With the kids still home from daycare, we’re watching more TV than we used to, so I consider myself a connoisseur of shows my kids watch. Here are the best ones we watch, as ranked by “how I feel when the kids pick this show”:
- Bluey (Disney+) – This show is incredibly sweet, only 6 minutes long (which is great for squeezing in while one of us finishes up cooking a meal), and still manages to teach a lesson in most episodes. It’s beautiful in picture and music, and is often hilarious. (I’ve seen the Hospital episode a double-digit number of times and still laugh) Also, it’s from Australia, so they have fun accents and say things like “dollar bucks”, which David and I can’t figure out is actual Australian slang or just something made up. At its best this is a show I’d watch without the kids!
- Octonauts (Netflix) – Took a while to grow on me, but the characters are quirky and each episode has real facts about ocean animals. If all the kids take away is “there are a lot of really cool and weird creatures in the ocean” I would be happy with that!
- Daniel Tiger (YouTube, or I guess the PBS app?) – Lots of good lessons for the kids (the songs that Daniel sings have become a sort of second language for us; Nick likes to sing “when you’re upset, you can find a way to feel better!” even when it doesn’t really apply 🙂 ) but pretty slow-moving for adults.
- Puffin Rock (Netflix) – We just started watching this yesterday, but it’s a very pretty show, only 6 minutes long, and there’s an Irish(?) sounding narrator. Not much in the way of lessons, though, and pretty boring for adults.
- Scooby Doo (some are on Netflix, we usually watch on DVD) – You pretty much know what you’re getting here. I’m not convinced Vanessa really follows what’s going on, but she still picks it a lot, so *shrug*
- Shaun the Sheep (Netflix) – This is a funny show for grownups, but honestly it’s too old for the kids, and I spend the entire episode explaining what’s going on and why it’s funny.
- The Magic School Bus (Netflix) – I like the idea of the show more than the show itself, but maybe that’s because it’s still a bit too old for Vanessa. (we’ve been watching the original show, not the recent Netflix remake, for what it’s worth)
- Doc McStuffins (Hulu) – Having a woman of color doctor is great for the kids to see, but the actual episodes just feel so formulaic/Disneyfied that they’re really tedious for me to watch.