I know a lot of parents try to tough out traveling without using technology, but sometimes you just need to switch on the DVD player for sanity’s sake. Having logged over 130 hours on road trips or plane rides with one or both of my kids since 2014, I know a little bit about traveling with kids. (plus we have another 30 hours+ worth of traveling planned for later this year), and sometimes turning on a DVD is just the best option for everyone. It tends to reset the atmosphere, gives some peace and quiet, and helps the time pass more quickly. Even though Tater gets carsick while reading or coloring in the car, she does fine watching shows, so I make sure to stock up on quality shows.
But, not all DVDs are created equal. I try to make sure that the DVDs we have in the car for traveling are educational, but also fun and enjoyable. The kids don’t even realize they’re learning! Here are my top picks for Educational DVDs to pick up for your next trip (or even just to have around the house!)
Toddler and Preschoolers
- Leapfrog Letter Factory
- This is such a great show for kids who are learning their ABCs. Both of my kids were able to learn and practice their letter sounds. Junior still asks to watch it on occasion, because it’s entertaining, even though he already knows the letters.
- Leapfrog Math Circus
- This is another wonderful Leapfrog DVD, that teaching counting by 10s.
- Leapfrog Math Adventure to the Moon
- In this DVD (can you tell I love Leapfrog shows for little kids??), children are introduced to skip counting, which is a major foundation for multiplication.
- Meet the _____ series
- Meet the Letters, Colors, Numbers, and Shapes are four of my top DVDs for little kids. Much like the Leapfrog series, they introduce kids to learning in a fun, engaging, and sing-songy way.
Young Grade School (K-4th)
- Wild Kratts
- This popular PBS show teaches kids about all about animals. The fast-paced cartoon action is enough to keep all the kids entertained.
- Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?
- I grew up playing Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego on the computer, and enjoyed watching the cartoon version. Both kids love these DVDs, and will watch each episode over and over. Tater spouts off trivia about geography, history, natural wonders, and science. It’s adventure mixed with information that keeps my kids enthralled.
- Liberty’s Kids
- This is a cartoon take on Colonial America during the Revolutionary War. It’s fast paced, exciting, and includes all the episodes that teach about the American Revolution and incudes the lives of such historical figures as Benjamin Franklin (the main character voiced by the legendary Walter Cronkite), Paul Revere, and George Washington.
- Popular Mechanics for Kids
- This is a fun series for hands-on science learning. Tater didn’t like some of the “gross” episodes about reptiles and bugs, but she loved the rest of them.
- Schoolhouse Rock!
- Do you know how adorable it is to hear your 3 year old singing Conjunction Junction?! Too adorable. This DVD includes all 46 of the Schoolhouse Rock! songs on one disc. My kids love rocking out to this DVD. In fact, it’s in our car’s DVD player as we speak.
- The Magic School Bus
- With the exception of a few “millions and millions of years” dinosaur episodes, this entire series is really great. I used to watch it when I was young, and learned so much about science. My kids have the entire series on DVD and really enjoy it.
Do you have a favorite educational show? Let me know in the comments!
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