TV That Promotes Literacy

The best way for kids to appreciate words and language is by having books read to them. But television can be another tool to help kids develop and enhance their literacy skills. There's a ton of high-quality -- and entertaining -- television out there these days that was developed by early-learning experts and specifically designed to help kids learn to read. Check out these excellent shows for little kids that encourage learning about letters, words, reading, and more. And for more winning picks to raise lifelong learners and readers, check out Best Preschool TV, Educational TV Shows for Kids, and Reading Apps, Games, and Websites.

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TV

Alphablocks

age 2+

Short, playful videos help preschoolers learn phonics.

Network: Netflix, CBeebies (2010)
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TV

Goodnight with Dolly

age 2+

Country legend Dolly Parton reads comforting storybooks.

Network: YouTube (2020)
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TV

Sesame Street

age 2+

Classic show endures changes, but learning content remains.

Network: PBS, HBO Max (1969)
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TV

Twirlywoos

age 2+

Charming humor and vocabulary learning for youngest kids.

Network: Netflix, CBeebies (2015)
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TV

Yakka Dee

age 2+

Simple but super series helps kids learn words.

Network: Comcast Kid Central, CBeebies (2018)
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TV

Blue's Clues & You!

age 3+

Engaging reboot teaches preschoolers prereading skills.

Network: Nickelodeon (2019)
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TV

Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices

age 3+

Virtual book club for preschoolers spotlights Black authors.

Network: Netflix (2020)
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TV

Play with Me Sesame

age 3+

Lovable Muppets invite preschoolers to play along.

Network: Nick Jr., Sprout (2002)
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TV

Read Along: Mondays with Michelle Obama

age 3+

Former First Lady hosts a virtual picture book story time.

Network: YouTube (2020)
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TV

Super WHY!

age 3+

Young heroes' adventures build reading skills.

Network: PBS Kids (2007)
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TV

Wilbur

age 3+

A "mooovelous" intro to reading for preschoolers.

Network: Discovery Family Channel (2007)
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TV

Word Party

age 3+

Cute, fun preschool series puts kids in vocab-teaching role.

Network: Netflix (2016)
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TV

WordWorld

age 3+

Words come to life in delightful preschool series.

Network: PBS Kids (2007)
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TV

Between the Lions

age 4+

Educational TV with heart -- and a slight flaw.

Network: PBS (2000)
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TV

Dog Loves Books

age 4+

Canine book lovers bring stories to life in preschool show.

Network: CBeebies (2020)
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TV

Martha Speaks

age 4+

Chatty canine's vocab lessons are fun for kids.

Network: PBS Kids (2008)
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TV

Mo Willems & the Storytime All-Stars Presents

age 4+

Fun live special will delight fans of Mo Willems' books.

Network: HBO Max (2020)
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TV

Reading Rainbow

age 4+

Encouraging kids to read, one book at a time.

Network: PBS (1983)
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TV

Wallykazam!

age 4+

Exceptional preschool show with quality literacy curriculum.

Network: Nickelodeon (2014)
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TV

The Electric Company

age 5+

Excellent update of '70s classic makes English lessons fun.

Network: PBS (2009)
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