Kipo Wonderbeasts
Courtesy: Netflix

Best cartoons for kids to watch now

There's a lot to love about the best cartoons for kids. Dive into new shows, classic adventures and '90s favorites.

By Danielle Valente and Oliver Strand
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Staying in? Then why not set off on a streaming marathon with our list of the 25 best cartoons for kids. We have it all: From new series like the strange and hilarious "Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts" (Season 2 premieres this June!), to the best old-school cartoons like "Hey Arnold," you're bound to find something that your kids will love! 

After all, this is an amazing time to watch movies and shows at home. Now you can watch your favorite TV shows for kids and families or any one of the 50 greatest animated movies with a couple of clicks of a button. The best family movies, the best comedy movies, the best Disney movies and more are all at your fingertips. 

And when you're ready to set aside the screen time we got you covered: Check out the best podcasts for kids, the 101 best books for kids of all ages and other indoor activities kids love for hour after hour of family fun.

Best cartoons for kids

Kipo Wonderbeasts
Courtesy: Netflix

1. Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts

This fantastical anime series follows Kipo Oak, a 13-year-old girl forced to run away from the safety of an underground city to navigate the dangers of a dystopian world. The episodes are clever, creative, seriously weird and completely wonderful. If your kid has a taste for out-there sci-fi, this is the show for them. Season 2 drops in June 2020! Watch on NetflixAges 7 and up.

Photograph: Courtesy Nick Jr.

2. Peppa Pig

Is there a pig snort out there more irresistible than Peppa's? Our leading lady loves going on a fun adventure with her brother, George, introducing viewers to her friends like Polly Parrot and dressing to impress in a cool outfit—all while teaching little ones about friendship and compassion in the process. 

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Navidad con los Storybots
Courtesy: Netflix

3. Ask the StoryBots

Straight talk: StoryBots is one of the best kid's shows around. The episodes follow Beep, Boop, Bing, Bang and Bo as they set out to answer a question such as: How do eyes work? Why do we recycle? How do you catch a cold? The silly storytelling is goofy and fun, but the answers are serious and scientifically sound—no wonder it won multiple Emmy awards. The cameos are especially delightful for grownups: John Legend, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Wanda Sykes, Snoop Dog. Watch on NetflixAges 3-8.

Beat Bugs Netflix
Courtesy: Netflix

4. Beat Bugs

Beat Bugs follows the lives of bugs living in a Richard Scarry-like village. What do the bugs do in such a lively place with so much going on? Why, break into pop songs, of course. If it sounds silly, it is—and it's this light-handed setup that lets this thoughtful Emmy-winning series address the life issues that engross young minds. Watch on NetflixAges 5-7.

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Photograph: Courtesy Nickelodeon

5. Shimmer and Shine

Leah has a secret she can't reveal to her BFF Zac. Her lips are sealed when it comes to her friendship with Shimmer and Shine, two twin sisters—and genies—who grant wishes. However, the dynamic duo are still amateurs who oftentimes must correct their mistakes with Leah by their side. 

Invasor Zim y el poder del Florpus
Courtesy: Netflix

6. Invader Zim

A darkly funny sci-fi series that premiered on Nickelodeon in the early aughts, Invader Zim chronicles the escapades of Zim, an alien from the planet Irk fixated on conquering Earth with the help of an inept robot servant named GIR. Invader Zim lasted just two seasons, but it has had a lasting impact on pop culture—an Invader Zim feature film is set to be released on Netflix later this year.

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Photograph: Courtesy Nickelodeon

7. Paw Patrol

This pawsitively irresistible cartoon followers young Ryder as he spearheads the adventures of Paw Patrol, cute canines who are working to keep Adventure Bay safe.  

animaniacs
Photograph: Courtesy Warner Bros. Animation

8. Anamaniacs

Weirdly wonderful, Animacs is a totally entertaining mix of slapstick humor and clever wordplay. The stars of the show are Yakko, Wakko and Dot, three vintage-style cartoon characters who move through the modern world with frenetic energy. Note to parents: This hyperactive, hyper-fun series isn't what you stream before bed. Another note to parents: You'll probably end up watching it, and enjoying it almost as much as your kids.

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Clone Wars
Courtesy: Disney

9. Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Welcome must-watch territory for Star Wars fans—which includes just about every kid, ever. The shows follow the Star Wars saga in microscopic detail—prepare for lots of dinnertime trivia about the whens and wheres of who did what. Note that this epic series was launched in 2008 and is still going strong, with more than 100 episodes and counting. Watch on Disney+. Ages 8 and up.

ABC Mouse Search Explore
Courtesy: Age of Learning

10. Search and Explore

Your little one will love the global adventures of ABC Mouse, 123 Mouse and Do-Re-Mi Mouse as they explore the world. Each 12-minute episode is geared for curious young minds, and short young attention spans. Produced by ABCmouse Early Learning Academy, you can stream the entire 8-episode first season for free. Watch on TubiAges 2-8.

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Photograph: Courtesy Nickelodeon

11. Blaze and the Monster Machines 

Prepare for a STEAM lesson thanks to Blaze and the Monster Machines. In this kids' cartoon, viewers journey alongside AJ and his bright-red truck, Blaze, as they race cars and help other automobiles with their issues. Of course, fans will have to prepare themselves for the duo to go head-to-head with their rival, Crusher. 

Photograph: Courtesy Cartoon Network

12. Craig of the Creek

Craig, Kelsey and P.J. know all about adventure. In this Cartoon Network show, the buddies team up for visits into the kid-run wilderness, and it can be wild!

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Photograph: Courtesy DC/Warner Bros/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

13. Teen Titans Go!

Check out your favorite DC characters in teen form as they take on evil (but don't underestimate the laughs you'll have along the way). Don't forget to check out the 2018 movie where the Teen Titans head to Hollywood for a little time in the spotlight, which is totally interrupted.

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Photograph: Courtesy Disney Channel

14. DuckTales

Welcome to the Ducky-verse: This spinoff featuring Scrooge McDuck and nephews Huey, Dewy and Louie is silly fun. The stories in DuckTales span the globe, with the three young ducklings finding adventures in some far-out places.

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SpongeBob SquarePants
Photograph: Courtesy Paramount/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

15. SpongeBob SquarePants

This absorbant, yellow and porous character has withstood the test of time to bring his wild, underwater adventures to viewers of all generations. We can't say no to Bikini Bottom happenings, from dinner at the Krusty Krab to driving lessons at Mrs. Puffs' boating school. One thing we can do without? Squidward's clarinet. 

Hey Arnold
Photograph: Courtesy Nickelodeon

16. Hey Arnold

There isn't a '90s kid on the planet who didn't completely love Hey Arnold. In this epic adventure—something children of all generations need to experience—we follow football-headed Arnold and his clan from PS 118 as they learn about compassion, loyalty, love (we're looking at you, Helga) and what it takes to be a "bold kid." You can expect epic adventures around the city (an animated amalgamation of NYC and Seattle), quirky characters like Stoop Kid and Pigeon man and, of course, love odes from none other than Miss Helga G. Pataki. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Cartoon Network

17. Powerpuff Girls

The city of Townsville is treated to unlikely vigilantes—cute little sisters with super powers who are ready to battle their rivals at a moment's notice. The Professor combined some sugar, spice and everything nice with chemical X, and thus our butt-kicking trio came into being, much to residents' delights. They certainly prove not all heroes wear capes (sometimes they wear dresses).

rugrats
Photograph: Courtesy Nickelodeon

18. Rugrats

As Tommy Pickles would say, "A baby's gotta do, what a baby's gotta do." Any '90s kid will admit to following Tommy, Chucky, Phil and Lil around their playpen and backyard for whatever adventure awaits. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Cartoon Network

19. Dexter's Lab

Dexter is a genius scientist with a lab of his own that any kid will find envy-worthy. The only problem? He can't keep his annoying sister DeeDee out! 

Magic School Bus Netflix
Courtesy: Netflix

20. The Magic School Bus

The Magic School Bus makes science fun! This four-season series has been watched by millions of kids since it was first broadcast on PBS in the mid-1990s. Your kids will love the playful learning and trippy animation; you'll love hearing Lily Tomlin voice Miss Valerie Felicity Frizzle

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21. Doc McStuffins

Dottie plans to follow in her mother's footsteps by becoming a doctor when she grows up. In the meantime, the ambitious little lady decides to start practicing now. What's the sense of waiting? She tries out her medical techniques on her stuffed animals, who just so happen to come to life when she takes out her stethoscope. Expect some tips for healthy habits along the way! 

22. Sofia the First

Sofia is not used to royalty, but all that's about to change when her mom marries a king and she becomes a princess. Our little lady receives some guidance along the way from fan-favorite princesses like Belle and Jasmine. How will she transition into this new life?

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23. Vampirina

Fitting in is never easy, especially when you're a vampire who's made her way from Transylvania to Pennsylvania with her supernatural family. Will little Vampirina (Vee for short) be able to fit in with the mortals? 

24. Tom and Jerry

Tom and Jerry might've been created in the '40s, but there's a reason this cat-and-mouse duo has lived on for generations. The humor that unfolds between the two is simply irresistible!

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25. Scooby-Doo

For those kids who are looking for a bit of mystery and a few scares, Scooby-Doo is the way to go. Consider this pup (and his four teen companions) the canine answer to Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. We'll never get tired of these creepy, supernatural adventures!

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