Raising kids in the age of iPads and endless streaming options is difficult, no doubt. You don't want your kids watching too much TV - but sometimes you just need a break, even if it's only for a few minutes.
The truth is - it's okay to put on a show from time to time.
There's a strange stigma around letting kids watch "too much" TV, but expecting your kids to be screen-free until their 8 might not be realistic. TV is okay in moderation, and you are not "failing" by needing a break. Taking that half hour to yourself is refreshing - you could even call it self love - and you need to take care of yourself too.
So your kids are going to watch TV sometimes, and that's okay! But it's important to make sure they're watching the right shows. Too many kids shows are overstimulating, annoying, or downright misguiding to young minds. Some reflect unrealistic body types, dysfunctional families, and the kinds of values you don't want in your home.
We picked out the top 11 parent-approved kids shows out there. These are the cream of the crop - they teach good morals, are fun for even the parents to watch, and captivate kids in the right ways. Check out our top 11 kids shows below...
Bluey is THE cutest, most wholesome kids show. I love how it depicts a sweet family where all four family members are involved in playtime! Their biggest message is the importance of prioritizing play, no matter how old you are. The graphics are soft and captivating, and the accents are just a bonus. Definitely my top pick for a parent-approved kids show!
Parent Rating: 4.8 ⭐️
2. Puffin Rock
Puffin Rock is one of those shows you won't mind watching with your kids - it's simple, sweet, and the animation is so aesthetic and cute it's hard not to love it. The show follows two young puffins who adventure their home island and learn something new about nature every day. Yet another show with the entire family involved, which I love to see.
Parent Rating: 4.3 ⭐️
3. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Remember these endless hypothetical question books we all loved? Well now it's a kids show, and it is so fun and wholesome! Each episode begins by asking a question similar to "if you give a mouse a cookie... what will happen?" The characters go on funny adventures and the string of events always has a charming resolution. Grab some books to pair with the show for the full experience!
Parent Rating: 4.0 ⭐️
3. Daniel Tiger
Daniel Tiger isn't just parent approved, it's speech therapist approved - and it will teach awesome values to your kids. The parents show a healthy balance of involved and fun as well as putting up boundaries, being responsible, and helping Daniel Tiger through the tough lessons. This show is fun, imaginative, and great for character development. A huge parent favorite!
Parent Rating: 3.5 ⭐️
4. Shaun The Sheep
I used to watch Shaun the Sheep back in the day, and it's still a parent favorite for a reason. Claymation, but in the charming way, this show is a wholesome mix of adventure and humor. Even parents will find the episodes entertaining. It's not over stimulating with too many bright colors or loud noises, so it won't be annoying if you have it playing in the background while you cook dinner. Such a cute show!
Parent Rating: 4.5 ⭐️
The Storybots is the perfect show for those curious kiddos out there! Each episode starts by asking a question and working to answer it - and having some pretty entertaining adventures along the way. The characters are charming and colorful, and this show will absolutely captivate your little one. Plus it's one of the highest rated kid shows out there - parents nationwide love it!
Parent Rating: 4.7 ⭐️
6. Paw Patrol
Paw Patrol is perfect if you child loves anything first responder. In each episode, the pups respond to emergencies and help their community, each using their unique gifts to save the day. This show teaches children to value the differences in their talents and skills, while putting others above themselves. It's fun, cute, and perfectly wholesome for your kids.
Parent Rating: 4.3 ⭐️
7. Peppa Pig
Peppa Pig is such a classic, and we had to include it here. Similar to Bluey or Daniel Tiger, this show portrays a sweet family with parents that are both involved yet responsible. The simple lessons this show teaches are at the perfect pace for younger children, and it's another show that's gentle enough it won't drive you crazy while it's playing in the background. And maybe I'm just a sucker for accents, but it adds something, I'm telling you!
Parent Rating: 3.9 ⭐️
8. Wild Kratts
This show was my top favorite growing up, and it's still available to watch these days! The Kratt brothers start every episode by discovering a new creature and wondering "what if" they could be that animal for the day. Their special suits give them to power to transform into a new animal each time, so every episode is about their experience living as that animal (and usually saving it from the bag guys in the show). This show is great for teaching kids to take care of the planet in a responsible way.
Parent Rating: 4.8 ⭐️
9. Mr. Roger's Neighborhood
We had to throw this classic in here! Mr. Roger's Neighborhood is one of the most parent-approved wholesome TV shows for kids over the years, and that's no exception today. If you didn't watch it growing up, you'll want to snuggle up with your kids and watch it together! It teaches kids valuable lessons through normal everyday interactions, and Mr. Rogers is playful and fun.
Parent Rating: 4.9 ⭐️
Arthur is a throwback to the shows my generation grew up with, but it's still just as fun, wholesome, and captivating for kids! The characters have relationships that reflect real-life situations super well, which is valuable for kids to see and expect when they're out in the real world. Paired with teaching awesome values through fun episodes, this show is fantastic.
Parent Rating: 4.5 ⭐️
11. Blue's Clues
Our last throwback, but I simply had to include it. Blue's Clues is a great show for younger kids, and it's perfectly playful and wholesome. If you grew up watching Blue's Clues, maybe it's time to pass it down to your little one too! Your child will learn shapes, colors, basic reading, numbers, critical thinking, and matching all through one nostalgic show - you can't beat that.
Parent Rating: 4.4 ⭐️
Remember mama, you're doing amazing. Had to turn on a show so you could get dinner done last night? Or just to have a glass of wine and scroll on Insta for a few minutes? We get it, and there's no shame in taking a moment to yourself.
Hopefully this list helps you weed out the bad shows so you can allow your little one to be influenced in the right ways.
Before you go, check out our favorite Parker Baby Co products for show time - meaning snuggles, chill afternoons, and taking a moment to rest:) See below!
^^ Our Baby Quilts are the perfect show-time snuggle blanket for your baby. Available in 6 different adorable patterns and colors, they are the softest, snuggliest blankets. Order one here!
^^ Speaking of snuggles, if you like pairing bathtime with a little before-bed show, you need to add our Hooded Bath Towels to your routine. Thick, warm, absorbent, and sensitive for baby skin, our towels are top notch. Order one here.
^^ Afternoon show time can always be paired with some toys and books for added fun, and what better way to bring them out than with a play caddy? Our Felt Diaper Caddies are versatile for your needs, and our newest white color is so cute. Order it here!