CHILDREN’S TV SHOWS (ON NETFLIX!) THAT AREN’T AWFUL

August 16, 2018

Our family doesn’t demonize “screen time.” Television doesn’t have to defile your children because there is nothing evil on its own about a screen that can project images. (My pediatrician even assures me they’ll be okay even though they love sitting SO CLOSE to it.) And still, we try to use it wisely.

We consider shows something that can be part of a beautiful childhood and they are a good gift we are thankful for.

One thing to note up top is this list of shows we’ve liked is for younger children. Under fives would be into these, but I think a bit older would like lots of them too. There are three things I think about when choosing children’s shows.

1: CONTENT

Is it doing a hard sell on moral lessons? If it does, I am wary because that stuff is best learned from us, church, and real trusted human relationships in their lives. That is not the role I am wanting tv to play for them.

2: AESTHETICS

I favor shows that aren’t nauseating to look at or hear.

3: CHILD ENJOYMENT

They find it interesting!

This list of shows are loosely in order of how much I like them – most to least! Just a few we’ve liked!

These titles were on Netflix as of August 2018. 

Puffin Rock: I love this one!, pretty animation, scottish accents, pleasant all around
Octonauts: another maybe top favorite, very well done, super funny even as an adult (but definitely not in the gross hidden crude humor way)
Sarah and Duck: british accents (pleasant accents get big bonus points!), cute stories, sometimes a little kooky
Pooh’s Grand Adventure: cute and sweet
Pooh’s Huffalump Movie: cute and sweet
The Very Hungry Caterpillar: animation of lots of Eric Carle stories
Kazoops: nice little family
Pocoyo: fun
Fishtronaut: not my favorite animation but nothing weird in the material
Hoopla Kids: this and little baby bum are gross animation but have lots of sing along nursery rhymes for kids
Little Baby Bum: very low quality animation, but fun for singing
Baby Animals in the Wild: one of the more interesting options for adult viewers too
Word Party: passable

Maybe I missed stuff and there’s an episode I haven’t seen yet in one of these where they’re like ARSON IS OKAY or something. So please tell me if I missed bad things or if you have good shows I should check out. Netflix is always changing which sometimes feels nice, sometimes feels annoying.

Brief shout out to amazon prime, which I use less because there’s no auto-play after episodes, but we like Owlegories and Blue’s Clues. And this!!! on amazon is our very favorite dvd for owning (rather than streaming).

And another brief shout out to stuff we liked on netflix, but are gone now – Little Einsteins, Phonics Farm, Amazing Alphabet, Piglet’s Big Movie, and Agent Oso. Agent Oso had a couple bad ones to skip, but we liked. Most “christmas” episodes I skip because they usually try to teach the meaning of Christmas and never get it right. A Charlie Brown Christmas, I love you. I skip pretty much all Halloween episodes too.

We love shows and movies! It is a special, bonding activity to do together as a piece of childhood. And sometimes is just what is needed for good mothering.

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Comments

  • LD

    Long time listener, first-time caller :) My 4-year-old LOVES the reboot of the Magic Schoolbus on Netflix, called The Magic Schoolbus Rides Again. He’s learning such cool stuff (they have an episode on coding/how the internet works) and the new Ms. Frizzle is voiced by Kristin Wiig! There is even a cameo at the end of each episode by the original Ms. Frizzle, voiced by Lily Tomlin.

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thanks Lisa!! And thanks for being a long time listener :P

  • Dani

    The PBS Kids app is a fav in our household. I don’t know if you have Apple TV or you can put it on your phone/iPad. My two year old and four year old love Daniel Tiger, Wild Kratts and Pinklicious on there. Also Super Why is a great show and I think is on Netflix too!

  • Alexa Martin

    I have an 18 month old and we will start introducing her to some tv shows in the next year. I’ve had no clue where to start, so this is pretty helpful!

  • Rita

    Check out Zaboomafoo on amazon, we love it. It’s the Kratt brothers before Wild Kratts (we love wild Kratts too).

    • Rachel Schultz

      Is there a way to do auto play on amazon?

  • Meg

    Rach, Check out Charlie and Lola on Amazon. We loved the show and the books. It might be a bit too old for your kiddos right now, but soon they’ll be ready!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Ah ok but how do I auto play on amazon?? Or do you have to manually start after each new episode?

      • Meg

        My prime automatically plays the next episode, it just takes about 30 seconds for it to start.

        • Rachel Schultz

          Hm. maybe I need to just change a setting.

  • Great post, Rachel! Andrea and I recently talked about this for when our little one gets a bit older. She really likes Daniel Tiger which is not on Netflix but maybe someday it will be. Pooh bear is always a win. Always.

    • Rachel Schultz

      Yes I think the pooh movies will be all time faves.

  • Laura

  • Phylicia

    I totally agree with you! We use TV in our house as a fun bonding time too (as in currently my toddler is snuggling next to me while I’m nursing the baby). I have girls and our new Netflix fave is Spirit.

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