We round up the best TV shows for kids: bonus points for educational value, wholesomeness and sweet graphics.
Chin up, mums: it’s normal to feel guilty about screen time – especially when we’re all still dealing with this pesky pandemic. Not all TV is bad though. In fact, don’t you remember learning some pretty nifty life lessons from our friends on Sesame Street and Mister Rogers back in the day? But now that the kids are past their toddler years and want something more complex with flashier graphics, conflict and not-so-scary bad guys, what’s a mum to do? Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up the best wholesome TV shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ out there that tick all the boxes for your not-so-little one:
The best wholesome TV shows for kids to watch
Wholesome kids’ shows on Netflix
1. True and the Magic Kingdom
Using a sprinkle of magic and a whole lotta determination, True never hesitates to help her friends out. She faces any challenge with a smile on her face, never giving up ’til she gets it right. Kids will love the uber-adorable yetis and the wise-cracking cat Bartleby, while parents will love it for the cuteness factor. Yep, this is one of the best wholesome TV shows for kids out there, we think!
2. Paw Patrol
Let’s sing together, mums: Paw patrol, paw patrol, we’ll be there on the double… Yep, if you’re a mum to a kid below the age of six, you’re probably more familiar with the show AND the song than you’d like to be. There’s a reason why kids can’t get enough of the show: episodes are only 11 minutes long (perfect for kids who can’t sit still for long) with mesmerising guitar riffs in the background. Oh, and there are cute puppies, too. There are a few reasons why we’re not huuuuuge fans of this show (where are all the strong female characters?!), we’re okay with the lessons on teamwork and bravery that the show promotes.
3. Motown Magic
Music-loving kids will love dancing to Motown Magic‘s remakes of classic Motown tunes. If this sounds familiar (Beat Bugs, anyone?), that’s because it’s made by the same person. Armed with his magic paintbrush, Ben goes around the city helping others do the right thing. With the legendary Smokey Robinson on board as music producer, you can bet this show’ll be a hit with both the kids and your dancing shoes!
4. The Magic School Bus Rides Again
Parents, remember the original series back in the 90s? Well, now our kids get to experience the magic school bus with this continuation series! Ms Fiona Frizzle (Professor Frizzle’s sister) is the new teacher in charge of the bus and the elementary class. Join the kids on their exciting field trips as they discover new locations, time periods, creatures and more. We may not be able to travel much due to the pandemic, but a journey on the Bus is a great alternative!
5. Puffin Rock
Get ready for the cuteness that is Puffin Rock – a cartoon detailing the fun lives of Oona and her adorable baby brother, Baba, as they grow up on their island habitat. Kids will love learning about the different animals and their behaviours, as well as their feeding habits and their habitats. We love that Oona shows what it’s like to be a good older sister, always including Baba along on her adventures – definitely a lesson we’d like our kids to learn.
Wholesome kids’ shows on Disney+
Aussie parents are all raving about Bluey, a series about a puppy with an imagination as big as his eyes. He’s all about thinking positive, which is really refreshing in today’s not-so-happy world. And if your kid’s a dog lover, he’ll love all the different breeds of dogs in the show. What we love most about Bluey is the fact that he and his sister are always finding the most creative ways to keep themselves busy – something we think our kids could learn a lot from.
Although there’s only one season of this show so far, your mini-dino fans will be roaring the day away as they cheer for Mazu, Bill, Tiny and Rocky, four young dinosaurs who are learning how to make it in the big, wide world. And yes, they’re trying to track Giganto, the biggest and scariest dino in the land to learn more about him. Sounds like a roar-some time to us!
8. Doc McStuffins
We’re sure your little one has played pretend as a doctor more times than you can count, so this show is perfect viewing for them. Follow frecked African American Dottie McStuffins, who wants to become a doctor just like her mother. Using her magic stethoscope, she brings her toys and dolls come to life and practises her dream on them. Perhaps Dottie will inspire your kiddos to become doctors too!
9. Forky Asks a Question
When was the last time the kids left you dumbstruck with their questions? Particularly those deep ones like “What is love?”… This Pixar series, which takes place after the events of Toy Story 4, features Forky asking various life questions to his friends. Each episode runs for around five minutes, which is perfect for those curious minds but couldn’t sit still long enough to listen to an in-depth explanation.
10. Little Einsteins
Follow the adventures of Leo, Annie, Quincy, and Jones as they embark on missions with their friend, Rocket. With each episode, your kiddos will learn more about a classical music piece as well as well-known artworks or world culture. We love this series because of its diverse representation on top of the wholesome (and educational) content it features. A must-watch!
Wholesome kids’ shows on Amazon Prime Video
11. Pete the Cat
Adapted from the picture book series by James Dean, Pete the Cat revolves around the daily life of Pete, a young cat who’s as cautious as he is curious. To help him understand new experiences, he asks his friends and family for help. We love the fact that all of Pete’s friends come in different shapes, species and personalities and that he’s always up for trying new things. Definitely comes in handy when you’re fighting the Battle of the Broccoli!
12. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
So what will happen if you give a mouse a cookie? If you’re saying that it’ll be bad, well you’re not wrong… but then again, maybe you’d end up with a rodent friend? Based on the children’s book of the same name, each episode follows the adventures of Mouse and friends, which is sure to be lots of fun!
Here’s a hot HoneyKids tip: if you’re feeling bad about screen time, why not get more involved during TV time? Ask your child show-related questions like: What do Oona and Baba like to eat? How can you and your siblings be more like Ryder and his crew? Would you use your wishes to help your friends? Being there and more than physically present shows that watching the best wholesome TV shows isn’t just a way for Mummy and Daddy to spend more time on their phones – it’s bonding and learning time with the kids, but with cool songs and animation too!
Enjoy your wholesome family TV time, folks!