Best Kids TV Shows for 2021 – TV Series Your Entire Family Will Love
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that, while children under 18 months shouldn’t have any screen time outside of video chatting, that kids over 2 years old can have up to an hour of television per day. For that hour of TV, parents should select quality programming for that age group, such as shows found on PBS Kids or other curated choices you can browse from our lists here.
It’s still important for young children with developing brains to have activities and interactions outside of screens though, in order to build language, social skills and empathy. Lack of face-to-face interaction and an over-dependence on screens can also negatively affect sleep and physical health, however there are many positive benefits of smart screen use. For family members over the age of 6, increased TV watching is just fine as long as it’s high-quality kids’ shows with consistent watch limits in mind. Finding great children’s programming for your family can be tough, but with this guide you can navigate the latest and best shows for kids of any age.
Browse the Best Kid’s TV Shows on DISH Network
TV Shows for Toddlers
Knowing what your toddler should watch and how much they should watch is a real challenge, especially for new parents. But understanding your kid along with some basic guidelines can make all the difference. Up to an hour of good quality TV per day is okay, and shows that are shorter and more visual lead to better learning. Consult our guide of recommended shows for toddlers for some great starting points on shows for you and your toddler to enjoy together!
TV Shows for Little Kids
As your kids get old enough to start school, they’ll have more regular screen time outside of the home. So while other family activities should be prioritized, up to an hour of TV per day is still perfectly fine, with perhaps a little extra on the weekends as well. Television time should be monitored, but there are many award-winning shows for your kid that can be entertaining and fun as well as enriching. See our guide for some great suggestions to start with!
TV Shows for Big Kids
As your children get a little older, you don’t have to be quite as strict with TV time. Your kids likely use computers, tablets or other screens for other uses like while at school, so they’re more used to that exposure. But it’s important to still be aware of how much time they’re spending watching TV, and be sure to note any behavioral or physical changes that could result from excessive screen time. And still be prioritizing other activities like family activities, time with friends or reading. Check out our guide for some great show ideas!
TV Shows for Tweens
Your kids can start to enjoy different types of programming as they get older, like family sitcoms or tame reality shows, however it’s still important to kind usage in mind and maybe set some boundaries. They’ll have more screen exposure from smartphones or video games, although TV is distinct from those as it’s a more passive activity. It’s often a good practice to watch TV shows with your kids and have a conversation with them about it, and continue to look for any behavioral or physical changes with them. See our guide for show ideas for your tween!
TV Shows for Teens
As your kids get older and start high school, what they’ll want to watch and what they’ll be exposed to will naturally change quite a bit. Staying involved through shared watching and conversation is still important, as is balancing TV time with school, family time and other activities like sports or music. As their perspectives open up, it’s good to keep in mind what they’re watching. They might start viewing less enriching television, so you should encourage them to also watch shows with strong female leads, diverse casts and smart messages as well. Consult our guide for some helpful suggestions!
TV Shows for the Whole Family
While different sets of shows can be appropriate for different age levels of your children, finding content for you and all your kids to watch and enjoy together can be difficult. Beyond finding something you’ll all like, you’ll still want to be mindful of how much time they’re spending watching, as well as how you’re all engaging with programming together through conversation. Refer to the show ideas provided in our guide for some great starting points on shows that are enriching for children, engaging for adults and entertaining for your entire family!