If you’re anything like us, you’ll be starting to get a little bit of cabin fever being locked up in the current coronavirus lockdown, which is going on in countries across the world… and we can bet that your kids are even more frustrated and bored than the us adults. Luckily, we’ve raided our roundup of the best TV streaming services (opens in new tab) out there to assemble a list of the best TV shows for kids to keep them happy, entertained, and educated during the weeks and months to come.
Normally we wouldn’t recommend that your kids sit down and binge through several hundred hours of television, and we certainly think that they still need to be getting some regular exercise even in these difficult times, but we also understand that many parents are stuck working from home and can’t get anyone else to look after their kids, especially with many schools now closing to prevent the spread of the virus. So, we have to turn to indoor activities to keep ourselves occupied, and that includes our children. Even the World Health Organization agrees, as it recently promoted the #PlayApartTogether (opens in new tab) hashtag to encourage people to stay indoors and play video games.
We’ve tried to find a healthy mix of shows for kids of all ages and across multiple streaming services including Netflix (opens in new tab), Disney Plus (opens in new tab) and Hulu (opens in new tab), while also finding something to suit all personality types. So, whether your children want to learn to count with a vampire, race around the speedway, or get lost in a world of superheroes, we’ve found something perfect for them.
Gotta catch watch em all. Well OK, not all of it, but there’s an enormous amount of Pokémon for your little trainers to sink their teeth into if they’re bored during this isolation period. The entire original series, Pokémon: The Indigo League is available on Netflix so that’s 52 episodes right there. Stack on top of that the 91 episodes of Pokémon Sun & Moon, and you’ve got at least a months’ worth of entertainment for your kids at least.
You can also find a couple of the Pokémon movies on Netflix, if you somehow managed to binge through all the TV series episodes. Honestly, how this Ash kid hasn’t caught them all yet, we’ll never know.
Minecraft Story Mode
Minecraft is one of the bestselling video games of all time, with over 176 million copies sold as of May 2019. Minecraft Story Mode is a spin-off interactive TV show that follows a group of characters as they muddle their way through life in the Minecraft world.
Created by TellTale games, it essentially plays out like a normal TV show, but viewers are asked to make choices during key moments of the show, that affect how things play out. Kind of like those old choose your own adventure story books. There are very few things on this Earth as popular with children as Minecraft, so we’re sure they’d love this show if they haven’t watched it already.
Locke and Key
One for the older kids in your household now, as teenagers are as prone to boredom as the rest of us. Locke and Key is a fantasy tale as a family are forced to move into an ancestral home following the death of their father, only to discover a series of keys which open magical portals throughout the home. If your kids are Harry Potter fans then this will be right up their alley.
Frozen 2 + Frozen Shorts
Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf return in the sequel to one of Disney’s most popular movies. Frozen 2 wasn’t supposed to be on Disney Plus until June, but Disney bumped the release forwards to help people cope with their coronavirus isolation and we have to thank them for it. Follow along on this second adventure as Elsa and the gang travel through the enchanted forests and dark seas in search of the truth about Elsa’s past.
Once you’re done with Frozen 2, there are also a couple of Frozen Shorts worth checking out – Olaf’s Frozen Adventure and Lego Disney Frozen Northern Lights. Oh, and the original Frozen is on there too, in case you want to hear your kids sing along to “Let It Go” another thousand times.
Spider-Man and X-Men animated series
Two of the finest cartoons from the 90s, both the X-Men and Spider-Man animated series are on Disney Plus, though sadly the latter of the pair isn’t complete, yet. Still though, these represented Marvel cartoons at their peak, showcasing excellent characters and thoughtful messages behind backdrop of comic-book action. Long before the Marvel movies took over the box office, these cartoons showed what Marvel was all about, and their appeal is timeless.
Cars 1-3 + Cars Shorts
Kachigga, kachigga! Cars is an excellent kids’ film and the sequels weren’t half bad either, so we were thrilled to see all three movies are available to stream on Disney Plus. Let your kids jump into the driving seat as they ride along with Lightning McQueen in his racing-based adventures. Like most kids’ films, there are enough jokes for the parents sprinkled into the Cars movies to make them enjoyable for the whole family.
And when your little ones are done with the three mainline movies, there are a bunch of animated shorts set in the Cars universe, following along with the wacky shenanigans of Mater as he tries everything from learning to fly through to becoming a monster truck. These what if style shorts provide a nice little shot of humor for the kids, throwing the cars cast into new and interesting scenarios.
An absolute classic, an American institution and one of the longest running kids shows of all time, Sesame Street is here for us all in our time of need. With its trademark mixture of humor and education, Sesame Street is a fantastic show to let your kids watch. With colorful character like The Count, Big Bird and Elmo and a whole host of celebrity guest spots, kids will learn how to spell, count and just generally be the best people they can be by learning to respect and embrace their neighbors, no matter the differences.
Also, it’s very funny, with Jim Henson’s trademark mixture of slapstick comedy, clever wordplay and endearing Muppet characters blending together to create something magical.
And with 25 seasons of the show currently available on Hulu, spanning a staggering 399 episodes, your kids will have plenty of quality family TV to watch, even if we’re stuck in lockdown for years to come. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that though, ey?
Another kids show that swings into the more educational side of the spectrum, but if you’re worried that they will find it boring, then you’ve clearly never seen Mythbusters. Hosted by Adam Savage, one of the co-hosts of the original Mythbusters show, Mythbusters Jr. sees a group of kids work together with Savage to test myths and learn all about the underlying science along the way.
There’s a healthy mixture of knowledge and explosions that will keep your kids entertained, while also teaching them a thing or two along the way.