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Waffles and Mochi Michelle Obama
Photograph: Adam Rose/Netflix

The 25 best kids' shows on Netflix right now

Spooky stories and magical realms await.

Written by
Andy Kryza
Written by
Danielle Valente

Sure, experts agree that it’s a good idea to limit screen time for your children, but let’s be honest: parents need a break sometimes, and the easiest way to get one is to plop the little ones down in front of the ol’ tube and let Netflix babysit for a while. To be clear, though, that doesn’t mean you want to simply hypnotise them with whatever colourful, synapse-frying baby-crack you happen to scroll to first. Ideally, you want to find a program that will engage, entertain and, to some degree, educate the wee ones as you stare off into space for a few restorative minutes.

Luckily, Netflix is packed with bingeable kids programming that can hit at least two of those targets at a time, if not all three. That includes everything from a cooking show starring Michelle Obama and a bunch of puppets to a cast of colourful robots helping answer life’s big questions to reboots of some classic series you probably loved as a kid. Thrown on any of these 25 programs and cut yourself some slack – without any guilt.


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Best kids' shows on Netflix

Image: Netflix

1. Centaurworld

Netflix’s new fantasy comedy combines Bojack Horseman’s visual humour, theater-kid awkwardness and some truly great musical numbers to tell the weird tale of a horse whisked away to a land of centaurs… and not just the horse kind. There are centaur moles, ficuses, cats (who seem to love Andrew Lloyd Webber, natch) and more in this cacophonously odd tale that should keep adults engaged with its sly humour while kids marvel at the silliness. 

Image: Netflix

2. Hilda

Featuring a brave and kind protagonist and exceedingly fantastical beasts, Hilda is a stylish and whimsical story about a young girl who moves from an enchanted forest to a big city, where she attempts to bridge the gap between her new urban existance and the mythical creatures she’s befriended in nature. Steeped in Nordic lore, Hilda’s two seasons are piled high with quirky elves, lovelorn giants and sympathetic sea monsters, with an overarching environmental message that balances its cuteness with a little peril and a lot of heart. 

Carmen Sandiego
Courtesy: Netflix

3. Carmen Sandiego

The old-school computer-game villain gets a Cruella-style reimagining, now using her immaculate taste in hats and skills as a thief to protect the world's landmarks from the clutches of nerarious collectors. For added fun, click into Netflix's choose-your-own-adventure interactive special to keep the kids occupied — and learning — beyond the series.

Izzy's Koala World
Image: Netflix

4. Izzy's Koala World

This documentary series follows a young Australian girl who works tirelessly to rehabilitate koalas impacted by deforestation. The koalas are extremely cute, but it’s young Izzy’s dedication and love for them that makes this an ideal watch for any kid with a love for animals… Izzy is a role model of the highest order. 

Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts
Courtesy: Netflix

5. Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts

With its apocyptic themes — Kipo has survived underground as the armageddon decimated society, leading to a world of mutant human/animal hybrids — Kipo at first seems best suited for older kids and anime fans. But what unspools across its three seasons is a master class in high-stakes animated adventure full of fantastic world-building and extremely empathetic characters, anchored by a protagonist who wears her heart on her tattered sleeve. The Miyazaki vibes are strong in this one, from its gorgeous landscapes to its unbending sense of hope. 

Creeped Out
Image: Netflix

6. Creeped Out

A Halloween treat in the mold of Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, this anthology series brings a different ghoulish story to life with each episode. Scary but not too scary, the Amazing Stories-inspired British import is ideal for horror-curious children. Just take that Y7 rating with a grain of salt… parental guidance is highly recommended, lest you find a horrified kid camping out in your bed. 

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Photograph: Joe Lederer / Netflix

7. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

In this book-turned-series, viewers journey alongside three orphans who are trying to uncover their parents' mysterious demise while pursued by the wicked Count Olaf, here played by Neil Patrick Harris, who gamely expands on a role first tackled by Jim Carrey. With its lightly macabre menace, this is perfect for older kids looking for something a little more subversive. 

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous
Courtesy: Netflix

8. Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous

One for budding paleontologists (that’s all kids, right?) and anyone who loves their adventure to come with a side order of relatable teen drama. Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg put his name to it, so expect things to get scary and life-threatening as a group of high-schoolers head to dino-haven Isla Nublar. The show’s third recently just dropped, so there’s loads of episodes to keep any dinosaur-mad little ones entertained. 


Waffles + Mochi
Photograph: Adam Rose/Netflix

9. Waffles + Mochi

Former first lady Michelle Obama and her puppet pals, Waffles and Mochi, want to teach your kids all about food. This zany cooking show is not only informative, with the titular characters travelling the world in a magic shopping cart, sampling different cuisines and learning about different cultures as they go, but it’s also fun. And there are enough celebrity cameos to keep grown-ups interested too.

True and the Rainbow Kingdom
Image: Netflix

10. True and the Rainbow Kingdom

With hyper-styled Japan-adjacent cuteness and roster of wide-eyed characters, the sprawling True series centers on a little girl transported to a technicolor kingdom where she is granted three wishes per episode to solve magical problems with practical answers. The series is a visual feast loaded with ninja cats, morose clouds and friendly monsters, and its wry humor and emotional beats should appeal to young kids and parents alike.

Ask the StoryBots
Courtesy: Netflix

11. Ask the StoryBots

A stealthily educational franchise loaded with great original songs, Storybots follows the tradition of Sesame Street and The Electric Company, with a cadre of inquisitive alien robots (and special guests ranging from Kevin Smith to “Weird” Al, Snoop Dogg, Ali Wong and Edward Norton) spending each episode on life’s biggest questions: Why do we need to brush our teeth? Where does rain come from? How do we catch a cold? And, crucially, what happens when we flush the toilet?

Photo: Scholastic Entertainment

12. Goosebumps

Netflix’s other RL Stine adaptation, Fear Street, is decidedly not for young’uns, but never, uh, fear: if your kids are in the market for something spooky – but not: ‘Mama, can we sleep in your bed for the next month?’ frightening – the original TV version of Stine’s most famous franchise is also streaming. It’s campy and over-the-top, full of nefarious ventriloquist dummies, weird neighbours and lots and lots of worms, but like the popular books themselves, it’s a perfect horror gateway for the PG demographic.    

Motown Magic
Image: Netflix

13. Motown Magic

The music of Motown is truly immortal, and this imaginative series seeks to introduce the hits of Hitsville USA to an entirely new generation. A young boy named Ben uses a magic paintbrush to bring the art – and music – of his hometown to life, thus revivifying the sounds of Stevie Wonder, the Supremes and Marvin Gaye, among others. Smokey Robinson serves as the show’s musical director, too, so you know it’s legit.

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Photograph: Netflix

14. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

A reboot of the original 1985 series, She-Ra: Princesses of Power follows Adora and Catra, two orphans raised as soldiers in the Horde, an evil army led by an evil tyrant hellbent on conquering the planet of Etheria. However, when Adora stumbles across a magic sword that turns her into the Princess of Power, She-Ra, she discovers the foul plan. With her world blown apart, she joins the Rebellion and sets about rebuilding the Princess Alliance, a fellowship of kingdoms ruled by other magical girls, all of whom stand against the Horde. Praised for its inclusive and diverse characters, as well as the complex relationship between Adora and Catra, it’s one for nostalgic parents too.

The Magic School Bus
Courtesy: Netflix

15. The Magic School Bus

The Magic School Bus rides again! The '90s gem follows Ms. Frizzle and her class as they journey on epic field trips. Now, a new generation is ready to devour the lovable series, with SNL's Kate McKinnon pulling voice duty as the world's most cosmic teacher.

Shaun the Sheep: Adventures from Mossy Bottom Farm
Image: Netflix

16. Shaun the Sheep: Adventures from Mossy Bottom Farm

British stop-motion masters Aardman keeps things light and wry with this series spun off of its beloved Shaun the Sheep film, focusing on the day to day adventures of its titular hero. The animation, as always, is top-notch, while the humor provides more than enough to keep parents chuckling as the kids are dazzled. 

Spirit Riding Free
Photograph: Courtesy Netflix

17. Spirit Riding Free

A fish-out-of-water tale for the horse-girl set, this not-exactly sequel to Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron leans into themes of friendship and empowerment with the story of a city girl who moves to a railroad boom town. And while it sounds like a dad-focused revisionist western, the playful antics and themes of resiliance have served it well over the course of 10 seasons thanks to its fully realized characters and great big heart. 

Avatar: The Last Airbender
Photograph: Nickelodeon

18. Avatar: The Last Airbender

Regularly touted as one of the greatest animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender follows 12-year-old Aang, the world’s only Avatar. He can manipulate all the elements — water, fire, earth and air — and is responsible for keeping the peace between the four nations that represent them. Unfortunately, the Fire Nation is waging a war against the world, and so Aang has his hands full. Touching on some important topics such as authoritarianism, war and genocide, it’s also a handy jumping off point for Serious Discussions with the kids. Watch out for Netflix's live-action adaptation of the series, released in the near future (and not to be mistaken for the abysmal M. Night Shyamalan take).

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Image: Allspark

19. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

With Netflix’s new movie, My Little Pony: A New Generation, currently delighting young fans, now is the perfect time to revisit the reboot that kicked off the current generation of pony pals. The show is rich in fun ponies, pegasi and unicorns, and its messages of friendship and kindness are paired up with some genuine laughs for all ages. 

The Baby-Sitters Club
Photograph: Kailey Schwerman/Netflix

20. The Baby-Sitters Club

Based on the beloved novels by Ann M Martin, this live-action comedy drama follows a group of middle-schoolers who begin a babysitting business in their hometown of Stoneybrook, Connecticut. Reverential to the source material but updated for modern audiences, it’s a sweet and hopeful coming-of-age tale with real heart. The cast is also brilliant, each giving believable and nuanced performances. It’s not just a great kids show, but could actually be one of the best original shows Netflix has ever produced.

The Worst Witch
Courtesy: Netflix

21. The Worst Witch

With nods to Harry Potter, The Worst Witch books come to life in this charming, fantastical Netflix series. During season four, the odd-witch-out, Mildred, competes against Ethel in a slew of magical pursuits in order to be named Head Girl. 

Emily's Wonder Lab
Photo: Netflix

22. Emily's Wonder Lab

This modern-day Mr. Wizard featuring extremely peppy (and extremely pregnant) scientist Emily Calandrelli was the savior of STEM-starved parents during the pandemic thanks to the host's enthusiasm for learning and its DIY science experiments, which challenge young kids to turn their back yards into labs using household items. This is entertainment mixed with hands-on learning at its finest. 

The Floor is Lava
Image: Netflix

23. The Floor is Lava

A worthy successor to Double Dare and Legends of the Hidden Temple, this obstacle-course game show takes the classic kids’ game and gets literal: Teams are tasked with traversing a parkour-style home as red liquid slowly fills the room. Watching people teeter on the edge of platforms only to drop into the liquid slurry will get adrenaline pumping and inspire kids to see the potential playground in any situation.  

Tales of Arcadia
Photograph: Netflix/Dreamworks Animation

24. Tales of Arcadia

Created by Guillermo del Toro, this CG series is actually spread over three different shows: Trollhunters, 3Below, and Wizards. They all center around the small fictional town of Arcadia Oaks, a suburban home to the supernatural and magical. Each show focuses on a different cast of characters, all of whom must, in some way, save the world. Their stories converge in the animated film Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans, which premieres July 21 and sees the heroes try to save Arcadia from an apocalyptic magical battle.

Pokémon Journeys: The Series
Photograph: Courtesy Netflix

25. Pokémon Journeys: The Series

Inevitably, PokéMon invades every household, be it via Happy Meal toys, video games or the nigh endless films and cartoons that bombard streaming. This series is the best for entry-level kids and the least-abrasive for parents. If you have to choose one PokéMon show for your kids — and trust us, eventually you will — this is the way to go. 

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