?

The StoryBots slowly and thoughtfully piece together their scientifically sound answers with the help of catchy songs, funny skits and a string of special guests – including Whoopi Goldberg, Jay Leno, Edward Norton, John Legend and Snoop Dogg.

The animation style is just as eclectic. From stop-motion to watercolour and 2D to clay animation, it cleverly adapts to complement the moment.

City of Ghosts

Best for: Ages eight to 12 years

Available on: Netflix

Set in Los Angeles, this quirky mockumentary series follows the diverse, four-member Ghost Club as they adventure around the city interviewing cute, cloud-like spirits.

Despite the fantastical premise, each ghost’s story gives rich and real glimpses into different aspects of the city’s urban history and recent past. And while the content is educational, it’s the calming, low-key aesthetic that captures hearts and minds.

The show seamlessly blends animated characters with real photographs and footage of the city, which has been treated with a digital filter, giving it a whimsical but natural feel. Complex, emotional and soul-soothing, it’s an intelligent show full of teachable moments, complete with lessons about the importance of community and mutual respect.


Best for: Ages eight to 12 years

Available on: Netflix

Produced by Grammy winner and Louis Vuitton designer Pharrell Williams, this quietly clever series uses experiments, comedy sketches and interactive games to educate children about science, technology and current affairs.

Hosted by Indian-American actress and comedian Sahana Srinivasan, it navigates a variety of topics – from neurology, gravity and the universe, to more nuanced themes such as memories and the impact of social media.

Aimed at tweens, it strikes the perfect balance between entertainment and education, packaged into funny and accessible episodes designed to spark an enthusiasm for learning.

Updated: July 16, 2023, 4:45 AM