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        a still from the Bluey tv show for kids

        Family Entertainment

        13 Great TV Shows for Kids That Parents Actually Like

        The secret to making screen time work for you? Find quality TV shows they’ll love and that won’t drive you up the wall (we all have that one show!). Bonus points if it buys you thirty minutes to make dinner in peace and potty trains ‘em for you—kidding, kind of. From oldies-but-goodies to great new YouTube series, here are 13 guilt-free TV shows for kids that real parents and parenting experts have on in their house.

        Written By
        Elizabeth Kedar


        This catchy cartoon teaches them basic math and numerical skills—numbers, counting, adding + more—so you don’t have to! Perfect for preschoolers, Numberblocks was created with the help of the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics, so you know the content is good (for them), plus the episodes are short, sweet and silly too. “My 5-year-old is a math whiz because of this show,” says mom Bonnie Taylor. “I had to buy the Numberblocks math cubes off Etsy because he desperately wanted to count along. He also understands my 4th grader’s math homework, and I have to stop him from doing it!”

        Watch it on: Youtube and Netflix
        Numberblocks tv show for kidsNumberblocks tv show for kids

        Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

        This show is grr-ific! All jokes aside, if you grew up on Mister Rogers Neighborhood, you’ll love Daniel Tiger. The wildly popular PBS Kids show is based on the Neighborhood of Make-Believe and follows Daniel and his family on everyday (note: super relatable) adventures. Parents will find themselves reciting DT songs on the daily to help ease difficult transitions and manage big feelings in real life—IYKYK.

        Pediatric Occupational Therapist Keri Wilmot, who remembers watching the show with her now-teenage son, says the episodes gave her, “so many practical nuggets of wisdom to help with the day-to-day struggles children face: from separation anxiety to trying new foods and learning to brush their teeth or go potty.” She’s also a big proponent of the free Daniel Tiger for Parent app, providing caregivers with instant access to all the songs, tips, tricks and strategies to help kids cope in the moment.

        Watch it on: Amazon Prime, PBS Kids
        Still from Daniel Tiger's NeighborhoodStill from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood


        Probably the most universally-loved kids show by parents, preschoolers, psychologists and therapists alike! On the surface, the popular Australian animated TV series is about a family (of heeler dogs) engaging in imaginative play, but it’s also a very accurate and relatable depiction of modern marriage and parenting. In fact, mom Kristi Torrington, who has a 3-year-old son, says she wants to be Chilli and Bandit (the parents) because they create such a fun, loving and imaginative life for their kids. “The parents are intelligent and caring and every episode teaches a good lesson.”
        “With its social emotional learning, problem solving, and relatable story lines, parents can feel at ease about the material their kids are exposed to,” points out Candous McGuire, a Clinical Director and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) at Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers. “The episodes are short, about seven minutes each, and healthy parent-child relationships are one of the many benefits this show offers.” You might even find yourself tuning in after your kids leave the room.
        Watch it on: Disney+, Disney Jr. and the Disney Channel
        still of the family from kids' tv show Blueystill of the family from kids' tv show Bluey

        Tab Time

        If you love crafting and cooking, you’ll definitely want to tune into Tab Time. Hosted by social media sensation Tabitha Brown, the Emmy Award-nominated YouTube Originals series is a mix of live action and animation, teaching kids important life skills, cool new craft ideas and delicious (+ healthy!) vegan recipes you’ll want to whip up together.

        “Throughout the show, Ms. Tab models effective ways of communicating and expressing your feelings, and at the end of each episode she reads a story of the day—which gives kids an opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned throughout their time together,” says Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Parenting Therapist and Founder of Parenting Pathfinders, Michelle Felder. “The show does a beautiful job of weaving mindfulness strategies into ordinary moments and teaching social and emotional skills through situations that both children and adults can relate to."

        It also helps that Tabitha isn’t the least bit annoying. Mom of two toddlers, Jasmin Trezevant, personally likes Tab Time for the representation and Tabitha’s “really calming” voice. “I also love the fact that she gives us tasks to do later as a family. We’ve made the recipes and crafts she suggests and my kids love it.” Watch it on: YouTube
        still form the tv show Tab Timestill form the tv show Tab Time

        Ms. Rachel

        According to mom Lauren Harden, Ms. Rachel is like “having a private preschool teacher in your living room. She’s SO good!” Rachel—an award-winning songwriter, preschool teacher and now viral YouTube sensation—was inspired to create her beloved “Songs for Littles” channel after her own toddler was diagnosed with a speech delay. Not surprisingly, the show is excellent at encouraging language development. It’s super interactive and slow-paced, teaching babies and preschoolers through song and play. “I feel good about it because it's so educational and made a noticeable difference in my toddler’s speech and comprehension,” says Harden.

        Watch it on: YouTube
        still from behind the scenes of Mrs. Rachelstill from behind the scenes of Mrs. Rachel

        Trash Truck

        Slow-paced, sweet and a wholesome show about friendship. We also love that the episodes are short—roughly 12 minutes long—too. “The animation is wonderful (my husband and I love how Hank and his little sister have the same cowlick in their hair!) and the music is catchy and delightful,” says mom Deborah Saltzman. “It’s a sweet and simple story about friendship and the beauty and adventure of everyday life. It doesn’t rely on anything overly dramatic. You’re feeling how a young child experiences life and the beauty in it—getting balloons, going to the beach, finding dandelions, getting new shoes, etc.” Her 4-year-old daughter also finds Trash Truck and his BFF Hank super funny!

        Watch it on: Netflix
        still from tv show Trash Truck for kidsstill from tv show Trash Truck for kids

        Sesame Street

        Elmo, Cookie Monster, Kermit The Frog, Miss Piggy! There’s a reason Sesame Street has been around for so long—it’s truly a classic. “The show has helped children develop early skills in literacy, math, and exposed kids to various cultures, celebrations, world topics, and other global happenings in a fun-loving, kid-friendly way,” says Elizabeth Fraley, M.Ed., CEO of Kinder Ready Inc. and Elementary Wise.

        “Studies have found that viewers of Sesame Street demonstrated a higher GPA, read more books, and outperformed those that did not view Sesame Street.” Another longitudinal study found that preschoolers (ages 3-5) that viewed Sesame Street had larger vocabularies in high school compared to others that did not watch this show.

        Watch it on: HBO Max, PBS Kids
        still from Sesame Streetstill from Sesame Street

        Ask The Storybots

        How do ears hear? Why do people look different? Parents will love this show because it tackles all the tough questions kids ask us! Yanna Wilson, parent to an Austistic almost 4–year-old, says her whole family loves the show. “ It’s informative, imaginative, and features a diverse group of children—plus they have a great cast of celebrity guests. from Snoop to Danny DeVito.”

        The episodes are also really amusing and full of pop culture references for parents to enjoy, adds mom (of a 6-year-old boy), Elizabeth Uss-Barry. “They’ve inspired my son to be more inquisitive about how things work, and planted the seeds that have blossomed into a love of space science.”

        Watch it on: Netflix
        still from Storybots kids tv showstill from Storybots kids tv show


        An oldie but a definite goodie. This Emmy award-winning preschool series is all about—you guessed it—a world of words! “The program uses letters to form words and then that word is created. It’s a very visual way to engage and learn words and reading at the same time,” tells Michelle Mintz, M.S., CCC-SLP, The Early Development Expert and creator of Baby Blooming Moments™. Kids will love the adorable WordFriends (animals) and all of their adventures, as they connect letters, sounds, words and their meaning.

        Watch it on: YouTube, PBS Kids or Amazon

        Little Einsteins

        If you’re tuned into TikTok, the (remixed) Little Einsteins theme song is having a major moment right now! Based on the Baby Einstein line of videos, this popular show for preschoolers takes littles on a trip (or mission)—in their favorite rocketship—to all sorts of cool places, from Paris to Van Gogh’s Starry Night. The show is heavy on art and classic music to educate and help enhance brain development. Real children’s voices are used to play the characters as well! You might even learn something by watching yourself.

        Watch it on: Disney+
        still from Little Einsteinsstill from Little Einsteins

        Gracie’s Corner

        A show you’ll want to get up and dance to! Created during the height of the pandemic, Gracie’s Corner is a wildly popular, Black-owned YouTube channel made for kids of diverse backgrounds. Each episode is short and sweet, teaching children everything from letters and counting to learning to love their hair—all through culturally relevant (and catchy!) music.

        Watch it on: YouTube
        still of Gracie's Corner TV showstill of Gracie's Corner TV show

        Gabby’s Dollhouse

        A favorite of my 4-year-old daughter, Gabby’s Dollhouse takes preschoolers on a magical dollhouse adventure, with every episode full of pretend play, fun arts and crafts (and animated cats!), science experiments, recipes, original music and more. What I, as a parent, love about the show—besides the cool craft ideas—is that Gabby isn’t afraid to fail and always celebrates her mistakes, an important life lesson for kids. It’s also just really fun and engaging, taking the popular toy unboxing trend and unboxing an epic adventure instead. As for my daughter, she likes it because, “Catrat is so silly!”

        Watch it on: Netflix
        still from Gabby's Dollhousestill from Gabby's Dollhouse


        Elizabeth Mitchell Kadar is a seasoned freelance fashion, beauty and lifestyle writer and also a mom of three littles living in sunny California. She’s written for Brides, YouBeauty, She Knows, The Fashion Spot and many more.