Math can be a frustrating subject for kids to grasp. Thankfully, I’ve learned the value of incorporating learning into my children’s entertainment, especially when it comes to math. That’s why television is one of my favorite resources for teaching math skills.
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It’s tough to imagine teaching math skills through TV when Pokemon and Sofia the First dominate your DVR log, but hear me out.
Pokemon and Sofia make regular appearances in our viewing time, but both of my kids also love watching shows that promote math thinking. That started by simply changing the channel and using our TV time for more than entertainment.It's time to change the channel and use your TV for teaching math skills! #homeschoolClick To Tweet
Teaching Math Skills
through TV Shows
Ultimately, teaching math skills through television comes down to knowing the right shows to watch. While there’s not a huge selection out there, there are some great options to help you sneak math into your kids’ TV time.
Teaching Math through Peg + Cat
Confession time: This show is designed for kids from 3-5 years old, but I love it! The adventures of Peg and Cat are entertaining, but always helpful in teaching math skills to young kids.
Not familiar with it? Peg + Cat is an incredibly witty show that approaches each episode from the perspective of a math word problem. The thing is, that math problem doesn’t show up on paper. Instead, it’s a part of everyday life.
You can find Peg + Cat on your local PBS station and on Amazon Prime, but the math learning doesn’t have to stop there. Here are some other opportunities for teaching math skills through Peg + Cat:
- Games on PBS Kids
- Peg + Cat activities on PBSKids.org
- Peg + Cat Big Gig Kindle App on Kindle Underground (This app is free and tons of fun!)
- Other Peg + Cat apps
Be sure to visit PBS Parents to learn more about Peg and Cat. While you’re there, go ahead and bookmark the Peg + Cat section. It contains lots of snack ideas, crafts, and learning activities to make math even more fun with these two characters.
Teaching Math with Team Umizoomi
Team Umizoomi was the first math show we experienced in our home. Granted, we had plenty of experience with television shows that showcased reading skills, but Team Umizoomi quickly showed us how fun it can be when math and TV time come together.
Team Umizoomi is designed for preschoolers and is a great way to introduce foundational math skills to young children. Counting, shapes, sequencing, and patterns are just a few of the math skills that show up regularly in the episodes.
Beyond the TV show, here are a few other ways to teach math with some help from Team Umizoomi:
- Games and videos
- Team Umizoomi snacks and activities
- Team Umizoomi Step into Reading books
- Zoom into Numbers app for Kindle
Teaching Math Skills through Odd Squad
Don’t think for a minute that teaching math skills through television only works with preschoolers. PBS’s Odd Squad will quickly prove you wrong! An adventure with these agents is packed with strange happenings, problems to be solved, humor, and catchy songs (Take Away Four is pretty much always stuck in my head!).
The thing about Odd Squad is that nothing about this math show feels like an assignment. In fact, my kids started watching it on their own before I ever suggested it. The great thing is that it’s tons of fun, but it’s been an incredible resource in teaching new math skills to my kids and showing them practical ways to apply skills they already know.
Also worth noting, the target audience for Odd Squad is ages 5-8, but both of my kids (ages 4 and 10) are obsessed with it. And, for the sake of transparency, my family regularly sits down and watches it together. It’s clean, hilarious, and has great math content. What more could you ask for?
Like Peg + Cat, you can find Odd Squad on your local PBS station and Amazon Prime video. Aside from regularly incorporating it into regular TV time, you’ll want to make the most of these other Odd Squad offerings.
- Odd Squad games
- Odd Squad Printables (we love the Which Agent Are You Quiz!)
- Odd Squad Blob Chase on Kindle
Interested in knowing how Odd Squad is teaching math skills to its viewers? Don’t miss this episode breakdown on the PBS Parents site.
Teaching Math Skills through Cyberchase
Need help teaching math skills to your older kids? Cyberchase can help! This show is a combination of animation and live action for kids from ages 8 to 11. And, along with Peg + Cat and Odd Squad, you can watch episodes of Cyberchase through your local PBS provider and on Amazon Prime.
- Extension activities
- Cyberchase math games
- Cyberchase 3D Builder app and Shape Builder app for Kindle
- Apps for other devices
- Cyberchase music and podcasts
For more information on Cyberchase and using it to teach math, check out PBS Parents’ episode directory.
Math TV Shows Amazon Prime Video
The options for teaching math skills through TV aren’t limited to Nick Jr. and PBS. Amazon Prime has lots of great choices to help you sneak math into your kids’ television time. I especially like these choices from Prime video because they make it easy to focus grade-specific math skills.
- Multiplication Tables Songs for Kids: Math Music Videos that Teach
- Geometry Math Music Videos and Learning Songs: Numberock Complete Collection
- Numberock for 3rd Grade Math
- Numberock for 4th Grade Math
- Numberock for 5th Grade Math
(Not an Amazon Prime member? Check out this 30-Day Free Trial and enjoy these math shows for yourself!)
Have you used these television shows for teaching math skills? I’d love to know which ones are the favorites in your home!
Looking for more sneaky ways to get your kids to learn? Stop by iHomeschool Network’s Stealth Homeschooling linkup and get inspired!