Some have no adult appeal at all, but others are down right awesome. Streaming services like Amazon and Netflix have a few shows for school-aged children that I like as much as my seven-year-old son does, which is kind of like seeing a unicorn.
Here are our just some of our favorites. So settle into that couch, and enjoy the show...
There's so much to like about this Amazon show. For starters, it’s got a wonderful female protagonist who is a genius scientist—hello, modern world! The program also celebrates diversity, homeschooling, modern families, recycling, and so much more. It’s funny, interesting, and poignant without relying on stereotypes or cliche—all things that are surprisingly hard to find in a kids show.
This Netflix original show is inventive, original, artistic, pretty much everything you expect from Guillermo Del Toro.
The best way to describe this show is as a positive pre-teen Twilight Zone. They tackle issues like being the little guy, grief, and the value of friendship through a fantastical lens. Each episode holds a lesson like how being weird is cool or how to be a good friend, but it never comes off as cheesy or predictable.
Just Add Magic (Amazon)
Three smart and creative girls use a magic cookbook to create spells that cook up what they need more than what they want. They learn life lessons like the value of honesty, selflessness, and friendship. This Amazon show isn’t specifically targeted to boys, but my son really loves the mystery aspect of the show and I love that it presents a wholesome view of pre-teen girls.
Troll Hunters (Netflix)
This Netflix original show is inventive, original, artistic and pretty much everything you expect from award-winning film director Guillermo Del Toro. At its core, this show is about chivalry, bravery and doing the right thing. The intense adventure story is punctuated with touching lessons and welcome comic relief. I can’t wait for the next season.
A spin-off of the movies, this show is all about classic adventure, where the courageous ragtag team of rebellious dragon riders always come out on top. And it's wildly entertaining. No, seriously. If you liked the movies you'll really enjoy this show. As an added bonus, my son love that Hiccup and his crew never gives up and always keeps trying no matter what adversity they face—a lesson any parent would approve of.
The Magic School Bus (Netflix)
I’m the first to admit that there's a heavy dose of nostalgia wrapped up in this recommendation. I loved "The Magic School Bus" as a kid and I still enjoy it as an adult. It’s real science taught in a super fun way, what’s not to love? Netflix has done us one better as they'll be releasing 26 new episodes with SNL's Kate McKinnon as the voice of Ms. Frizzle. I can't tell who's more excited, myself or my kid!