Appropriate Tv Shows for 5-Year Old?

Updated on October 31, 2011
O.L. asks from Long Beach, CA
26 answers

I'm hoping to hear from parents of 5 year old kids about what type of shows they allow their children to watch? It seems like there are a ton of shows for 3 and 4 year olds but not alot of good quality shows for 5 and 6 year olds. We don't watch Sponge Bob at home, so I'm wondering if there are any other shows?


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answers from Dallas on

My son and many of his friends who are all 5 and 6 love the PBS show WIld Kratts. It's an animal show and they really learn a lot from it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

PBS has tons of great shows for kids and ALL of them are educational. There is World World, Word Girl, Sid the Science KId, Wild Kratts, etc. There is so much garbage on TV that young kids should not be exposed to....even on the Disney channel.



answers from Las Vegas on

I don't have advice for shows but I just wanted to say that I am so glad to read that other people do not do Sponge Bob.

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answers from Denver on

I agree with the ladies below.....Disney Junior, PBS kids shows, magic school bus. My son also likes the science channel---especially Wonders of the Universe. OH, and Discovery has cool shows like "How's it Made" and things like that. You could check out animal planet as well.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Shows that "teach" are your best bet. Shows that only entertain become addictive.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

My boys are 6(just turned) and 7. They love spongebob, Phineas and pherb, star wars, hot wheels, ect.... But I am one that believes that tv is for entertainment and I don't stress about what cartoons they like. Like everything else in life, all good things in moderation.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

The Magic School Bus is AWESOME. It's a joint project with Lily Tomlin (yep, I'm old) and the kid from the Cosby Show - Theo.

My daughter still watched Fairly Odd Parents at that age.

I think this was right when we started transitioning away from TV to books. Once she went to K-garten there wasn't alot of time for TV. So instead of shows she would watch movies on the weekends - Twitches etc.

Also, my sister got her some "oldies" like Little House on the Prairie, Bewitched, etc instead of what was out now.


answers from Williamsport on

My 5 year old has also sort of outgrown the PBS early learning shows. We don't have satellite or cable anymore, just Netflix on Roku, and to be honest, she likes He Man (which has good little lessons and villains). She'll sort of watch the young PBS shows with her younger siblings, but I feel bad because they are too young for her. No shows are super GOOD for kids imo, so I just try to make sure they aren't too Bad and she doesn't watch too much.

Soon I'll get a Little House on the Prairie collection. She likes books for 7 years old and up, so I think she's ready to graduate cartoons soon. She loves movies like Wizard of Oz and Star Wars. She also LOVED the Masterpiece Theater Downton Abbey Series on PBS (Netflix streaming) and memorized practically all seven episodes! She likes Miss Marple too. She like The Addams Family and Munsters we've been watching close to Halloween. When we had satellite, she loved What Not to Wear, or, "Not What to Wear" as her 3 yo brother calls it :)



answers from Washington DC on

DD loves Good Luck Charlie on Disney and also Phineas and Ferb.



answers from Chicago on

My sons love Pokemon, Magic Schoolbus and Scooby Doo.



answers from Augusta on

I second the HUB and scooby doo .
But also I don't see dora , backyardagains , bubble guppies , and Disney Jr shows , etc as exclusively 3-4 yr old shows ,my kids are 9 and 7 and still enjoy those shows.
We dont' do sponge bob either.
Um, PBS has some great shows still, Sid the science kid, super why, Dinosaur Train, Dino Dan, Magic School Bus

ETA: my kids also love mythbusters , and sci channel shows like "how it's made" and " how do they do it"



answers from Dayton on

My almost 5 yr old and 6 year old like Phineas and Ferb and Looney Tunes. There is a new show called The Looney Tunes Show, but they prefer the old school ones we used to watch as kids.



answers from Dallas on

These are some of the shows our kids like/have liked. We go in spurts and they get hooked on a couple and that's all they want to watch. Then they get burned out and find a few new favorites.

Wild Kratts- huge favorite right now

Jake and the Neverland Pirates
Bubble Guppies
Clifford the big red dog
Team Umizoomi
Curious George
Martha Speaks
Magic School Bus
Dino Dan
Dinosaur Train

Most of the stuff we watch is educational in some way. Some are just good models on how to be a friend. I am pretty picky.



answers from Los Angeles on

Phineas and ferb. that may be the only kid show that I actually enjoy.


answers from Rochester on

We rely on DVD's and Netflix for our six year old's limited viewing. She likes Dinosaur Train, Shaun the Sheep, natGeo documentaries, Eyewitness documentaries, Looney Tunes, Garfield and Friends, Popeye, and Old School Sesame Street.


answers from Seattle on

My son just turned 6 and he is kind of all over the place in things he likes to watch.
One of his favorite shows is WildKratts. He loves them! Also, Bubble Guppies, Scooby Doo, Sponge Bob (which I know you don't watch), Pokemon, Sonic the Hedgehog, Planet Earth, Human Planet, Looney Tunes, and Thundercats!



answers from Seattle on

Magic Schoolbus
Avatar, the last airbender (*I* got soooo hooked on this show!!!)


answers from Chicago on

My (almost) 5 yr old watches:

Jake & the Neverland Pirates
Bobby's World
The Magic School Bus
Curious George
Phinneas & Ferb (it is a Disney show that works on the little kid, adolescent, and adult levels all at the same time--hilarious!)
Arthur (a bit over his head, but he gets most of it)



answers from Oklahoma City on

Our little guy likes Lazy Town, we have videos of it.

He likes most any of the shows that are about Super Heroes but I don't let him watch them all the time, maybe once a week.

He does like some of the shows his big sister likes but she has a TV in her room that is set to only go to PBS, Disney, and Nick. I had it set for Cartoon Network at one time when their older brother was living with us but realized that mistake when I walked by his room one night and he had fallen asleep with it on and Adult Swim was is locked out now and only I can turn it on. Which I do let them watch some of the older cartoons during the day.

I let him, gasp, watch all kinds of shows that a lot of moms here would not. He is a normal kid that likes all kinds of action shows. I let them watch lots of movies and stuff. I don't censor very many of their shows if it is not too aggressive or too suggestive.

I also don't let them watch TV shows where the kids don't show respect and love for their parents, friends, or siblings. Shows like "I Carly, Shake It Up, and a few others are not allowed due to the "I am a kid and I know better than an adult if I should do stuff". When they treat their friends and family badly it is teaching the kids I think it's okay, and I don't.



answers from Dallas on

My cable network just put on the HUB network. My 5yo watches things like Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony and old school cartoons that I used to watch like Alvin and the Chipmunks, Gem and the Holograms and Smurfs. Check your local network to see if you have HUB. But she also enjoys watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates (Disney chennel), Phineas and Ferb (Disney) and she still loves watching Dora.



answers from Champaign on

My 5 year old loves The Backyardigans, The Freshbeat Band and Scooby Doo. He still enjoys Dora and Bubble Guppies.



answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter is 5 and these days loves Charlie and Lola, Shaun the Sheep, Pinky Dinky Doo, Care Bears, Hello Kitty Furry Tale Theatre, Pearlie (and a few of the other shows they have on QUBO). Other shows she has enjoyed in recent months include Martha Speaks, Olivia, Super Why, Dinosaur Train, Clifford, and Curious George.

Of course she also likes the usual classic Disney animation films, and lately she's been getting into non-cartoon movies as well (like Mary Poppins).

The biggest issue I have with children's programming is the commercials. I definitely try to limit the QUBO and stick with DVDs and Netflix. We also have a limit on per-day screen time.

I have news for those who say kids shouldn't watch "mindless" television, but instead watch "shows that teach" - television is a passive activity. I watch it for entertainment occasionally, why shouldn't my daughter be allowed to entertain herself and have some down time as well?
That said, kids don't need "educational" shows to help them learn. They are learning from everything around them - even those things that do not resemble conventional, school-y style learning. They might not be learning exactly what they would in school, however that does not make what they are learning any less important.



answers from Washington DC on

Sesame Street
Dino Dan
Dinosaur Train
Phineas and Ferb (even the teen loves it!)


answers from Lakeland on

My daughter is 5 and still loves the programs on PBS. Curious George, Martha and Super Why are her favorites. She does watch SpongeBob and some on Nick Jr. If I find that there isn't much to offer when the TV is on we will put in a movie.



answers from Honolulu on

Little Bear by Maurice Sendak
Upside Down show
Fraggle Rock
Gullah Gullah Island
Magic School Bus
Tom & Jerry
Looney Tunes
Dino Dan
Curious George
Dinosaur Train
Nature (on PBS)
Lazy Town


answers from Providence on

PBS has some great shows for kids. My son loved Sesame street, as well as Agent Oso, Imagination Movers, and Phineas and Ferb on Disney. At about 6 , he got into Spongebob. Absolutely loves it.

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