So you want to sit down and watch your kids’ shows with them? For a lot of parents, the shows are pretty brutal. Many early learning shows are more focused on teaching your child a lesson rather than entertaining an adult.
But there are some magical shows out there than can be pleasing to both parent and child. What makes them great? A mixture of inside jokes meant for parents, lessons that make raising your kid a little easier, and some hummable tunes. Here are some adult-focused reviews of today’s top kid shows.
The list begins with the all-time leader in entertaining children. The show has been shaping young minds since 1969 and somehow continues to be relevant today. The show also manages to tackle sensitive subjects with an easy compassion it’s long been known for.
Sesame Street also makes sure to entertain parents as well. There’s are frequent inside jokes that go over kids’ heads but not Mom and Dads. Each show also features guest stars who will be well known to Mom and Dad.
There are shows out there that kids love and parents enjoy too. There are also shows that kids love and parents loathe. Caillou is one of the former. While the show ended its run in 2010, it still regularly runs on kid’s channels.
Parents don’t have to go too far on the internet before they begin to run into anti-Caillou pages. The show isn’t really all that bad, but super juvenile. It will be delightful for lots of children and a horrible slog for most parents.
Daniel Tiger is another show that only targets little kids, but it is also a program that parents would appreciate. Each show has a lesson and a catchy song that you’ll find your kids singing along to.
For parents working on potty training, the “If you have to go potty, stop and go right away” song could be a game-changer. The story’s general message of compassion and kindness shines throughout and is a nice lesson for your little ones.
Wild Kratts was created by Chris and Martin Kratt to introduce kids to the animals that live in the wider world. The brothers often create suits that allow them them to have the powers of the animals they talk about.
The show is fun for kids and gives them a better understanding of animals both well known and recently introduced. The facts about the animals are always interesting and parents are guaranteed to learn something as well.
Pete the Cat
Parents have been familiar with Pete the Cat from books and YouTube videos for years now. The television show was just released on the Amazon channel in November of 2018. And it is really awesome.
Kids really dig the show and parents will too. The voice actors are well accomplished musicians like Elvis Costello, Diana Krall and KT Tunstall. The adventures are cute and the songs are catchy and memorable. The second season will be premiering in August of 2019.
Dora The Explorer
Dora the Explorer has been entertaining children and annoying parents since its debut in the year 2000. The show features a seven-year-old girl named Dora and her adventures with a monkey named Boots.
The show is great for kids. It may be one of the very first shows your little one gets into after Sesame Street. While the show has nothing for (and can be a little grating to) parents, at least your kids will be learning Spanish.
Mickey Mouse And The Roadster Racers
This show re-imagines cherished Disney icons like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, and Goofy as competing race car drivers. In the second portion of the show, Minnie and Daisy become the Happy Helpers and aid those in need around town.
The show is charming for parents who grew up with these characters in different incarnations. The show will also throw in a guest star each episode who should be able to entertain parents.
Ryan’s Mystery Playdate
If you’ve had a child in the last five years, you may have noticed that kids today like watching other children play with toys. This would have been torture for kids like me back in the day, but it is what it is.
Ryan’s Mystery Playdate expands a show that initially debuted on YouTube. The young star Ryan has to figure out who he’ll play with as his parents assist him with different tasks. For some kids, this will be the most delightful things they’ve ever seen and the parents of those children will just have to suck it up.
Max And Ruby
There are a lot of great kids’ TV shows. There are also a lot of terrible kids’ TV shows and Max and Ruby is the worst of them all. It promises to promote sibling bonding, but is a really rough watch.
The show doesn’t feature any of the things that might make a show tolerable for parents. There are no decent songs to hum along to or any jokes at all. If your kid loves this show maybe you should introduce them to some of the others on this list.
Peppa Pig is the very best kid show for parents to watch and there is almost no argument against this fact. The show revolves around a little English pig named Peppa, her Mummy and Dad and her little brother George.
The show is legitimately funny for any age and features a more relatable nuclear family than any live-action show. And it is also very cute when your child starts walking around and speaking with a little bit of a British accent.
Kids really love Thomas the Train and trains in general. And since Thomas the Train is not available on Netflix and lots of train-loving parents have Netflix, their kid ends up watching a lot of Chuggington.
Thomas and Friends is not great for parents by any means and Chuggington is way worse. But it is streaming so if you want to zone out and do something else, you child can happily watch this for an hour or two.
Bubble Guppies began its run on Nickelodeon in 2011 and unfortunately, the show wrapped up in 2016. There are still plenty of episodes that can either be watched on Nickelodeon or on the Amazon Prime App.
The show has a lot of the elements that can make it watchable for parents. The characters are funny and fleshed out and there are plenty of inside jokes for adults. The show also features the very best songs of any show and you will find yourself singing them for days.
Some young kids have to move to a different town at a young age and that can create a rough transition. Young Vampirina not only moved from Transylvania to Pennsylvania, she also has to make sure that no one realizes her and her family are vampires.
The show teaches kids lessons about compassion and fitting in. There are also some familiar voices that parents will recognize. James Van Der Beek voices Dad Boris and Wanda Sykes plays a 473-year-old gargoyle.
Thomas And Friends
Little kids are just nuts about trains. The show Thomas and Friends has been teaching children about their favorite engines since 1984. Early narrators on the show included Alec Baldwin and George Carlin.
Today’s show is fully animated and features about 100 characters which all have their own toy. In the most recent seasons, Thomas goes global and helps kids learn about Africa, Australia, and India. There’s not a ton for parents to enjoy other than a mild chuckle here or there.
SpongeBob SquarePants made its Nickelodeon debut all the way back in 1999. Amazingly enough, the show is still going strong nearly 20 years later. There are plenty of parents out there who grew up on the show and can’t wait to share it with their kids.
SpongeBob is another one of those gold standard shows that people of any age can enjoy. In fact, considering the nostalgia factor and the constant inside jokes, some adults will even enjoy the cartoon more than their kid does.
Alvin And The Chipmunks
This is another show that parents and perhaps even grandparents might have grown up with. The chipmunks were created back in 1958 by Ross Bagdasarian. Today his son, Ross Bagdasarian Jr. is still involved with the show and voices all three chipmunks.
The show will most likely hold some memories for adults who are watching alongside their children. Other than that there’s not much here for the parents other than seeing joy in their children’s eyes while the animals squeak along to the newest Ke$ha song.
DC Super Hero Girls
In the last few years, in an awesome development, its become more common for young girls to embrace their nerdy side and get into super heroes. One of the shows most responsible for this movement is Warner Bros. DC Super Hero Girls.
Parents who love comics and super heroes will adore this show just as much as their kids to. The show which features characters like Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn and Hawkgirl, aslo features sharp humor and cutting edge character design.
If you are a parent, you have 100% heard of Marshall, Chase, Rubble, Rocky, Zuma, and Sky, the Paw Patrol. The show features a team of hero dogs led by a human named Ryder who somehow has like a billion-dollar budget for rescue vehicles and equipment.
Kids adore the show, which draws huge ratings for Nickelodeon. I’m not sure there is much for parents to get out of it other than the fact that it helps to teach kids that dogs are amazing and should always have our unconditional love.
Pinkalicious & Peteriffic
Pinkalicious is a newer show the premiered on PBS Kids in February of 2018. The story is about an imaginative sister-and-brother team who were created in a series of books written by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann.
The show will most likely appeal to kids who love to use their imaginations. There might not be a lot for adults, story-wise, but the design of the show is beautiful and has been described as “a feast for the eyes.”
Batman The Animated Series
Now, Batman the Animated Series is not a new show by any means. In fact, the show ended all the way back in 1995 (it is readily available on streaming services). Still, though, it is the standard by which all other Batman adaptations will always be judged.
The show, which many Moms and Dads grew up with, looks incredible, is sharply written and features gobs of nostalgic goodness. In this case, the parent may be watching what they want with the kid along for the ride.