Whether you're a mom who doesn't have a problem with screen time or just a mom who needs the occasional moment of peace, finding shows for kids that check all the boxes is no easy task. First of all, your kid has to like it and be interested. It's also preferable that screen time be educational in some way. Last but not least (okay, let's face it, it's least but maybe we can change that) it's great to find shows that don't totally drive parents batty.
It's pretty important to get this stuff right the first time because if you let your kid watch a show and they love it - it's over. They will want to keep watching it and you will suffer. This is how parents end up watching hours of Teletubbies and Paw Patrol (no offence if either of those are your thing.)
So, allow me to give you a little guidance in the kids' show department. Here are 5 shows that kids love and adults can at least tolerate.
1. The Wiggles
The Wiggles are arguably the top children's group in the world right now. I grew up watching the original Wiggles so I had no problem letting Eli in on the fun. Their series and films are mainly music based but they incorporate counting, alphabet, animals, sign language, and more. They also present children with music from a variety of cultures and even have songs to teach children about safety (buckling up in the car, allergies, etc.) The music is catchy without being annoying and even their live shows are pretty fun as an adult.
2. Sesame St.
Sesame St. has stood the test of time (next year will mark 50 years of Sesame!) and it's clear why. They've achieved the perfect balance of learning and fun. Children love the show and honestly so do adults since most of us grew up on it. The show does a great job of taking adult pop culture and making it kid friendly and educational (which is fun for kids and funny for parents.) Sesame St. has always been extremely open about educating children on real life themes. They've discussed many subjects including; adoption, autism, breastfeeding, natural disasters, and even coping with death. There's tons of DVDs available to purchase, including the classics and it's a great show for the whole family to enjoy.
The Octonauts is an animated series about a team of explorers in the ocean who help creatures in need. While the idea of bears and cats living in the ocean is unrealistic, the creatures they help and learn about in each episode are very real. The show presents facts about the animals in a fun way and every episode features a clip of the create "in real life." It's the perfect show for any child interested in marine life or animals in general. There's a bit of music and lots of excitement while guaranteed to not drive mom nuts.
4. Beat Bugs
While not overly educational, Beat Bugs is very musical and music is important in early childhood. Beat Bugs is an animated series about well.. bugs and it features a variety of story lines. Here's the cool part: the stories incorporate the music of The Beatles in really fun, new arrangements. Kids love the cute characters and music, and parents can enjoy a rather adorable (and surprisingly quite good) take on the classic music of a legendary group.
VeggieTales is another series that has been around in one form or another for many years. The show features an animated cucumber and tomato who along with a cast of other vegetables, tell bible stories and teach Christian morals to children. They adapt the bible stories we all know to be fun for children (throwing slushies off the wall of Jericho, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego working at a chocolate factory, etc) The show is fantastic for Christian parents to share values with their children and it's actually quite entertaining for the whole family.
So there you have it, 5 series to try out with the kids that I promise won't be agonizing for mom and dad. Happy watching!