Parents, babysitters, and just about everyone knows there are some really obnoxious TV shows, movies, and music for young children. I personally know a couple examples in each category that make my ears bleed.
There are, however, a lot of really good, quality shows, movies, and music geared toward children of various ages that we as parents can actually enjoy as well! (Or at least not want to run out of the room!)
I surveyed parents with various ages of children, most from 0 to 10, and learned about the quality children’s media out there for all of us to enjoy.
The best shows are the ones that are entertaining, but also educational. Parents really love PBS for that reason.
Dad Geoff said of his 2-and-a-half-year-old son, “He picked up the entire alphabet from watching Super Why… He’s obsessed with letters and numbers because of that show.”
Mom Christy enjoys Curious George with her 2-year-old daughter. She said it has good messages, is gender neutral, “Plus, you know, animals.”
Lori, mom of two (ages 3 and 1), and her family find PBS’s Dinosaur Train very entertaining. Her brother, nearly 40, got a big kick out of one episode in particular because they spent the entire time joking about poop.
Ally has found herself watching Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans Go! even when her 5-year-old son isn’t in the room.
I’ve personally found myself watching Sesame Street until the end of a segment, even after my daughter has fallen asleep in my lap and I really should lay her in her crib and go wash the dishes.
The big winner when it comes to TV shows is PBS. Parents and children really enjoy:
- The Cat in the Hat (Martin Short is the voice of the Cat!)
- Dinosaur Train
- Peg Plus Cat
- Sesame Street
- Sid the Science Kid
- Super Why
- Wild Kratts
Top recommendations from Nick Jr. include:
- Bubble Guppies
- Paw Patrol
- Peter Rabbit
Even Netflix has some great original children’s programming! Parents recommend Art & Music, as well as the non-verbal animated comedies Figaro Pho and Oscar’s Oasis.
You really can’t go wrong with animated movies by Disney, Pixar, and DreamWorks. They are enjoyable for the whole family.
Try popping in a favorite from your childhood – not only it will be fun for you to re-watch, but exciting for your kids to see something new (instead of Frozen for the 500th time)!
We recently watched Aladdin with my sister-in-law’s family: all four parents were laughing, quoting lines, and singing along, and the 4- and 9- year-olds were enthralled with this “new” Disney movie.
If you are Christian, or down with positive, usually Bible-themed stories, try out Veggie Tales movies. They’re fun, clever, and have good themes, “but the songs get stuck in your head easily… which is the point to remember the lesson,” said Jennifer, mom of a 3-year-old.
Have you had enough Kids Bop? I heard two songs on my niece’s CD and that was enough for my whole lifetime.
Thankfully, a lot of popular artists are also making music for children these days! Here are some great albums to try, old and new:
- Jazz for Kids (compilation)
- Rockabye Baby – they have many albums with softer musical covers of bands like Queen, Elton John, Michael Jackson, etc.
- They Might Be Giants – multiple albums to choose from, ABCs, science, numbers, and more.
- Jack Johnson – Sing-A-Longs & Lullabies for the Film Curious George
- Elizabeth Mitchell – You are My Little Bird (“It’s the one kids’ CD they love that hasn’t made us crazy!” – Julia, mom of two, ages 5 and 2)
- Want more examples of great music for parents and kids to share? Try this website: Adult Bands Making Great Music For Kids
Final thoughts, from Lauren, mom of an 8-year-old, in regards to TV, movies, and music: “You can’t go wrong with the Muppets anything!”
Lisa is a wife and mom of a baby girl. She enjoys trying out new forms of exercise and fitness, but her favorites are pole dance fitness, aerial silks, and yoga. She also volunteers some of her spare time to a local cat rescue. Since discovering her sexy strength a couple years ago, she is the happiest she has been her whole life, and is happy to share it with you. Got a question for Lisa? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org