Young child watching tv (tv shows for kids that don't drive parents crazy)If the dinner’s not done, there’s poop on the floor, or mom needs a shower, who do you turn to for 20 minutes of serenity? If you’re like me, Mr. Television is a lifesaver for those too-crazy moments. But where can a mom turn for TV shows for kids that won’t drive her nuts? Because as much as the program needs to entertain and educate the children, it also needs to keep mom from ripping her hair out. Here are a few of our favorite kid shows — that you AND the kids are sure to love:

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

This is a fan favorite, and deservingly so. Based on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” Daniel Tiger is a preschooler who is learning to navigate life. Daniel Tiger’s mom is serious #momgoals — my personal parenting idol. The show features great songs, realistic life lessons, and diverse characters. There’s also an app for parents that has all the songs conveniently organized by topic. I know Daniel has even helped many moms potty train their kids (season 1, episode 10)! If this neighborhood actually exists somewhere in real life, I will pack my bags in record time. 

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is available on multiple platforms, including PBS Kids and Amazon Prime Video.

Ada Twist, Scientist

Ada and her two best friends, Rosie Revere and Iggy Peck, ask complex questions, solve science-based mysteries, and use teamwork to invent some pretty cool solutions to their problems. This series expands on the original book by Andrea Beaty and continues to focus primarily on math, science, technology, and engineering. I love this series because it teaches about friendship along the way, doesn’t have annoying character voices or supervillains that my child will emulate, and explores the idea that everyone has different talents and something special to contribute.

Ada Twist, Scientist is available on Netflix.


I adore the premise of the show: Bluey and her family use imaginative games and pretend play in their everyday lives to have endless adventures. It fosters creativity, teaches life lessons, and portrays healthy and realistic relationships. It’s funny to both kids and adults and has short 10-minute episodes that don’t get boring. From the parent side of things, it doesn’t have an annoying theme song, has seriously relatable parenting moments, and occasionally offers good parenting hacks. My only gripe is that it doesn’t do a great job of showing that parents aren’t ALWAYS available to play with their kids.

Bluey is available on Disney+.

Emily’s Wonder Lab

Emily Calandrelli is an MIT grad, accomplished aerospace engineer, and fellow mom with a passion for explaining complex science to kids. She showcases relatively easy-to-replicate experiments on each episode and does a great job teaching the basics of the scientific method. I love how she emphasizes that being wrong is OK, it just means you have to think about it more and try again. As a mom, I think it’s awesome that she filmed this whole series while she was pregnant, and she is a great real-life role model. Netflix needs to bring us a second season of this gem!

Emily’s Wonder Lab is available on Netflix

Blaze and the Monster Machines

This animated show for little kids is coming into its eight season — these popular trucks and their drivers have so many adventures in Axle City! Parents love this one for the STEM concepts and problem solving that are “taught” along the way. Kids are exposed to units of measurement, motion, friction, simple machines, number sense, and color recognition. We appreciate that female characters readily share their expertise — trucks aren’t just for boys! Plus, the themes of friendship and fair play are great for all ages.

Blaze and the Monster Machines can be viewed on Nickelodeon and Amazon Prime.

Sofia the First

Sofia is a regular girl whose mom married the king. Talk about lucky, right? She is kind, can talk to animals, and learns lessons through interactions with her stepsiblings and friends. The plot of “Sofia the First” captures my attention, and it’s well written, so I don’t feel like I’m going to lose IQ points just by watching. In fact, there have been a few times where I’m the one saying, “How about one more?”

Sofia the First is available on Disney+.

Wild Kratts

“Wild Kratts” is a classic show for kids and another PBS spin off. Some of you moms might remember “Zoboomafoo” (with the Kratt brothers!) on PBS? Well, now they’ve got Chris and Martin voicing their cartoon counterparts. The brothers save the day by using problem-solving skills and the facts they learn about nature. The plot is interesting, and the facts and tidbits you learn about animals and environments are just plain cool!

Wild Kratts can be viewd on PBS Kids and Amazon Prime.

Puffin Rock

A Netflix original, “Puffin Rock” features a little puffling on an island near Ireland. That means Irish accents, adorable little animals, and a beautifully animated landscape. Oona experiences life as an older sister, helping and playing with friends, and learning about the environment around her. The animation feels peaceful and soothing, which is so rare in children’s programming today! We also love this show for its multilingual options — Netflix recorded each episode in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and German!

Puffin Rock is available on Netflix.

Octonauts (and Octonauts: Above and Beyond)

Octonauts” is a classic series where explorers help sea creatures whenever there is trouble, and they’ve recently expanded their rescue missions to all kinds of different habitats outside the ocean. They explore, explain, and spotlight amazing animals. Captain Barnacles and crew always save the day and have really cool, albeit implausible, rescue vehicles. I have to admit I prefer the “old school” Octonauts episodes — they’re not as over the top as the new ones.

Octonauts and Octonauts: Above and Beyond are available on Netflix.

Izzy’s Koala World

In this documentary series, Izzy and her family rescue koalas on an island off the coast of Australia. Izzy’s mom is a veterinarian, and together they rehabilitate koalas in need. It’s an especially great show for kids who love animals and have a passion for protecting them. Personally, I find it extra appealing because I like the calm and relatively soft-spoken protagonists. As a parent, this one is a no brainer — who doesn’t love fuzzy baby koalas?

Izzy’s Koala World is available on Netflix.

This article was written by Lynzi Clyde and Chelsey Weaver.

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  1. The shows you listed all DO drive me crazy. The ones that don’t: we get down with some “Kung Fu Panda: Legenda of awesomeness” series on Hulu and the “Kung Fu Panda” specials on Netflix. We also watch “Home” and “penguins of Madagascar” on Netflix. They have enough adult jokes to keep me entertained again and again and my son Is totally a Dreamworks baby. He’s not much interested in Disney stuff but loves all things Dreamworks! We also watch “Shrek” a lot on HBO Now and the “Shrek” specials on Netflix.


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