Dear Fellow Parents.
I want to say something that I’m sure you all think: they’re kids the worstTalk to them, talk to them, try to get them to focus on everything for a goddamn second. Sometimes – and I don’t judge because I’ve been there – you just have to leave them in front of the TV so you can find a safe place to cry.
But picking out something for your kids to watch is a challenge. There is just so much out there! Here is a list of TV shows for kids that I think are the absolute best. The following list is primarily personal preference. But I’ve tried to add shows that …
- I know my kids enjoy it.
- To have some educational value.
- It is not horrible for adults to consume.
Children 0 years and older
If you live in Australia and have kids, you have absolutely heard of Bluey. If you are in the US please jump up Disney Plus and give it a try
Bluey is a seven-minute series of short shows about a blue heeler pup named Bluey and his family. Why is Bluey so good? Hard to explain. It is truthful, heartwarming and will resonate with children and parents alike. My kids are obsessed with the show and every time I watch I find myself being strangely preoccupied. Some episodes almost brought me back to tears!
Simple, delicate and just put together perfectly. It makes me want to be a better parent.
Created by Tomm Moore, the man behind Oscar-nominated Song of the Sea, Puffin Rock is a show about two puffins living off the coast of Ireland and it’s insanely charming. Perhaps the healthiest show on this list. Your kids will learn life lessons, Irish wildlife and may not argue with each other for at least five minutes.
I reluctantly put Booba on this list. Especially since my youngest child watches it endlessly, loves it and constantly asks to look at it. It’s very slapstick and very silly, but it’s harmless fun too.
Children 4 years and older
Each child goes through a phase of “super at animals and wildlife”. Wild kratts is perfect for those kids. Follow the Kratts as they try to save endangered animals. Seriously, this is one of the best-disguised educational shows out there.
Dinosaur train does the Wild Kratts thing of educating kids while entertaining them. This time, the focus is, unsurprisingly, on dinosaurs. That’s good news, because kids of all ages love dinosaurs. Also good news: this is a well-produced TV show and your kids will love it. Bad news: The theme song is an earwig. Seriously, mute that thing.
My kids have started bingeing out Space Jungle when I’m not looking. It’s a Korean slapstick show on Netflix with no dialogue about tiny space creatures that have landed on Earth. It has a weird augmented reality look, combining real-life videos with cartoon-style CGI layered over it. It’s … definitely something.
Octonauts, like Wild Kratts, is one of those perfectly crafted educational shows. This one focuses on the ocean, disguising itself as one of those old school ‘squad’ shows. Think of ‘Thundercats’ under the sea. There is also a huge tribute to Star Trek, which is great. You absolutely cannot go wrong with this show.
Children 7 years and older
There are a few Sonic cartoons available to watch on Netflix and the quality ranges from “so bad it’s an internet meme” to “what the hell, this show doesn’t have a right to be that good”. Sonic Boom is the “what the hell, this show has a right not to be that good”. Just super sharp writing that will appeal to children and adults alike.
Strange squad is a live action show that parodies the Naked Gun style police procedures and uses them to teach … math?
It’s kind of fantastic and surprisingly well-acted by the cast of kids. Your kids are in safe hands to watch.
Ask The Storybots
Netflix has done a great job with the content for kids, however Ask The Storybots perhaps the best of the bunch. Like Sesame Street with Robots, each Storybots episode focuses on answering some big question like “how do planes fly?” Or “how do computers work?” It’s fantastic.
Children 9 years and older
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Avatar: The Last Airbender is currently on Netflix and it is an absolute masterpiece. In a world where people are divided into tribes based on the elements, we follow Aang, a young ‘Avatar’ who can control all elements and is destined to balance all tribes. One to keep an eye on, even if you don’t have kids. Warning: Tried this with my six year old and he loved it but got a little too hyper after watching. I think it is best for 9 year olds and above.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
This rebooting the old 80s kids’ series is really unbelievableI found myself watching this show long after my kids went to sleep. It’s funny, sharp, and really great in terms of rendering across every spectrum possible. I have two (dashing) guys and they loved it. Despite the fact that it is aimed at young girls, it is even a great show for boys to watch.
Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts
Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts definitely falls into the category of shows that are great for kids, but just as good for adults. It takes place in a universe where strange animals dominate while humans live underground. This is a performance about resilience and the power of friendship. Common good themes. This is one of the best kids’ shows on Netflix.
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