Flowers in bloom. Rising temperatures. The sun peeking out again after its long winter slumber. The switching of seasons brings with it a sense of liberation as families head outdoors for some long-awaited fun.
But this year things are a little different. And with current conditions keeping everyone indoors, those with kids are in a tough spot. Fellow parents, we hear you. This guide provides content recommendations for your little ones ranging from preschool to tweens, along with commentary below from our own entertainment-savvy moms and dads.
Because sometimes you just need to hit play and let the screen keep them occupied for a while. We hope these tips will let you do just that.
Top 6 by Age Group:
Others to Consider by Category:
Mother of 8 and 11-year-olds
The Who Was? Show | Netflix — A live-action show based on the Who Was? books, a cast of teen actors bring to life some of the most famous names in history, including Marie Curie, William Shakespeare, Gandhi, George Washington and Louis Armstrong. There’s only a single season on Netflix, and I don’t know whether they’ll be back for a second, but the show is super cute and engaging—and it features fun and interesting history.
Buddy Vs. Duff | Food Network — Star bakers Buddy Valastro (from Cake Boss) and Duff Goldman (from Ace of Cakes) compete in a different challenge each week to see who can create the most amazing, incredible cakes. The latest episode featured a life-sized dinosaur cake! Buddy and Duff are scored for each week’s competition with an ultimate winner to be named at the end of the season.
— Kristen Rubi, Sr. Manager of Transportation
Mother of 2.5-year-old
Peppa Pig | Prime Video — Peppa is a lovable pig who’s full of energy and goes on loads of adventures with her brother George and their animal friends. The episodes are reasonably short, the visuals are simple yet stimulating enough, and we’re able to recognize familiar characters from the books, which is a nice bonus!
— Lilli Kim, Director of Client Services for Influencer Marketing
Mother of 15-month-old
Little Einsteins | Disney+ — Four adventurous kids, Leo, June, Quincy, and Annie blast off in their versatile ship, Rocket, for missions all over the world. Fueled by classical music, well-known works of art, and their own creativity, the Little Einsteins travel on unforgettable journeys while learning to appreciate the power of great music. It’s a shame there aren’t more seasons; however it’s the first time I can say I don’t feel guilty when my child watches! It’s the only show that combines art, music, dance, and song through adventures!
Bluey | Disney+ — Bluey is an Australian animated television series. Besides the amazing accents and the dog family of four (with a focus on daughter Bluey), it is a fun and loving series that focuses on everyday family life that turns into extraordinary adventures. It develops imagination and teaches lessons in mental, physical and emotional resilience. This series is not only great for toddlers, but fun for adults to watch! It’s my husband’s go-to show.
— Karen Kehm, Sr. Director of Marketing
Mother of 2.5-year-old
Mighty Little Bheem | Netflix — Bheem is an innocent toddler whose boundless curiosity and extraordinary superhero strength lead to mischief and adventure in his small Indian town. This is Netflix’s first animated series from India and my son loves it! It is colorful and fun and encourages awareness of different cultures and lifestyles. The episodes are only six minutes long and are easily consumed by short attention spans, but it entertains long enough that I can get some things done around the house.
Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood | Prime Video & PBS — The show that stands the test of time and still resonates with our children today. Mr. Rogers, everyone’s favorite neighbor, hosts this gentle, thoughtful, and educational series that explores the world around us and the world of make-believe. I love that each episode provides our children with great life lessons like how to deal with anger or be kind to others, and encourages them to use their imagination and be open and accepting of all types of people.
— Breanna Shepard, Director of Content and Integration
Father to 8 and 10-year-olds
LEGO Masters | Hulu & FOX — Fun and humorous, this reality show has been a catalyst for my children to start building with LEGO again and to push their building (and engineering!) skills. It has literally inspired hours of creative play; everything from building new structures to creating characters and storylines. It’s a great option for families looking to use a little bit of screen time to inspire independent, creative, and quiet play for their children.
Magic for Humans | Netflix — A fun, jaw-dropping, and family-friendly magic show that has also inspired my children to learn new magic tricks, practice them until mastered, and then try them out on Mom and Dad after dinner. The show itself is pretty fantastic if you haven’t watched them already. Even grandpa likes them.
— Aaron Frank, SVP of Research and Insights
Mother to 2.5-year-old
Tumble Leaf | Amazon — Beautiful stop-action series, where Fig has a new daily adventure and enlists his friends to help him “figure this out.” The series encourages cooperation and helping and has a different look from other cartoons, which is a nice change.
Beat Bugs | Netflix — With each episode built around a different Beatles song, this is a series even parents can enjoy. The musical guest stars are top notch and with such a deep library, there are plenty of episodes, so even re-watching doesn’t get stale.
— Shaina Silberstein, Director of Client Services
Mother to 6 and 8-year-olds
The InBESTigators | Netflix — It’s a really cute series featuring elementary school kids who investigate happenings around their school. Very kid-safe and entraining while also teaching kids deductive and forensic skills. My girls love this series.
— Maral Beylerian, Senior Director of Global Client Services
For even more direction on the best kid-friendly shows to watch at home, check out Common Sense, the leading independent source for media recommendations and advice for families.