Lockdown TV: Seven educational shows and channels to keep kids' minds sharp before school starts

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There are 15 dedicated channels with plenty of educational content to assist the home-schooling hustle.
There are 15 dedicated channels with plenty of educational content to assist the home-schooling hustle.

Lockdown has called for some smart survival strategies from parents trying to work from home while keeping kids occupied. With schools out until 15 February, many are wondering how to make the most of this time.

In 'Cribsheet', economist Emily Oster talks about how screen time can be beneficial to children's' development. Providing you pick educational content; you can stimulate little minds and maximise your work moments.

DStv's School of Laughter programme makes sure that featured channels provide a safe space for children to be educated while they're being entertained. There are 15 dedicated channels with plenty of educational content to assist the home-schooling hustle.

Here are seven top educational channels and shows to try:

1. Mindset (DStv Channel 319)

Launched in 2003 by former President Nelson Mandela, this South African-based channel is geared towards high schoolers from Grade 10 to 12 and covers the Life Science, English and Mathematics syllabus.

It will help prepare your teens (and you) for the tricky exams sure to come when they head back to school on 15 February.

Mindset TV also hosts programmes like Big School available for learners just entering school as well as edutainment shows for primary school age. DStv has created a nifty print out for you to ensure that your child is always in the know as to when their subject-specific programmes will air. Find it here.

2. Da Vinci (DStv Channel 318)

A pop-up channel during lockdown that's now a permanent fixture, Da Vinci Media (channel 318), is based in Berlin and offers engaging, fun educational content to children.

This channel features much-loved shows including Operation Ouch, Science Max and Matilda and The Ramsay Bunch.

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Operation Ouch sees Twin doctors Chris and Xand explore the fields of medicine and biology.

3. ZooMoo (DStv Channel 314)

This children's channel provides preschoolers with educational content about the wildlife around the world and is available via the Premium, Compact Plus, Compact and Family packages.

Younger kids can enjoy the likes of What's That Noise, What's For Dinner and Clawdia's Amazing African Adventure, which will all be available on DStv Channel 314 until 31 March this year.

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Dino explores various fruits and vegetables and where they come from in What's For Dinner?


4. Nickelodeon's Unfiltered (Game Show)

This interactive game show sees panellists and viewers ask questions, gather clues, and play games to guess who the mystery guest is.

Hosted by Jay Pharoah, it uses a series of fun filters to keep viewers engaged with a range of exciting celebrities as guests. Daily on NickToons (DStv Channel 308) and available on Catch-Up.

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Jay Pharoah as the host of Nickelodeon's game show

5. Unfiltered Ready, Set, Dance S2

Worried that your kids aren't getting enough exercise during a lockdown? This show will get them up and dancing! Mascots Twirl and Freeze work together with a preschooler dance crew to teach each other (and your little ones) catchy dance moves.

Ready, Set, Dance episodes are all under ten minutes, so whenever it comes on, encourage the entire family to get ready, get up and dance! Daily on Nick Jnr (DStv Channel 307) and available on Catch-Up.

6. Blues Clues

This is another show for preschoolers, featuring Steve in the "Blue's Clues" house, where he interacts with Blue, an animated puppy.

The perfectly positioned pauses in between Steve's questions allow your child enough time to engage with the characters of the show. It's interactive and will teach younger kids all about shapes, animals and even colours. Daily on Nicktoons (DStv Channel 308) and Catch-Up.

7. CN to the Rescue

CN to the Rescue is Cartoon Network Africa's first original series starring André Lembwa. This show tackles South African problems such as load shedding in hilarious ways and will leave older children laughing until their stomach's hurt while teaching them about family dynamics.

This series aired on Cartoon Network Africa's YouTube Channel and then launched on Cartoon Network on Monday 18 January this year. Available on Cartoon Network Africa's YouTube Channel and Catch-Up.

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Africa's first original series starring André Lembwa who plays Taps, his younger brother Garcia, their mom, Lyzette, and they're always up to mischief Gogo.

With schools currently being disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, you can rest assured that DStv's array of shows encourage open-ended questions and interaction which are extremely important in your children's development.

To supplement its content, DStv has also created a website where kids can go to and download resource packs and do quizzes. Catch the best developmental programming for your child on School of Laughter by visiting  dstv.

Submitted to Parent24 by Multichoice.


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