50+ Of The Best TV Shows For Kids To Binge Watch

Written by

Katie Hintz-Zambrano & Erin Feher

9:00 am
05/07/20

Photographed by Maria Del Rio

One thing that we can probably all agree on right about now: a break from our kiddos every now and then is key to maintaining one’s sanity. And sometimes (er…most of the time) nothing’s a better babysitter than your trusty television/laptop. Yes, we know there’s a lot to be said for co-viewing programs with your kiddos. But we also believe there’s no shame in letting your kid binge on a quality show for hours on end from time to time. With this in mind—and the fact that you’ve likely exhausted many of your personal go-to’s—we’ve asked some of our favorite mamas from coast to coast to tell us what they consider the best TV shows for kids of all ages, from toddlers to tweens. After compiling their suggestions, we’ve got a list of over 50 programs that you might consider flipping on the next time you need some much-deserved downtime.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

For Little Kids:

Arthur: Arthur is an animated series aimed at viewers ages four to eight. ARTHUR’s goals are to help foster an interest in reading and writing, to encourage positive social skills, and to model age-appropriate problem-solving strategies. The show is based on the children’s books by author/illustrator Marc Brown, who has been working with the beloved aardvark for over 40 years. Born one night when Brown was telling a bedtime story to his son, Arthur soon evolved into the book Arthur’s Nose, published in 1976—and then into television, movies, audio books, music CDs, apps, and more. (Description via PBS)
Watch it On: PBS Kids

At Home With Olaf: A brand new series of shorts starring the snowman Olaf is bringing the Frozen universe to anyone with access to YouTube, or you can just click over to the regular Disney website. Created by Disney supervising animator and voice actor Josh Gad, At Home with Olaf puts the living snowman in the same isolation as its viewers, many of whom are sheltering in place in response to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.
Watch It On: Disney (free!)

Bubble Guppies: Dive into a watery world of learning and music with the Bubble Guppies! This hilarious, variety-style kids show teaches preschoolers science, math, and reading while it explores themes such as dinosaurs, recycling, rock ‘n roll, colors, and cowboys. (Description via Nick Jr.)
Watch It On: Nick Jr.

Charlie & Lola: Charlie is always teaching his 4-year-old little sister, Lola, all sorts of things. Whether it’s trying new foods, getting a haircut, or losing a tooth, Charlie’s been there and is happy to share his wisdom with little sis. The series is geared toward preschoolers and incorporates family values, humor, and the power of the imagination. (Description via Amazon)
Watch It On: Amazon Prime

Clifford the Big Red Dog: Come and play with Clifford the Big Red Dog! Your favorite big red dog is back with all new stories, songs, and adventures. Emily Elizabeth, Clifford, and a brand new cast of friends will explore Birdwell Island, playing astronauts, robots, fairies—whatever they imagine! Join in the fun when this infectiously silly and heartwarming group of friends finds their way to your home—you won’t want to miss it! (Description via PBS)
Watch It On: PBS Kids

Curious GeorgeAimed at preschool viewers, Curious George inspires children to explore science, engineering, and math in the world around them. And what better guide is there for this kind of exploration than the world’s most curious monkey? George lives to find new things to discover, touch, spill, and chew. Everything is new to George and worth investigating. Of course, in George’s hands—all four of them—investigation often leads to unintended consequences! (Description via PBS)
Watch It On: PBS Kids

Daniel Tiger’s NeighborhoodDaniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is an animated program for preschoolers ages 2 to 4 which builds on the pioneering PBS series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. This series tells its engaging stories about the life of a preschooler using musical strategies grounded in Fred Rogers’ landmark social-emotional curriculum. Through imagination, creativity, and music, Daniel and his friends learn the key social skills necessary for school and for life. (Description via PBS)
Watch It On: PBS Kids

DC Super Hero Girls: At Super Hero High School, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and their Super Hero friends attend exciting classes and deal with the awkwardness of growing up. (Description via Netflix)
Watch It On: Netflix

Dino DanaDana is a 9-year-old girl who loves dinosaurs. Her life changes forever when she’s given a Dino Field Guide, which not only teaches her new things about dinosaurs, but gives her the power to imagine dinosaurs into real life. Common Sense Media recommends this program for ages 4 and up. (Description via Amazon)
Watch It On: Amazon Prime

Dinosaur Train: Dinosaur Train embraces and celebrates the fascination that preschoolers have with both dinosaurs and trains, while encouraging basic scientific thinking skills as the audience learns about life science, natural history, and paleontology. Young viewers can join Buddy and his adoptive Pteranodon family on a whimsical voyage through prehistoric jungles, swamps, volcanoes, and oceans, as they unearth basic scientific concepts. (Description via PBS)
Watch it On: PBS Kids

Doc McStuffinsSix-year-old Doc McStuffins has the ability to talk to and heal toys and stuffed animals! With the help of her toy friends Lambie, Hallie, Stuffy, and Chilly, Doc runs a clinic for toys out of her playhouse. She cures everything from Mystery Pox to Can’t Squeak-osis to Bronto Boo-Boos, and is always there to lend a hand or give a cuddle! (Description via Amazon)
Watch It On: Amazon Prime, Disney+

Fancy NancyBased on the bestselling books by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser, Disney Junior’s Fancy Nancy is an animated family comedy centered around six-year-old Nancy, a girl who likes to be fancy in everything from her advanced vocabulary to her creative, elaborate attire.
Watch It On: Disney

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie: Based on the beloved books by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond, we get to know Mouse, Pig, Moose, Dog, and Cat and their favorite humans. When Mouse and friends get together, one thing leads to another in the most unexpected ways. You never know where things will end up, but you can be sure that IF Mouse and Friends have adventures, THEN they will just have to have fun the whole time! (Description via Amazon)
Watch It On: Amazon Prime

Let’s Go Luna!: Let’s Go Luna! follows the adventures of three friends—Leo, a wombat from Australia; Carmen, a butterfly from Mexico; and Andy, a frog from the United States—as they traverse the globe with their parents’ traveling performance troupe, “Circo Fabuloso.” At each of the Circo’s stops, Luna the Moon guides the trio as they get to know the local region and its people. The group’s adventures take them through cities around the globe—from London to Cairo to Beijing—where they explore the food, music, art, architecture, and other features that make each place distinctive. Episodes end with the kids back at the Circo Fabuloso and Luna back in the sky, with a reminder that there’s always more to see, learn, and experience in every place they visit. (Description via PBS)
Watch it On: PBS Kids

Masha and BearMasha and the Bear is loosely based on a Russian oral folk story of the same name, and the series focuses on a little girl named Masha and a paternal bear who keeps her from disaster. Masha lives in the forest with her dog, goat, and pig, and every day Masha forces the forestal animals to play with her, causing them to be afraid of her. The bear tries to get rid of Masha when he catches her making a mess in his home but is unsuccessful and he learns that Masha is very resourceful, smart, and mischievous—something that causes her to get into a lot of funny situations. (Description via Netflix)
Watch It On: Netflix

Molly of Denali: Get ready to sled into fun with Molly of Denali! Join Molly, an Alaska Native girl, her dog Suki, and friends Tooey and Trini on their adventures in epically beautiful Alaska. Along the way, Molly’s life is enhanced, kept on track, and flat-out saved by maps, guide books, websites, weather reports, and more. (Description via PBS)
Watch It On: PBS Kids

Octonauts: From their “Octopod” home base, a team of undersea explorers is always ready to dive into action to explore new underwater worlds, rescue amazing sea creatures, and protect the ocean. The group is led by Captain Barnacles the bear, and also includes Kwazii the kitten, Peso the penguin, Dr. Shellington the sea otter, Dashi the dog, Tweak the bunny, Professor Inkling the octopus, and Tunip the “vegimal” (part vegetable, part animal). The animated series, geared toward preschoolers, is based on a book series of the same name.
Watch It On: Netflix, Amazon Prime

Peppa Pig: Peppa is a loveable, cheeky little piggy who lives with her little brother George, Mummy Pig, and Daddy Pig. Peppa’s favourite things include playing games, dressing up, days out, and jumping in muddy puddles. Her adventures always end happily with loud snorts of laughter. (Description via Amazon). Ed Note: There are sometimes antiquated, sexist themes surrounding gender roles on this show. Watch at your own risk!
Watch It On:
Amazon Prime, Nick Jr.

Postman PatA long-running classic, Britain’s Postman Pat has been broadcast to and loved by young children throughout the world. Featuring stop-motion animation with clay figures, the program tells the tales of a mailman named Pat, who loves nothing more than to make deliveries and help his fellow neighbors in the small English village of Greendale. In Greendale, everyone knows each other and works together to build a happy community, and there is always a project to be completed and a friend to be made. (Description via Common Sense Media)
Watch It On: YouTube

Puffin Rock: Come play with Oona and Baba on Puffin Rock, where every day is full of fun adventures, best pals, and new discoveries! An Irish children’s series now on Netflix. (Description via Netflix)
Watch It On: Netflix

Robot Trains: Set in the “Train World” where all citizens are trains. However, among the residents there are special trains that can transform into robots, the Robot Trains! Featuring our 5 train heroes, with special powers: Kay, Alf, Duck, Selly, and Victor—and their exciting adventures. Can the Robot Trains save the village from the evil dark forces that be?
Watch It On: Netflix, Amazon Prime

Sarah & Duck: Meet Sarah, 7 years old, with big eyes and a green hat who lives with her quacky, flappy best friend, Duck. Together they embark on simple but exciting adventures—trying to reach a rainbow, pretending to be a penguin, or helping an umbrella to stay dry! Every step of the way they are guided by The Narrator who offers helpful suggestions and makes sure they don’t go too far. (Description via Amazon)
Watch It On: Amazon Prime

Sesame Street: Since 1969, children and adults alike have flocked to the place where multiethnic, multigenerational, and even multispecies residents coexist in harmony. The people on this very special street learn life’s lessons together, provide viewers with strong role models, and teach children that everyone brings a special ability to the community. Here, children learn to use their imaginations, build social skills, and respect people’s differences. (Description via PBS)
Watch it On: PBS Kids, HBO

Snoopy in Space: Snoopy in Space follows Snoopy as his dreams of being an astronaut become a reality when he and Woodstock tag along with the Peanuts gang on a field trip to NASA and are chosen for an elite mission into space. As Snoopy and Woodstock fulfill their dreams of astronaut training and space travel, Charlie Brown and the gang assist their friends from mission control.
Watch It On: Apple TV

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!: Martin Short provides the voice of the title character in this animated series from PBS Kids, which aims to promote children’s literacy in science. It follows the magical adventures of 6-year-olds Nick and Sally, who travel the world with the Cat in the Hat as their guide. As they travel in the Cat’s customized vehicle, the Thinga-ma-jigger, which can float, fly, drive, and even ski, they learn about natural science, visiting the rainforest, the bottom of the sea, and all places in between. They’re joined in their travels by the Cat’s mop-headed sidekicks, Thing One and Thing Two. (Description via PBS) Ed Note: Over the past few years, it’s come to light that Dr. Seuss, the creator of the original The Cat and The Hat books, has produced art with racist references. While this new television show debuted in 2010 and features a more diverse array of characters, it’s still wise to read this NPR piece to learn the Seuss back story.
Watch It On: PBS Kids, Netflix, Hulu

Thomas & Friends: Based on a series of children’s books, Thomas & Friends features Thomas the Tank Engine going on adventures with his fellow locomotives on the island of Sodor. Thomas is apt to get into trouble by trying too hard to be, in his words, a “really useful engine,” attempting to do things that are best left to bigger engines. Other members of Sir Topham Hatt’s railway include junior engine Percy, Thomas’ best friend, who is always willing to help, and big engine Gordon—the fastest and most powerful member of the team—who uses his superior strength to help the smaller engines get out of trouble. (Description via IMDB)
Watch It On: Netflix

Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum: This show follows the adventures of Xavier, Yadina, and Brad as they tackle everyday problems by doing something extraordinary: traveling back in time to learn from real-life inspirational figures when they were kids. Come along with Xavier Riddle, the most effusive pint-sized history adventurer; Yadina, his effervescent little sister; and his brilliant best friend Brad, as they unravel the secrets of world famous heroes from history. (Description via PBS)
Watch it On: PBS Kids

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

For Big Kids:

America’s Funniest Home Videos: This long-running classic clip show is now in it’s 30th season. Amateur videographers in the U.S. submit clips of their kids, pets, friends, and families in funny situations—often embarrassing—with the hope of winning thousands in prize money. Each week, the studio audience determines a winner by voting for the one they find most hilarious. At the end of the season, weekly winners compete for the grand prize. Actor Alfonso Ribeiro (formerly Carlton on Fresh Prince) currently serves as the host. Watch new episodes on ABC, and head to Disney+ for the vintage versions. 
Watch It On: ABC, Disney+

America’s Got Talent: Undiscovered talent of all ages—singers, dancers, magicians, comics, musicians, ventriloquists, and more—appear before celebrity judges who decide which contestants move on in the competition each week. With the guidance of the show’s host, the audience learns the backstories of these amazing people as they strive to make it to the finale, where one talented performer wins a life-changing $1 million prize. (Description via NBC)
Watch It On: NBC, Hulu

Anne With An E: This reimagining of the classic book and film Anne of Green Gables is a coming-of-age story about a young orphan who is seeking love, acceptance, and her place in the world. Amybeth McNulty stars as Anne, a 13-year-old who has endured an abusive childhood in orphanages and the homes of strangers. In the late 1890s, Anne is mistakenly sent to live with aging siblings, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, who live on Prince Edward Island. Anne, who proves to be uniquely spirited, imaginative, and smart, transforms the lives of Marilla, Matthew, and everyone else in their small town. (Description via Google)
Watch It On: Amazon Prime, Netflix

A Series of Unfortunate Events: This series follows the tragic tale of three orphans—Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire—who are investigating their parents’ mysterious death. The siblings are saddled with an evil guardian named Count Olaf (portrayed by Emmy-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris), who will do whatever it takes to get his hands on the Baudelaires’ inheritance. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny must outsmart Olaf at every turn, foiling devious plans and disguises. The series is based on the best-selling series of books by Lemony Snicket (a.k.a. Daniel Handler). (Description via Google)
Watch It On: Netflix

Ben 10: When 10-year-old Ben Tennyson discovers a mysterious, alien device called the Omnitrix, his life transforms forever! Because now he can transform into any of 10 different alien heroes, each with unique super powers—and all of them are ready to take on all sorts of bad guys. It’s hero time! Are you ready? (Description via Amazon)
Watch It On: Amazon Prime

BeyBlade Burst: Welcome to the world of Beyblade: this is the story of a group of passionate Bladers who follow their dreams on an unforgettable journey to the top. (Description via Amazon)
Watch It On: Amazon Prime, Netflix

Black-ish: Andre “Dre” Johnson has a great job, a beautiful wife (Rainbow), five kids, and a colonial home in the ‘burbs. But has success brought too much assimilation for this black family? (Description via Hulu)
Watch It On: Hulu

Chasing Monsters: Adventurer Cyril Chauquet seeks out the most colossal and dangerous underwater creatures around the world in this adrenaline-packed series. (Description via Netflix)
Watch It On: Netflix

Clone Wars: The first weekly TV series from Lucasfilm Animation chronicles the adventures of Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and other popular characters from the Star Wars universe during the violent Clone Wars, as dwindling numbers of Jedi knights struggle to restore peace. ((Description via Google)
Watch It On: Disney+

Dragon Rescue Riders: Twins Dak and Leyla spend their days rescuing dragons and helping people in their adopted town, Huttsgalor. This animated web television series in part of the How to Train Your Dragon franchise produced by DreamWorks. (Description via Amazon)
Watch It On: Netflix

Full House: Comedian Bob Saget stars in this heartfelt retro comedy series from the late 1980s as Danny Tanner, the widowed father of three young and rambunctious girls: 9-month-old Michelle, 5-year-old Stephanie, and 10-year-old D.J. Danny recruits his two buddies—his rock ‘n’ roller brother-in-law, Jesse (John Stamos), and best friend, Joey (Dave Coulier), a struggling stand-up comic—to move in and help him raise the brood.
Watch It On: Amazon Prime

Garfield and Friends: Based on the popular comic strip by Jim Davis, this animated classic revolves around sarcastic Garfield, a lazy feline whose only desires in life are lasagna, catnaps, and avoiding Mondays. Along with his not-too bright pooch pal, Odie, and gullible owner, Jon, Garfield coughs up a hairball of humor that every human will love. (Description via Amazon)
Watch It On: Amazon Prime 

Infinity Train: Tulip Owens is a 13-year-old girl who aspires to become a computer game programmer but finds herself trapped on a train one day and is looking for a way out. She meets a robot called One-One, which consists of two spherical robots containing contrasting personalities that can combine into the shape of a basketball. Together they search the train, meeting a cast of strange characters along the way, and hoping to find clues that will help Tulip find her way home. (Description via Google)
Watch It On: Cartoon Network

Little House On The Prairie: This vintage series is based on the young adult book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and was one of the most beloved shows on television when it ran from 1974 to 1983. Little House told the story of the Ingalls family’s life on a Minnesota farm in the late 1800s. (Description via Amazon)
Watch It On: Amazon Prime

Never Have I EverThis exceptional series from Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, follows the life of 15-year-old Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan). She’s a first-generation Indian-American teen exploring her sexuality and friendships while also coping with the sudden death of her father (Sendhil Ramamurthy). 
Watch It On:
Netflix

Night On Earth: This nature docu-series’ new technology lifts night’s veil to reveal the hidden lives of the world’s creatures, from lions on the hunt to bats on wings. It’s mind blowing! (Description via IMBD)
Watch It On: Netflix

OddsquadFrom recapturing a gallon-sized blob that has separated into smaller pieces, to dealing with a slew of unicorns, dinosaurs, and wizards that have escaped from books, there is no occurrence that is too strange for the Odd Squad as they face off against various villains that wreak havoc around town. Odd Squad agents use effective mathematical practices and critical mathematics concepts and skills to ultimately solve each case. In other words: Odd is the problem, math is the solution. (Description via PBS)
Watch it On: PBS Kids

Our PlanetExperience our planet’s natural beauty and examine how climate change impacts all living creatures in this ambitious documentary of spectacular scope. (Description via Netflix)
Watch It On: Netflix

Planet Earth: This landmark BBC series transports nature lovers from the Himalayan Mountains to the depths of the ocean to everywhere in between. (Description via Amazon)
Watch It On: Amazon

Ronja, The Robber’s Daughter: The daughter of a professional robber, Ronja realizes the complicated nature of her father’s profession when she befriends Birk, the child of a rival tribe. She struggles to balance this friendship with her family relationship but comes to understand, differences can be overcome with the help of love and understanding. The animation is by the cult-beloved Studio Ghibli. (Description via Amazon)
Watch It On: Amazon Prime

Spirit Riding Free: In a small Western town, spunky ex-city girl Lucky forms a tight bond with wild horse Spirit while having adventures with best pals Pru and Abigail. (Description via Netflix)
Watch It On: Netflix

Supermarket Sweep: This 30-year-old show is classic fun and offers a nostalgic (for parents) look at what we were eating 3 decades ago. Teams of two answer questions to earn time and advantages over their competitors before going on a supermarket shopping spree. The team that adds the most valuable items to their carts wins.
Watch It On: Amazon Prime

Teen Titans Go!: Teen Titans Go! feature hilarious, all-new adventures of Robin, Cyborg, Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy. Sure, they’re still superheroes who save the day, but what happens when they’re done fighting crime? They love to have fun and goof off, but they also have to deal with the issues of being five teen roommates, whether that’s chores and romantic tension or demon dad drop-ins and impromptu meatball parties. There’s no shortage of pandemonium in the Tower as the Titans get up to super-powered hijinks and fantastic pranks. (Description via Cartoon Network)
Watch It On: Cartoon Network, Hulu

The Dragon Prince: In the magical land of Xadia, magic comes from six primal sources: the sun, moon, stars, sky, earth, and ocean. When human mages create a seventh kind of magic—dark magic—they start capturing and harvesting the unique magical creatures they need as ingredients, which sparks a war between Xadia and the Human Kingdoms. Three kids from opposite sides of the conflict—two princes and an elven assassin sent to kill them—discover a secret that could change everything and decide to join forces and go on an epic journey. That trek could be their only hope of ending the war and restoring peace to both worlds. (Description via Google)
Watch It On: Netflix

The Mandalorian: After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic.
Watch It On: Disney+

The Simpsons: This long-running animated comedy focuses on the eponymous family in the town of Springfield in an unnamed U.S. state. The head of the Simpson family, Homer, is not a typical family man. A nuclear-plant employee, he does his best to lead his family but often finds that they are leading him. The family includes loving, blue-haired matriarch Marge, troublemaking son Bart, overachieving daughter Lisa, and baby Maggie. (Description via Hulu) Ed Note: As you might remember for your own childhood, the topics and commentary on this show are not exactly PC. Proceed with caution or consider some co-viewing before you let your kid indulge alone. (Description via Hulu)
Watch It On: Hulu, Fox

Top Chef Jr.: Kids between the ages of 8 and 13 compete in a series of challenges and cook-offs, judged by hosts Gordon Ramsay, Christina Tosi, and other food stars. (Description via Hulu)
Watch It On: Hulu

Troll Hunters: After finding a mysterious amulet, a teen and his friends pursue an unlikely destiny and set out to save two worlds. Created by Guillermo del Toro and animated by DreamWorks.
Watch It On: Netflix

Wild KrattsThis show follows the adventures of animated versions of brothers Chris and Martin Kratt, hosts of such educational shows as Kratts’ Creatures and Zoboomafoo. In the show, the animated Kratts encounter wild animals during stories of adventure and mystery. The live-action Kratt brothers introduce each episode. (Description via PBS Kids)
Watch It On: PBS Kids

Did we miss your favorite children’s show? Tell us in the comments below!

Leave a Comment

0 comments

ALL MATERIAL © MOTHER LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SITE DESIGNED BY JANE REACTION, DEVELOPED BY BRANDI BERNOSKIE