Best Netflix Kids Shows (and One to Avoid) Right Now
When your kids are little, you’re supposed to limit their screen time. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now let’s slip back into reality where putting on a fun, educational television show to distract your kids while you try to cook dinner isn’t a parental sin.
I’m not suggesting you park your kids in front of the TV for 6 hours so you can binge watch X-Files on Netflix, but using television as a babysitter in brief spurts probably is going to be okay.
Here are some of the best shows for little ones available on Netflix right now:
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
When I was kid, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood was a daily comfort. Daniel Tiger is the son of the original Daniel Tiger on Mr. Roger’s, accompanied by the children and family members of other characters from the original run. I love this show because it tackles a lot of really important steps in a child’s development including dealing with emotions like disappointment and frustration, learning to share time with a new sibling, and encouraging an adventurous spirit to try new things.
Why my kids like it: The characters are relatable and sing a lot of catchy tunes that help them remember the lessons they learned. Some of their favorite songs include “When you have to go potty stop and go right away”, “When you’re feeling frustrated, take a step back and ask for help”, and “Stop! and listen to stay safe.”
Four kids set out on adventures in a rocket all over the world. This show packs as many educational tidbits into one episode as possible with a piece of art and a piece of classical music providing a theme for each show. Geography, check. Music, check. Art, check. I love the show because, while my kids do their fair share of singing Adele and Frozen songs, they also walk around humming Mozart.
Why my kids like it: As if it can’t get any better, Little Einsteins actually encourages your kids to get up and move. My kids love the interaction as the characters tell them to reach and pat their tummies. And bonus for me, they get really excited when they hear the ice cream truck coming because they recognize the classical music – which is an excellent distraction so I don’t have to buy ice cream every single time.
When you need a break from Peppa Pig, because don’t we all, The Hive is an adorable alternative. It follows a family of British bees through their daily lives starring a little boy bee named Buzzbee and his sister Rubee, along with Babee, Mamma Bee and Papa Bee. This show, like many, many others, tackles the normal childhood stuff and is not particularly special for any reason other than it’s adorable. I love this show specifically because of two little birds that appear on a tree in every episode and have a funny little interaction that makes more sense to the adults.
Why my kids like it: Every day when we get home from daycare and work, my kids burst through the door shouting “BUZZBEE, BUZZBEE!” I can’t give a specific reason why they are so mesmerized by this show, but they’ve both reached a state of obsession.
And one show to avoid…
Ask your mom-friends and they will tell you, Caillou is the worst. I can personally vouch for at least 10 women that would rather watch Barney than Caillou. An animated Canadian show about a little boy named Caillou and his parents, his voice is something I’m certain is used as an “enhanced interrogation technique.” To make it worse, this kid represents the dark, ugly side of your children that makes you want to slam your face into the wall. He has temper tantrums and pouts and is generally mean to his sister constantly. I can’t even link to any other blogs about people hating this show because there is so much foul language in them.
Pro tip: You can contact Netflix customer support and have them block this show on your login. Sorry kids, Caillou isn’t home anymore.
Limiting TV time is great. But when you do need to lean on some televised entertainment to distract your beloved urchins, choose a show that is fun, informative and bearable.