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Good TV Shows for 5-7 Year Old Boys?

I'm looking for some recommendations for good, wholesome (but not too juvenile) shows for boys in the 5-7-ish age range.

My son is 5 1/2, and he has clearly outgrown most preschool-type programming. A lot of his friends are now watching a lot of Disney stuff like Jonas and Hannah Montana - while I think they're relatively wholesome, I think he's too young for a lot of the values (like having boyfriend/girlfriend in high school, etc.).

The only show we're agreeing on lately is Arthur. Looking for other stuff like that - ideas?

P.S. I can't stand Sponge Bob.

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to everyone for the helpful suggestions. I'm so glad that there are so many like-minded moms out there who are cautious about what they let their kids watch.

Featured Answers

Scooby Doo
Total drama Island-cartoon reality show
Electric company

I do not let my kids watch much of any thing on Nikelodeon-too many sassy mouths.

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My 4 & 7 yr old boys watch:
Super Why
Word World

I like these shows because they are educational. Recently my 7 yr old started watching Bakugan. At first I didn't approve, but it teaches some good lessons like team work, friendship and having confidence. He also loves watching Discovery Channel shows like Planet Earth, Dirty Jobs and How Things are Made.

PBS all the way!

All these new programs just seem so wierd to me!

Just my 2 cents :)

My son now watches baseball AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.. ahhhh, a tenage boy :)

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We mostly do videos/DVD's to avoid commercials and screen out the junk out there. My 7 year old son and 5 and 1/2 year old girl like old Shirley Temple movies, Davey Crokett and Daniel Boone (also watched on youtube for free!), the movie The Sound of Music, Veggie Tales (son likes more than daughter)- we have nearly all of them (bought at consign sales or cheap on Ebay), Liberty Kids (GREAT cartoon series on the American Revolution), Bible stories (got 8- 30 minute DVD dramas for $10 at www.cbd.com), and the Hermie series by Max Lucado (WONDERFUL stories, with lots of laughs and great moral lessons!).

On the rare tv night, the kids like Bear Gryllis, The Crocodile Hunter, Bindi, How It's Made (more my son), and WordGirl. They also love the Christian shows on Saturday on all the Christian channels. That is a big treat they get on Saturday since we watch very little during the week (normally one 30 minute DVD while I am cooking dinner- maybe 2 if I am taking too long).

I am with many of you on the no Sponge Bob or Hanna. But, I will speculate that I am in the total minority when I say we don't do Scooby Doo b/c it introduces ghosts and scary creatures. When at a friend's my daughter saw it once and was marked by it. Just not redeeming in my book, for my kids' anyway, and the same with the beloved Arthur. When I watched one with my kids recently, they were doing a slumber party and talking about ghosts and kissing. I was shocked, as I thought this was aimed at young kids. Call me old-fashioned or uptight, but at the end of the day, I want them to only put things in their minds that have redeeming moral or educational value. Don't hate. :)

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On Saturdays, my son's favorite channel is TBN up until about
2:00pm. This channel is dedicated to Christians and helps to edify their lives. It is 90% animation that is beautifully done. My nearly 5 yr.old boy dearly loves the Bible-Man segment. I highly recommend this channel to reinforce Christian values in our children.

Mom in Carson.

4 moms found this helpful

Thanks for your original question (I didn't see it until today), and for mentioning SpongeBob - yuck! My kids (ages 5 and 2 1/2) are the only ones I know who aren't allowed to watch it, but I can't stand it!

It was great to read all of these suggestions. My 5 year old recently discovered The Magic Schoolbus (mentioned by a few others), and he also loves How'd That Get on My Plate, which is on the Food Network, I believe. He watches a new episode every Wed (the day it airs) while I cook dinner. It shows how a certain food (apples, wheat, cocoa, etc.) goes from the field/tree to various types of products. We also do a bit of the classic Scooby Doo, and WordWorld on PBS.

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I scanned through the responses looking for more ideas for my boys, ages 5 and 7 also. We only have PBS, very basic channels, no disney, noggin, etc. The love Super Why, Sid the Science Guy, and Word World. I didn't see anyone mention "Popular Mechanics for Kids." If you have a chance to check out videos from the local library, try the "Popular Mechanics for Kids". My boys loved them and they were spewing facts from them months after watching them. Good luck!

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I've got a 7-year-old boy and two girls (almost 5 and 2), and we have had some battles recently about which tv shows they're allowed to watch. Like you, I really don't like Sponge Bob, and I'm pretty careful about what we allow them to watch. (I let my kids watch Nick, Jr. early in the morning when Dora and Diego are on, and then it usually gets switched to Noggin, if anything.) But one Disney show that everyone in our family loves (my husband and me included!) is Phineas and Ferb. It's quite clever and complex for a kids' show--and my husband and I love the literary references!

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I would be interested in the answer to that. My son is almost 5 and has older brothers and sisters that watch Disney, TLC or whatever. They are too old for him. Nick Jr gets boring for him and some movies have "scary parts". He no longer naps but needs some down time so (gulp) I use the tv to help him chill.

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You've gotten so many recommendations! One show I haven't seen mentioned yet, and is very good for both you children is Full House (I believe it is on ABC Family). It was something I watched growing up and my children LOVE it. It laways has a lesson to teach and you don't ever have to worry about fashion and language being an issue). I won't let my daughter (7) watch Hanna Montana anymore because she (my daughter) started focusing too much on fashion and how she looked in clothing :(. She is far too young to focus on that at this age, in my opinion. Full House is a feel good, wholesome show.

Good luck!

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I did not hear mention of Penquins of madagascar, yes it is Nick but my kids love it and it is clean. They are boys 8 and 5 and still love word girl, superwhy,scooby doo, between the lions, iron man maybe. I also find some shows on computer that I favorite for them and that is where they can go. I have huge pickyness on movies they see. No spiderman, No Pirates, No Harry potter, Too much scary creatures, way too much darkness. I try to stick to no PG but some good shows are actually rated that. Good Luck!! Great question to ask!!

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Hi A.,

Try Franklin or Little Bear. They are similar to Arthur. I also agree with the moms who recommend Avatar. I watch that series with my kids. It is interesting and stimulating.

Also my daughter who is seven likes to watch Little House on the Prairie. We dvr them and I screen which ones she watches. She is learning about the past and loves the series. Bonanza might be a good one for boys. I didn't watch too much of them but I think they are pretty clean.


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I would love to thank-you! Just read this 8/24 and I can't stand Sponge Bob with a PASSION! It was nice to read that I'm not the only mom out there that feels the same way. I've even told people I don't let my girls watch it (6 and 3) and they look at me like I'm on drugs or the strictest mom ever! So thank you for making my day!

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My friend's 5 yr old loves the backyardigans, and they are appropriate. I like it, and they bought him a dvd of it for road trips, etc.

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Great question! and GREAT MOM! Sponge Bob is disgusting and NOT child appropriate.

We don't have "TV" in our house. We have A TV, but we don't actually use it for public television (we don't have cable or anything...we even use antenas! and yes, we live in a big city)
I purchase or get from the library what I want my kids to watch. Shows like:
Magic School Bus,
Our Planet (or practically ANYTHING by National Geographic),
7th Heaven (TV series)
Or pretty much anything educational from the Libary. He can learn about almost ANYTHING he disires to know about.

Families need to spend quality family time together. My girls get 1 hour of "TV" a day most days unless we are watching something as a family, a movie or something. And many days, they don't even take that because the are "busy" with other stuff.

A., you are the mom, you get to decide what you son will watch and for how long. I recommend that anything you choose be watched by both of you (when possible) so that you can discuss the lessons or the humour or whatever. Please use TV as an educational tool.

Family Wellness Coach

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A show I didn't see mentioned is Wishbone, I think it's on PBSkids. My daughter (6yo) has always really liked this. It's not animated, Wishbone is a dog and the show revisits a lot of classic stories with the dog acting out a main or supporting character, and it flashes back and forth between the dog's real life and the story and relates a lesson from the story to his life. To me, it's not the most exciting show out there, but it seems very wholesome (and not artificially so, like Hannah Montanna which I find NO redeeming quality in - the moral that supposedly comes at the end of a HM episode can not outdo the rest of the show's bratty awful behaviors). My daughter also loves "How it's made" on Discovery. A lot of the other cartoons she watches were already mentioned.

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Veggie Tales are genuinely hilarious. My thirteen year old watches when little kids watch it and he laughs. (I have seven boys) There are lots of hidden jokes. Larry Boy and the Fib from OuterSpace is great. They are totally benign as they take Bible Stories and make them really funny. The french peas (usually the bad guys) are hilarious. They are on NBC on Saturday mornings. And you can of course buy and rent the videos. It's intelligent clever humor. Lots of spoofs on movies like Rocky, Karate Kid.

I would be really wary of Hannah Montana type shows. I watched an iCarly where the lead character is home alone, turned down the lights, lit candles and tried to trick a boy in to kissing her.

Also Boomerang (a Cartoon Network channel) has the Jetsons and Tom and Jerry, the Smurfs, etc. It's part of expanded cable package. It has lots of old shows. Cartoon Network itself is horrible. I deleted the channel because of Ed, Ed, and Eddy type stuff and overly dramatic shows like Yu Gi Oh!

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There are many great suggestions here. However, there is one thing that I have found to be missing. We use a converter box, so the pay networks are out.

What we have found to be even better is Qubo! (49.2) It's just cartoons. Some are better than others, of course. The absolute BEST cartoon we have ever seen is Jane and the Dragon! The story lines are great, and the animation is jaw-dropping. Every show has a message.

My 7 1/2 yr old loves Qubo. I think the most violent show on there is 123 Penguins. (The "bad guy" shoots marshmallows.)

Good luck finding the right shows for your family!

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My boys are 5 and almost 7 (in Oct)

They have very limited screen time and it's based on their behavior/completion of chores.

On weekdays, for 30-60 minutes, they can either play educational computer games, do Webkinz or watch TV.

On weekends they are given the option to play Wii/Gamecube games for 45 minutes.

For TV shows, we record everything with our DVR.

They watch Penguins of Madagascar regularly.

We watch Star Wars: Clone Wars as a family.

They also watch Batman: Brave and the Bold and Ironman Armored Adventures with their dad on nights I'm not at home.

With me, when dad's not home, we've been watching Teen Titans on DVD.

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I had to add that my son's favorite shows are LINGO and Time Warp. He is 5 and starting kindergarten on monday so about the same age. Time Warp is on discovery I believe. They record stuff with high speed cameras and then play it back in slow motion. Very interesting for all the family. I let him watch lingo because it helps him learn spelling of 5 letter words at least!

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I don't remember your original request, but saw the update and wanted to comment! As many others here I reccomend PBS. My boys are 6 and 3 1/2 and I recently cut back on all the other things they were watching like Bakugan, Ben 10 and others. While I don't mind them occasionally I dont' want it to be the bulk of their TV viewing time. They love most of the shows on PBS. Martha Speaks, Super Why, and they still love the humor of Curious George!! I have friends withe 8 year olds that still watch these too! They have a couple of new shows beginning in September. Magic School Bus (Discovery Kids) is another favorite in our house. Also Agent Oso on Disney (my kids love secret agent stuff). Oh, and we've never watched Sponge Bob!! I've heard that he is rude and sarcastic! Who needs that?!!

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My son just turned 6 on Aug 5th. He really outgrew his fav PBS/Noggin kids stuff (Backyardigans, etc) as a 5yr old, but he still loves to watch them. I've been totally against Spnoge Bob, and most of the stuff on Disney and Nickelodeon, and basically I still am. Recently, I've found 2 programs that have sparked interest for us on Discovery Kids - DinoSapien and The Future is Wild. These are age appropriate, educational, appropriate behavior that are not found in the Disney shows. We also watch Hip Hop Harry, which has good morals. We watch Hi-5, Bindi, the Cosby Show, Little House on the Prairie, NOVA, Animal Planet, National Geographic, History Channel, the Discovery Channel. We love anything Nature and Animal related... Old favorites include Zaboomafoo, Curious George, Super Why, Max&Ruby, etc.

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Hi! I have 3 children, 12-girl, almost 9-boy and a 6yr. old boy. We do monitor what they watch and actually watch the shows with them to see what they are taking in. As a family we also watch America's Funniest Home Videos, How It's Made, America's Got Talent, Animal Planet and Mythbusters. The Wild Thornberrys is a show that used to be-I'm not sure if it still is or not. When the movie version came out,I thinkg it turned off some parents because of a promo ad with one of the characters, but the show teaches children about animals and geography-great show!
As a family we love to tell jokes and even my 6 year old understands sarcasm-believe it or not this can help your child when he is writing papers in middle school using different viewpoints.
Personally, I don't understand the "ban" against SpongeBob. My sister's kids do not watch him either (I don't believe she has actually ever watched a show) but of all the cartoons out there, the humor is pretty funny. SpongeBob himself is not rude or sarcastic, some of the other characters are. Some of the programs we don't like are Ed, Edd & Eddy and Courage the Cowardly Dog.
As someone who has a Teaching degree, watching "different" shows together can actually help your child understand different points of view for reading & writing. Before anyone responds....as a family we read almost every night and I spend most of my "downtime" reading, so we also enjoy and appreciate books. Just wanted to add a different perspective :) Debbie

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I have two grandchildren that live me. One is 5 1/2 and the other one will be seven in a month. They are both girls. I try to make sure they only watch pbs,noggin and Disney. I really love most shows on pbs and they really love sid the science kid. I just wish they showed it more often and showed all their shows later and on Saturday so they could watch them more since they are both in school now and have to miss a lot of them. I try to record the ones they really love like sid the science kid, super why and between the lines so they don't completely miss them. I also believe the magic school bus and bindi the jungle girl are very good educational shows so I also try to record those so they don't watch some of the other shows I don't think is appropriate for them to watch on the discovery channel. Hope this has helped.

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Wow! Am I too late? The nature channel is fascinating for all ages, and believe it or not my kids loved the history channel when they were quite young....

I just spent the weekend with an awesome five year old boy that is obsessed with Daniel Boone and Davey Crocket, so his dad bought the old 60's Daniel Boone epsiode series. Very fun. This sweet child wears a coonskin cap and has a little tomohawk. He just melts my heart...

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I didn't read through everyone else's response- but my daughter really got into Time Warp Trio on Discovery Kids. It's based on a book series of the same name by Jon Sciezka. She's 6 but started watching it a while ago. There are some violent/tense moments but each episode is historically based. I was amazed when we were doing an online history game together and she knew all the answers. I asked her how and she said TIME WARP TRIO mom! Anyhow- good luck with the tv battle.

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Sid the Science kid is really fascinating, in addition it gives some good ideas of things to to WITH your kids. It's sad that TV has taken the parents place in working and playing with children. There is a ton of stuff to do away from TV. Hiking, bike riding, reading, gardening, making things like birdhouses, visiting the library on a regular basis, cooking, and a ton of other crafts. Find an old movie of the Little Rascals (don't laugh, I'm serious) and look at all the things those kids did (prior to radio, television and computers) to entertain themselves.

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Hi A.,
My son is going to be 7 in Sept. We pretty much only watch Disney shows. He watches Zach and Cody, Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, Jonas and Phineas and Ferb (which is a cartoon). The TV shows with the teenagers do get a little into dating but 6 year old kids in elementary school talk about dating in school now so you really can't avoid the topic. However, the Disney shows keep it wholesome and between shows they do educational short topics or music videos from the Disney stars. Phineas and Ferb is hysterical! It's a really funny cartoon that kids and adults can appreciate. It is not obnoxious like Sponge Bob and the kids in the show are respectful to their parents. It is one of my favorites and I will sometimes watch it by myself. We also like Power Rangers - he's been watching those since he was about 4 years old. I watch those with him too. They do fight robots and aliens but the good guys always win and I he knows that you don't really go around blasting people.

My son also likes some of the Animal Planet Shows and Travel Shows and Cooking Shows. I tivo a bunch of them for him and I watch with him to make sure I know what he is watching. If I don't like something I tell him not to watch it anymore but mostly he watches the shows that I have recorded for him so I know they're ok.

Hope this helps.

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PBS in the afternoon: Maya and Miguel, Aurthur, Ruff Ruffman, Cyberchase.
Also Qubo: tv shows with moral messages (and no kids commercials. At first I wasn't sure I liked all the "Billy Mays" type commercials but then Christmas rolled around and there was no asking for trash toys because no kids commercials.)
I record some shows like Avatar on Nick so that he doesn't watch the stuff in between the shows or the commercials, the little comments and shows can be disgusting.
He does like Zack and Cody and Phineas and Ferb on Disney.

We have the rule that if the kids are in HS (dating, etc.) then he can't watch it.
Good Luck.

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LOL...I had to laugh at your reply...when my kids were born I swore there would be no Barney and no Elmo...little did I realize the power of the Sponge! UGH! So I TOTALLY agree with you!

I wanted to chime in on a few...my 6 yr old son LOVES Cartoon Network Super Saturdays (crime fighting family of the same genere as Johnny Quest), Ben 10, and Star Wars Clone Wars.

On the flip side for educational WOWS I really have fallen back in love with PBS...it started with Between the Lions, and now we've moved on to Cyberchase (helps with math) and Sid the Science Kid...only wish they'd get making a bunch more. Vegetales has also creeped into our watching repetoire. Of course, Scooby Doo is a good old stand-by...bought a bunch of those DVDs for my kiddos and they can watch them over and over again and never get tired of them...best part is, it helps with problem solving.

And have you really WATCH Hannah Montanna? I sat and watched an episode with my 4 yr old daughter and swore I'd never ever let her watch it again. I was extremely disappointed in Hannah's immature and childish behavior and her "I'm sorry's" hardly seemed sincere. I refuse to endorse such a horrid product...I'd rather let them sit and watch High School Musical 15 million times! (Which I might add my 6 yr old boy thought the musical rocked!)

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Scooby Doo
Total drama Island-cartoon reality show
Electric company

I do not let my kids watch much of any thing on Nikelodeon-too many sassy mouths.

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I'm just reading this first time as it caught my eye for my 6 yr old daughter. A little past Noggin and Sprout...which no one mentioned Sprout as a good one...probably becasue it's preschool, but a I also have a 3 yr old. It wasnt an issue at all before, but she is recenting fighting for Sponge Bob and the Disney channel and Nick stuff.... I just turned off the Nick channel (yeah parental controls) ... the only stuff on Disney good is Micky mouse , Imagination movers and that type. Thanks for the question, I've taken notes and hope some of these I havent heard of will be appealing to my daughter. I seriously was thinking of removing the TV altogether, but Dad would miss his Nascar...! L

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You mentioned watching Arthur, which I love too. There are some other shows on PBS that are great for kids that age. Some are Dragonfly TV (it's a science and activity show), Sid the Science Kid, Zoomafoo, WordGirl, and a few more. Try looking on the PBS kids website pbskids.org.

Good luck!

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I dislike Sponge Bob too unfortunately it seems like it on all the time and difficult to avoid. I usually outlaw it.

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We ended up getting DVD Series of old T.V. shows because we think a LOT of what is on anymore is just not suitable for our kids. I think we are more conservative than a lot of people. However, we got shows like Full House and Different Strokes and Growing Pains. I know my daughter really enjoyed watching them at that age and we even pop them in now for our son. He is only 3, but he especially likes Full House.

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What about Zaboomafoo? Bindi the Jungle Girl? Not sure what channels you get. I agree on the Sponge Bob (my kids don't watch that).

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Hi A.,
I am glad that you asked the question. My son started watching Sprout a few year ago and migrated to Noggin last year. He is getting a little bored with some of the shows. I have 2 stepchildren ages 15 and 10 and he has started migrating to some of their shows. I watched a few of the shows on Cartoon Network, N-toon and some of the other children's channels and they are too old for him. I was appalled by the language on some of them. I have blocked all of these stations. I have started playing videos for him. I also like Animal Planet, but sometimes the shows are little scary for him when they show animals attacking people or other animals.

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I know I am late on this, but some channels you might want to check out if you have them on your cable or satellite systems. Cartoon Network does have some OK shows, but they have a lot of shows using mean actions, rudeness, violence, & obnoxious behavior to get laughs, along with lack of respect for others. Almost as bad as watching Spongebob.
Some others to try: Animal Planet, Discovery Kids-shows like HI-5(music/comedy teens), Hip-Hop Harry (learning & moral issues set to trendy hip-hop music, Monster trucks.
Also, Disney XD, shows geared more for young boys, but girls like it too. Boomerang, all the old cartoon shows us baby boomers grew up with. My 3 & 6 yr old girls love Looney Tunes w/Bugs Bunny. Other networks like Qubo (Q-bo) & Sprout are on some cable/satellite systems that are all kid shows, though some might be a little young. At least they are safe to let your kids watch.

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PBS all the way!

All these new programs just seem so wierd to me!

Just my 2 cents :)

My son now watches baseball AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.. ahhhh, a tenage boy :)

While it is great to censor the shows your son is watching don't for get the commercials. I think PBS is the best for this because there really aren't any interruptions but cartoon network we had blocked from out TV because the commercials were so inappropriate.
some of the interesting shows like star wars my husband and I used as as rewards we just had to say no more unless we can find them in the -on demand- feature. My 6 1/2 year old son was not happy about that but i was shocked by the clips of other shows advertised on the same channel.

My son just got VHS/DVD of Rescue Heroes and he LOVES them.

I personally don't let my son watch the nature shows because I believe it leads to being too "wowed" by a video and then not impressed by nature itself. I read something about this and it really affected me - a teacher who has always shown kids pond muck under a microscope, and he has really seen a change in the kids' reactions since Discovery Channel/National Geo, etc. have been around, from excitement to "this is boring, I already saw the crayfish eat the mayfly on tv." I'm a little over the top with my anti-tv feelings. : )

I know this isn't a TV show you're requesting. But my daughter loves "In Between the Lions". If you have netflix, you can get it there. It's PBS and is really teaching my 3-year-old how to read. There are even story plots too.

Fetch with Ruff Ruffman on PBS

Donut Man

Bible Man

Veggie Tales

Scooby Doo is limited in our home - it is a little scary for that age. 1-2 episodes a day.

We bought "Life Goes On" a great show for the whole family!!!

Going to get the "Brady Bunch"

We also have a couple seasons of "Life Goes On" - some episodes might be a little for older than 5-7 but they still like watching "family shows"

We also got "Andy Griffith" and

"My Three Sons"

There are so many options when DVDs are available!

Check your library - I can search ours online!

I think you both might like Avatar on Nickelodean. It's intelligent, exciting and cool and has very solid values presented within the story lines. Might be too young for it, but he may like it now. I believe it's recommended for 7 and up, but watch it and see for yourself.

Yes show on PBS is good (Martha Speaks) also Goosebumps (if they like stuff that's slightly scary). How about The Spectacular Spider Man. Older cartoons like Tom and Jerry, Rugrats (my kids are 3 and 5 1/2 and love these shows), I feel like most shows these days are for teens and are too advanced for our young ones.

Do you have Disney XD? That is part of the Disney Channel, family geared specifically towards boys. My favorite "boy" show is Phineas & Ferb. Funny cartoon.

My 4 & 7 yr old boys watch:
Super Why
Word World

I like these shows because they are educational. Recently my 7 yr old started watching Bakugan. At first I didn't approve, but it teaches some good lessons like team work, friendship and having confidence. He also loves watching Discovery Channel shows like Planet Earth, Dirty Jobs and How Things are Made.

I still find some good shows on Noggin and Disney (Disney in the morning) for my kids. 4.5 and 6.5. They love imagination movers. Do you have On Demand? You can find some good shows there too. My kids love scooby doo but I can only take so much so they get that every now and then. I'm with you on the HM and Jonas Brothers. There was a time when my oldest asked for it, I watched one HM episode with her and told her she was too young for it. She hasn't asked for it since. For the most part, try to stay away from a channel with all those commercials! I think they make the kids more crazy than their shows! I think Nickolodeon is one of them, however if you watch it On Demand it's not so bad.

** after seeing another post I'm reminded that both of my kids LOVE Nat Geo, we watch it together often. They love anything about our planet, animals, medical shows and then the other channel we watch together is Food TV - they LOVE cooking shows, my daughter more that my son. I find my son gets very hungry (don't we all) when watching a cooking show. SurvivorMan is a great show.. OK, now things are coming to me! Animal Planet and Nat Geo - I bet your boys would love these channels!! Plus they'll be learning for sure!
Best wishes,

How'd they do that
several programs on animal planet and the discovery channel might interest him and are generally "safe".

as far as cartoons, i like Johnny Test, the Saturdays, or Pokemon. We've stopped watching a lot of the disney stuff because the "live actor" programs are really more in the preteen/young teen age range (like you mentioned).

All that said, its worth having a DVR. Even my little one (4.5yo) can operate ours and get to programs he wants to watch.

Hope that helps.

Ok so I am totally the odd mom out here! LOL Our entire family watches SpongeBob! We all love it. He does get on my nerves sometimes though.

Anyhow my son just turned 6 and he LOVES Bakugan (cartoon network in the AM) Transformers Animated (same channel usually right before Bakugan) iCarly is another fave he has along with Drake and Josh. Power Rangers of course, and he loves to build Lego Bionicles so I bought the movies off ebay and he watches those more then anything now.

Other then that he loves to watch Dog Town and the Dog Whisperer on Nat Geo, and Mythbusters is another family fave. He also is really into watching Clean House on the Style network. That one even inspired him to pick up his toys and get rid of half of them!

I may be repeating some suggestions, but here it goes. I have an 8 year old girl and a 5 1/2 year old son. I can't stand a lot of the Disney shows like Zack and Cody because most of their humor is based on humiliation as comedy, and they are just rude to each other and adults...I also don't like the shows where there is a lot of dating and "first kiss" type episodes.

My son LOVES The Electric Company on PBS - it's not the one we grew up with, but it's just as good. He actually has learned to read with that show. Also, Wordgirl is a new show on PBS, and although the superhero is a girl, it appeals to both my son and daughter (and it's REALLY funny, even for adults). I also saw Between the Lions mentioned in previous posts...my daughter learned to read with that show. For non-educational type, we love Phineas and Ferb on the Disney channel, as well as the Penguins of Madegascar, which I believe is on one of the Nick channels.

Good Luck!

If you have a computer, a good place to see videos (free) is http://www.hulu.com/channels/Family

My sons LOVE "Harold and the Purple Crayon" episodes, and there are movies there too.

They do have commercials, but they're not like the crazy saturday-morning cartoons' commercials that keep me from letting them watch regular tv.

P.S. I'm with you on Sponge Bob. :)

My son is 9 and my daughter is 5. Up to age 8, they were kind of both watching the same shows:

[b]Jimmy Neutron[/b] (I hate it, very sassy, but oh well - thankfully he's outgrown it) I would AVOID that show.

[b]Berenstain Bears[/b] - awesome show and perfect for this age - even at 9

[b]Avatar on Nickelodeon.[/b] - That is an AMAZING cartoon for children. 5.5 is a bit young, but unfortunately, my daughter was watching it at 4 (no choice, she's in the room). It's got great story lines and you really have to sit with your child to watch (Adults love this show and M. Night Shalyn? is making a movie of it) so you can explain anything or answer questions. I've used it to discuss right and wrong.

[b]Arthur[/b] - still a fav

Both my kids saw [b]icarly[/b] a few months ago at a hotel room and while I don't love it, it is wholesome so they both watch it now. My 5 yr old daughter LOVES it. I would WAIT on that show though. That kind of slipped under the radar and I'm letting it pass.

I won't let him watch any other Disney channel "tween" show though.

Now he's just starting to watch the Discovery Channel (Bear Gryllis and we watch together) but some of those shows are too intense and I just waited and waited till his mind was more mature.

Disney channel - I would stay away from that as long as possible. I know lots of kids that age already watch it. It is so sad to me. They see the commercials (if they are watching Disney cartoons) and beg for it. That's how it happens.

I can't stand [b]Spongebob[/b] either and I don't let them watch it - period. My 5-yr-old daughter LOVES Spongebob and would watch it if I let her. She begs for it.

I have an 8 year old boy. For the past 2-3 years Pokemon and Backugan have been his favorite shows. Though there is a level of "battling" I see it more as a battle of wits at using the right moves with your pokemon or backugan. The main characters are caring to their pokemon or backugan...making sure they eat/sleep and get medical care. Though both shows did lead to a collection...Pokemon cards and Backugan figures. We were able set up incentive programs for earning cards and figures. And it has been amazing to see him memorize the cards/figures names along with their strengths and weeknesses. And he has been interested in reading the Pokemon books as well!

I have a 6 year old son and I was going through the same thing till I noticed that he really enjoyed the nature, history and anthropological documentaries that I watched. He loves the discovery channel and his favorite show is Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls. He even did a project on him for first grade. He also loves anything having to do with Egypt and and the pyramid. As an added bonus it is educational and he has no idea. Nation Geographic has great videos that are often available at the library. I hope you find something that works for you.

Deni B.

My son is 4, so he's a little younger, but I just put on Discovery Kids for him last night and he watched it mesmerized...although he was annoyed by the commercials! The shows were actually a little old for him, I thought, but he really liked it. There was a show about kids on an overnight trip to Sea World and a show about kids going to help Polar Bears in the Arctic. I think he enjoyed the nature part of things and also loves seeing shows with kids in them.

Good luck! There really is a shortage of good stuff out there for kids...and I'm with you...can't stand Sponge Bob either!


I have a 5 yr old boy, and he loves a lot of the shows on the PBS station. His favorites are Super Why, Word Girl, and Word World. They are great, educatonal, and he really enjoys it. I agree that at this age, they are too young for some of the more mature Disney shows.

We don't actually have TV anymore (Ha! Read ON, this isn't as snooty as you might think:) We go off of DVD's or things that are streamable on Netflix. Anyhow...because people have different versions of "wholesome" these are my son's and my favorites from the past 2 years, no holds barred:

Educational & Fun
- Magic Schoolbus
- Nova Specials...on just about anything (but he HATES imax)
- The Universe series...PBS I think...stunning visuals (PBS has a LOT of good ones)
- Engineering an Empire series
- "Walking With" series ( with dinosaurs, with prehistoric beasts, etc., ) ..stunning visuals
- Zaboomafoo
- In Between The Lions

- Avatar; The Last Airbender...this is the only cartoon series *I* got addicted to. We ended up buying all 4 seasons.
- Pixar stuff (Wall-E, Nemo, Ant Bully, Cars, etc.)
- Wallace & Grommet
- The Pink Panther
- Scooby Doo
- Bugs Bunny & Road Runner (originals)
- The Muppet Show (original)

You Let Him Watch WHAT?
- Starwars
- Indiana Jones
- Doctor Who (NuWho, and the old series, but nuWho is his favorite)
- Pirates of the Carribean
- Inuyasha (in japanese, not dubbed)
- Harry Potter
- Transformers
- Monty Python
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Labyrinth
- Around the World in 80 Days

The Making Of:
- Nearly any film or TV show...he LOVES to see exactly how they make it

Old Favorites
- Kipper
- Bob the Builder
- Fireman Sam
- Angelina Ballerina
- Pingu
- Schoolhouse Rock
- Pigglywinks

My personal childhood favorite and now my four-year-old daughter's favorite, Scooby Doo! Although I have one brave cookie on my hands :) Boomerang used to show it regularly, now occasionally so you'll have to DVR it. Or, Target has $5 DVDs.

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