7 Children’s Television Shows to Help Strengthen Reading Ability

by Rich on March 16, 2012 · 2 comments

As a parent you want to know that you are doing everything possible to strengthen your child’s reading ability. Is it possible that you can do that through certain television shows? So, what is the key to making TV work for you and your kids? It’s making sure that any time they spend with the TV is indeed productive. I am going to share with you 7 children’s television shows that you can use to help strengthen their reading ability.

1.Sesame Street

Sesame Street is a household name, and if you don’t know what it is then you haven’t lived! Since 1969 this show has been a child pleaser, so it’s no surprise that it’s helpful to children in developing their reading skills.

Sesame Street has won many awards, and one of their greatest assets for helping children learn to read is using their “word of the day”, which is helpful in increasing their vocabulary, which in turn will help them progress in their ability to read. Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?

2.The Electric Company

As a parent, I am sure you have fond memories of The Electric Company. Now you can watch an updated version of this with your child to help them increase their ability to read. The target audience for this updated show is for kids 6-9, and the kids on the show have tremendous reading power.

It’s not only teaching good reading skills, but it’s also modeling HOW kids should be. This show using animation, comedy, music video and more to engage your child, so perhaps it’s ELECTRIC in turning on the light to entice them to read as well!


Oh Wilbur!!! Okay, so this show isn’t about a horse, but it is about some animal friends that work together to solve problems through books that they read. The characters on Wilbur simply relate what they are dealing with to what is in the book, which has proven effective in helping kids increase their reading skills.

The characters show that reading can be fun while teaching children a lesson. Wilbur airs on Discovery Kids channel, and is targeted to the preschool age. This show not only teaches that it is fun to read, but by relating what is in the book to what they are dealing with, it’s teaching cognitive skills too.

4.Pinky Dinky Doo

In this show, Pinky Dinky Doo is a little girl, but the show will still appeal to the right age for the purpose of teaching reading skills. This little girl lives with her family and her little brother Tyler comes to her at the beginning of each show with a problem. How does he describe it? With a big word, and this is part of the lesson for kids.

So, how is the lesson taught? Their pet Mr. Guinea Pig has a story box, and Pinky takes her brother to the story box to find a solution to his problem. Within the story box, Pinky decides to tell a story that can help Tyler with his problem, and the word that Tyler uses to describe his issue is used several times to help children identify something new for their vocabulary.

Within this show, the main character Pinky uses games as a way of teaching children how to fit words into their vocabulary, and by showing them how to create stories around it, they are able to enhance their sense of imagination too.

5.Word World

If you aren’t familiar with Word World and your child enjoys 3D animation this would be a great show to have them watch to help them increase their reading skills. Letters are incorporated into the characters and the animation helps your children turn it into sounds. As a result, these “word friends” are drawn as letters, which help your child, identify the letter that goes with the sound or the name.

This show is yet another good example of how your children can learn by taking daily life problems and solving them through word skills. Once again reading skills are enhanced here as well as the cognitive skills.

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6.Super Why

If you haven’t watched Super Why with your kids then you are missing out on how these four super friends use fairy tales to solve their problems on a daily basis. They invite the children to come in through a magical storybook and help them solve their problems.

Your children are engaged by following along in the story, talking with the characters and playing word games to make sure everything in the story is being told correctly. This is also another TV show in which the children can take a problem and relate it to the story to get it solved.

7.Blue’s Room

If your child loves Blue’s Clues then Blue’s Room is a great option for using TV to teach your children early literacy skills. In this show Blue is a puppet that hangs out in his room with his friends Joe and Sprinkles. The characters engage children with the idea of a fun and educational play date in which children are invited to help solve problems through talking, reading, and interacting with word games.

One of the best things that you can do as a parent is encourage your child to read early in life. There are so many ways to encourage early reading in your children, and these 7 TV shows are a great option, and I hope this article gave you some insight into which shows might be most beneficial for your children.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela Santomero March 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Happy to see that both Super Why! & Blue’s Room made your reading list!!

Feel free to take a look at the incredible literacy effects of our SUPER WHY! Reading Camps which are held in over 100 communities around the country:

Best to you & your readers
~Angela Santomero


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