16 answers

Good TV Shows for Kids

Hi all. My 5 year old son has been asking me constantly to watch tv/movies, but I'm worried about letting him watch too much or him seeing shows that have bad language/content. I have cable, so pretty much all the kid channels. Any of you moms have shows that your kids enjoy that are at least somewhat educational or don't use bad themes/language? Any suggestions about how much TV to allow per day? Thanks!

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Thanks all! My husband and I ordered a DCT for the living room television to try out these channels you've mentioned. Thanks all for the advice! :)

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My daughter's teacher recommends MPTV. I think it is channel 11 or 36. They have a lot of educational shows on. At my house, my daughter watches a lot of older shows like Full House, Disney movies or Disney channel.

Good luck!!

My kids have on the nick channel in the mornings. That has Dora, Diego and many others that have either an educational theme or a moral theme. Taht and now my kids can now speak some spanish. Hope that helped a little.

Mother of three. 6,4 and 18 months.

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I have always liked to limit it to an hour per day solo, more if we're all watching a show together. PBS has good programming. Our favorites are the Backyardigans, Zaboomafoo. Nick's cartoons are entertaining, but your son could come up with a LOT of phrases from cartoons like Grimm & Mandie (actually banned in our house), Ed Edd & Eddie, Spongebob. When my kids were little, we watched a lot of Veggie Tales.

1 mom found this helpful

Go to the website: www.family.org

In the left hand column they have a "parent" link and a "children's" link.

If you go to plugged in they have really good reviews for movies.. even the kid movies. It will tell you how much swearing, the bad themes and good themes, etc. etc.

It is a Christian site, they are really good about telling you exactly what you can expect.

I can't remember if they have one for tv shows, but they do have articles about finding good tv shows to watch.

It's a great site!

Also pretty much all tvs come with a V-Chip.. you just have to program it. You can set it to only view shows with a certain parental rating.. you can still use the code to unlock it if you want to watch something with a higher rating.

1 mom found this helpful

Disney channel is clean, if a bit fluffy.
A FEW Cartoon Network shows are clean-minded and have decent points, but too much drains kid's brains.
One hour a day is enough, if not plenty!
One hour of tv, computer or video games that is!

My source is Connie Spartz formerly of Willmar Schools-her presentations on Brain-based Learning were informative and enlightening!

My daughter's teacher recommends MPTV. I think it is channel 11 or 36. They have a lot of educational shows on. At my house, my daughter watches a lot of older shows like Full House, Disney movies or Disney channel.

Good luck!!

My girls really like the SPROUT channel. It has shows like Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob the Builder, Pingu and Kipper. They especially like the Goodnight Show.

I let my son watch Noggin....You have to have digital cable to get that station (for us it is channel 152). They have wonderful educatonal shows for yound children all day until 5:oo, then the format changes over to shows geared towards older children. I love this channel because of the shows and they don't air commercials (in between shows they have little snippets of educational shorts).

We watch Noggin. It's geared towards a younger crowd with no commercials. The inbetween show times are promiting noggin shows or they have their hosts Moose and Zee. They are clever and it seems like kids could actually learn by watching the stuff inbetween the shows. I find that nickelodean has some pretty advanced commersials geared towards a parent or teenager. I prefer Noggin. They have cute shows like Max and Ruby, Dora, Diago, Oobi, Jacks Music Show, Play with me Sesame. You can check out their website at http://www.noggin.com/ They even have games online for your little learner. As far as how much, I let mine watch an hour at a time at the most, so 2 shows worth. The shows on Noggin are only 20 minutes long plus other little tidbits inbetween shows. We usually don't watch more than 2 hours a day on the weekends. Sometimes, I split them up and do 4-1/2 hour times. It's usually half that amount on the weekdays. Amount is up to you. I'm sure some people will think that I allow too much. It's finding a happy medium that works for you and your family that counts. I know that around dinner time, my almost 3 year old really needs down time and likes to watch a show to relax, which works great for me because it gives me time to get supper on the table. I can also see a huge difference in her additude after she's had a chance to wind down after School and playing all day. Keep in mind, if he's sitting around all day, he's not going to be using up energy that he needs to, in order to sleep well at night. Which could mean more work for you later along with a fight at bedtime. It's a fine line. Experiment away and have fun.

My son loves PBS (channel 2) and it's not even on cable. They have great shows like Sesame Street, Arthur, Barenstein Bears, Clifford, Big Big World. Also CBS does Nick Jr on Saturday mornings and shows like Backyardigans, Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go. I don't let my child watch too much TV but those are the only channels I let him watch. HTH

Hi J.-

My son's younger than yours, so this may be off-base, but one of Jackson's favorite shows is The Little Einsteins on Disney.

I'm not a huge Disney fan, or television fan in general, but if my son's going to be watching television, I'm comfortable with this show. It's clever, and uses classical music and art throughout each episode. My son daily requests to hear "my Little Einstein music" which we adults know as the opera Carmen. He also refers to Mozart's Molto Allegro as "Annie's birthday song."

I've also come across "Peep" on the Discovery Kids channel, and it seems alright.

Hope this helps!


There are two shows that just started, I am not sure what channel (it is a local channel though). They are called "Veggie Tales" and "3,2,1 Pinguins". They are on at I think 10am in the morning on Saturdays. My kids always liked the Veggie Tale videos and us parents enjoyed them too.

My 4 yr old daughter loves to watch shows called "How it's Made" and "Dirty Jobs" with her daddy. How It's Made is a 30 min. show that has 3-5 segments about how stuff is made. Anything from pens, carpet, airplanes, etc. She loves it! Dirty Jobs follows around people who get dirty during their jobs, like construction workers, farmers, etc. Some of those can get a little gross, though. SHe also loves to watch cooking shows. Good Luck!

I love SPROUT and Noggin. They have great shows like Arthur, Berenstein Bears, Noddy, and the Good Night Show. Most of the shows are short (10-20mins) so my daughter "thinks" she's getting to watch more tv but she's really not...if you know what I mean. :) I try to only let her watch some in the am when she first wakes up, mid afternoon w/snack and sometimes at night for a special treat.

My kids have on the nick channel in the mornings. That has Dora, Diego and many others that have either an educational theme or a moral theme. Taht and now my kids can now speak some spanish. Hope that helped a little.

Mother of three. 6,4 and 18 months.

I just have note that I am a bit dissappointed with all the recommendations to limit tv time to one hour a day. Most studys if not all show very strong results that tv has nothing positive to offer children and this includes educational programming. If you must allow your child to watch tv why not allow him to select two or three programs a week that he would like to watch. Another idea would be to take him to a movie once every couple of months. That way it is a really special occaision. I do applaud you for critically thinking about this subject, you are much more responsible than many parents concerning this subject. Good luck to you.

I try to limit TV to no more than an hour a day. All three of my kids love the Backyardigans, it is something they all enjoy, the messages are good and it teaches diversity. We also have the CD's, so we play the songs as well, they even know the word...sort of. Noggin, Nick JR is geared to the Pre school set and educational. My oldest has always been a HUGE Thomas fan, and enjoys that as well-that is only on once a week, and he replays stories on his train table.
Something we do about every other month, is rent a family video, and have movie night. (you can rent Dora, Clifford, Thomas, whatever. This may give you a chance to see where your child has an interest) My oldest 4, loves geting to pick it out and we have to power to say yes or no. Also going to the movies is a great time...Good Luck

Hi there,
If you can afford basic digital cable I would go with that. We just got it and with the basic digital cable there is a channel caleed the tpt channel (channel 242)this plays all the childrens programming that you will find on pbs. This is the only channel I let my children watch and only for 1 hour a day and they love it. Right now my daughter who is 6 loves reading rainbow and Arthur and my son Loves Elmo on sesame street.

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