My wife and I try to limit the amount of time in front of the TV our son watches. While there are plenty of age appropriate and educational programs available, the American Association of Pediatrics still recommends limiting the amount of screen time young children get.
I would love to say that we abide by everything the professionals recommend, but let’s face it, sometimes handing him our phone, Kindle Fire, or putting on the T.V. while we cook dinner or he gets incredibly fussy with 20 minutes left on a car ride, is just the easiest solution to make him happy and keep us sane.
We don’t have cable at our house, instead we stream shows with apps like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. These programs offer a lot of different options and I’ve tried to sample many of them to find shows which my son will enjoy but will also meet a few requirements.
Each show must be age appropriate, have several seasons (you never know how many times you’re going to watch a season!), and even though he’s probably too young to understand, I want the shows to offer some educational premise.
Choosing a show is tough. I’ve found that sometimes when I see a thumbnail of a new show on the screen, it offers a lot of promise. Maybe it’s a show about trucks (he loves trucks!) or has a lot of animals (he loves animals, too!), but when you actually start the show, you look at it and think, “man, that little red truck’s voice is making my ears bleed!”
If you’ve found yourself in this situation before, don’t worry, I’ve compiled a list of four shows which are currently on Netflix that your kids will surly enjoy and you won’t be driven insane watching them, too!
This animated show is about a group of fun-loving underwater explorers called the Octonauts. Led by their polar bear commander, Captain Barnacles, the Octonauts, which consists of a cat pirate, penguin medic, and others, set out to explore, protect, and rescue ocean wildlife.
This show is full of bright colors, fun adventures, silly situations, and a catchy “Creature Report” song to wrap up each episode. What I also enjoy about this show is that it’s full of fun facts about various sea creatures, as well! If your child loves this show, there is a full line of books and toys, to help bring the adventure off screen.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a train, learning how to be a train? If you never thought that, you’re not alone, but that’s exactly what this show is about. Chuggington follows the stories of “trainees” (get it? They’re trains!) Wilson, Koko, and Brewster as they learn tricks-of-the-trade for being a train.
What I really like about this show, beside’s their ridTiculous catch-phrases like “that’s traintastic,” or “ooh, bumpers!” that I will undoubtedly use around people who don’t have kids and will look at me funny, the show also teaches valuable lessons like friendship, teamwork, and work ethic during each episode,
Who doesn’t love this little monkey and his antics? Based on the book series by Margret Rey, this show tells the story of a little monkey named George whose curiosity puts him in precarious situations.
I enjoy this show for many reasons. For one, it’s quite nostalgic for me as I remember reading the books as a child and now reliving those experiences with my son is just awesome. Second, each adventure George goes on involves a lot of problem solving, trial and error, and morals, all of which I think are important for kids to learn.
I am always left with one important question though, how much money does the man in the yellow hat make, where he can afford a city apartment fancy enough to have a doorman, AND a house in the country? I think I chose the wrong profession …
This show is admittedly a guilty pleasure for me because I used to watch it as a kid all the time. Netflix rebooted the series and there are now several new seasons to watch. The new series is more jovial than the original – I think Dr. Claw was a lot more evil than he is now.
The show has been updated for a new generation. We still have the three main characters of Inspector Gadget, his niece Penny, and their dog Brain, but now Penny has grown up and is a recruit for HQ to become an inspector herself. Dr. Claw now even has a nephew doing his “evil” work, too.
Most importantly, Inspector Gadget is still his clueless old self who happens to solve crimes and catch bad guys through happenstance and the help of his friends. I like this show because it makes for a good laugh but still has some wholesome family values as well.
That’s my list. What did you think? Are there any shows you enjoy watching with your kids? Let me know and I’ll go check them out!