Everyone hates Caillou. This is just a universal truth. Death, taxes, and Caillou. Awful.
And we all know Ruby is a psychopath who has her parents tied up in the basement so she can rule over Max like an overlord.
Let’s face it, most kids shows are just grating. Sure, they are educational, entertaining, all that jazz, and they do keep them busy for 5 minutes so you can pee without an audience – but in terms of shows that you can watch with your kids and not yank your own ears off, few fit the bill.
So here is my gift to you. A list of 7 kids shows that you will actually be able to sit through, and might even enjoy.
Word Girl is a grammar nerd’s dream. In addition to teaching kids vocabulary that is actually challenging, it is endlessly clever. When villain Lady Redundant Woman burst onto the scene, I nearly spit out my coffee. And she’s voiced by Jane Lynch, what’s not to love?
Ask The Story Bots
Following the success of their awesome YouTube channel, The Story Bots star in not one but two fabulous shows on Netflix. My favorite is Ask the Story Bots, which features clever writing, celebrity cameos, and most importantly, easy to follow, fact-based science. Move over Bill Nye, The Story Bots became the best kids science show on TV when they dropped a robot out of a plane, yelling “Yippee Ki-yay, mother…nature!”
Photo: Sesame Street
I know, we all grew up with Sesame Street, we know it is good quality children’s programming. But have you watched it lately? It is legitimately hilarious to watch as an adult. The pop culture references alone will make you find an excuse to tune in, whether your kid is interested or not. Is Sesame Street an awesome show? Well, to quote Baby Bear in one episode I saw recently, “Does a bear go potty in the woods?”
Teen Titans Go
This one is more for school agers than preschoolers, but it is still pretty darn awesome. It’s not educational. It doesn’t teach any kind of lesson. It’s sort of gross. But it is tolerable, and sometimes that is the only goal. It’s one of the few shows that our whole family can stand watching together. It’s basically the unicorn of television.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
All the wisdom of Mr. Rogers, none of the sweater changes. I’m including this show less because it is enjoyable to watch as an adult, but more because it is just an incredible show for children. It teaches empathy, problem-solving, and ways to deal with other difficulties that seem huge when you’re little, and it does it through short, repeated songs. I have witnessed my preschooler begin a tantrum, stop, sing himself a song from Daniel Tiger, and solve the problem himself, scream-free. Did you catch that? He stopped his own tantrum. Daniel Tiger is a miracle worker.
Yo Gabba Gabba
I’m not going to lie, this show is trippy. I’m not saying it was created by intoxicated students in a dorm somewhere, but I wouldn’t be surprised. With a mix of weird costumed characters, funky hipster music, and an omnipotent giant dressed in traffic cone orange who packs the Gabba Universe up in a suitcase at night, it’s hard to understand why this show is appealing, but it is. You can’t look away. If nothing else, Elijah Wood doing a sort of fun, sort of creepy puppet master dance is enough reason to check the show out.
Sid the Science Kid
If you can get past the Muppets on steroids vibe from the cast of characters, Sid is good stuff. It takes enthusiasm to a new level, which can be a bit much, but the storyline makes up for it. I will bashfully admit to recording the rest of an episode once so that I didn’t miss the ending while putting the baby down for a nap. I’m not proud of it, but there it is.
So the next time Thomas comes on and you find yourself yelling “No, you’re not friggin’ useful, Thomas, GTF off my screen” (you know you’ve done it,) or you’re fantasizing about Dora vamonos-ing right into a tree, check out one of the options from this list.
Your sanity may depend on it.
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