Teaching Math Skills through Television

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.

Think you can't teach math skills through TV time? Think again! Here are some of our favorite kids' shows to watch for reviewing and introducing math concepts.

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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.

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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

Teaching Math Skills through TV ShowsConfession 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:

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.

Teaching Math Skills through TV ShowsTeam 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:

You can find Team Umizoomi episodes on Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., and Amazon Prime.

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.

Teaching Math Skills through TV ShowsAlso 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.

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

Teaching Math Skills through TV ShowsI love that the math learning doesn’t stop with the TV show. Check out these additional Cyberchase offerings:

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.

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Have you used these television shows for teaching math skills? I’d love to know which ones are the favorites in your home!


Think you can't teach math skills through TV time? Think again! Here are some of our favorite kids' shows to watch for reviewing and introducing math concepts.

Looking for more ideas on teaching through TV time? Don’t miss the rest of my Learning With TV Shows series!

5 thoughts on “Teaching Math Skills through Television”

  1. I’ve watched Odd Squad make a huge difference in my 8 year old’s understanding of math. Truly. He began watching it on his own. Then one day I was sitting with him trying to teach him about rounding numbers. He referenced part of an Odd Squad show during the session so we sat and watched it. TV shows are now a fairly regular part of our homeschool, especially math shows.

    1. So happy to know another Odd Squad family! :) Isn’t it amazing what they can pick up when they watch the right things?

  2. I completely agree! I think all of the PBS shows you mentioned are also on Netflix, so I’m going to check those out. I miss Team Umizoomi so much! We did away with cable about two years ago, and Team Umizoomi isn’t on Netflix, so that is definitely one show the kids and I really wish we could watch. Thanks for the reminder about how educational kids shows can be. With our six week break starting next month, that reminder will come in handy!

    1. So glad to help, Shelly!

      As of right now, Cyberchase is the only PBS show I mentioned not on Netflix, but the free PBS apps usually have several episodes available. :)

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