Here we are in Lockdown 2.0 and we’re all looking for things to do. How about watching a TV show with your kids? We’ve put together a big list of kids shows that you can watch together as a family including some Australian shows. The list includes TV shows for a range of ages from preschoolers to teens on ABC iView, Netflix, SBS on Demand, Disney+ and Apple TV+.
It can be a challenge to find kids shows that don’t annoy you or make you cringe but hopefully on this list, you’ll find some shows that you can enjoy as much as your kids. Let us know if we’ve missed a show that you think should be on the list.
Please note: Parents and caregivers have different ideas about the suitability of TV shows for their children. We have included an approximate guide using the official rating but we recognise that everyone has their own opinions about appropriate content. We recommend visiting Common Sense Media or watching the first episode without kids to determine whether the TV show is suitable for your family.
TV Shows to Watch with Preschoolers
A favourite of those with young kids, Bluey is a show to watch. It’s a fantastic show featuring six-year-old, Bluey who is a Blue Heeler dog and her family. It’s one that adults will enjoy watching with their kids. It’s original and different from previous kids shows and encourages the importance of play. Even if you don’t have young kids, watch a few episodes as a lockdown diversion. You can watch Bluey on ABC Kids. Rated G.
Kangaroo Beach 🇦🇺
in this Australian show, four young animal friends spend an action-packed summer at the spectacular Kangaroo Beach. There they train as junior cadets with their lifeguard heroes. When an emergency breaks out, the cadets step up to help keep the water safe. The lifeguards and cadets are all Australian animals. Great show to teach water safety to kids. You can watch Kangaroo Beach on ABC Kids. Rated G.
Play School 🇦🇺
It’s been on our screens for over 50 years but it’s still entertaining kids. Join the Play School team with Big Ted, Little Ted, Jemima, Humpty and all the other toys on this all-time favourite children’s show. Some episodes are better than others. Check out some of the special episodes like the Green Team show and Play School Story Time: Languages. You can watch Play School on ABC Kids. Rated G.
Little J and Big Cuz 🇦🇺
Follow the adventures of Indigenous Australian kids Little J and Big Cuz who live with their Nanna and Old Dog. With the help of Nanna and their teacher Ms Chen, they learn about culture, community and country. It’s a fantastic show to highlight Indigenous culture. If your kids can read subtitles, they can also watch the In-language shows with English subtitles. You can watch Little J and Big Cuz on SBS on Demand. Rated G.
Beat Bugs 🇦🇺
If you’re a fan of The Beatles, Beat Bugs is the show for you and your kids. The show Beat Bugs is inspired by and includes the music of The Beatles. There are covers by P!nk, Sia, Eddie Vedder and lots more. It’s a cute show with great music plus the creator of the show Josh Wakely is originally from Newcastle. You can watch Beat Bugs on Netflix and 7Plus. Rated G.
Not only entertaining, but Octonauts is also educational. A team of underwater explorers led by Captain Barnacles embark on missions to rescue sea creatures and protect the ocean. With eight crewmembers based at the Octopod, you’ll soon have your favourites as you start watching the episodes. Our favourites, Kwazii and Peso. You can watch Octonauts on Netflix. Rated G.
Grace’s Amazing Machines
Join motorbike rider Grace as she introduces families to different machines with the help of Speedy. Each episode features three different machines that share something in common. There are episodes about emergency machines, building machines, green machines, and even machines that look like animals. Yuo can watch Grace’s Amazing Machines on ABC Kids. Rated G.
Ask the Storybots
Do you have a kid that asks a lot of questions? Join Beep, Boop, Bing, Bang and Bo as they help answer kids’ biggest questions, like “how do ears work?” and “what happens when you flush the toilet”. Some episodes are a bit noisy and chaotic but it’s still fun to watch. Look for celebrity cameos in the show. You can watch Ask the Storybots on Netflix. Rated G.
If your kids love dinosaurs, you have to watch Dinosaur Train. The show follows the adventures of the Pteranodon family as Mum and Dad take their children Tiny, Shiny, Don and Buddy (an adopted T-Rex) for adventures in the Mesozoic era on board the Dinosaur Train. You can watch Dinosaur Train on ABC Kids. Rated G.
Molly of Denali
Explore living in Alaska with the animated show of Molly of Denali. It covers the daily adventures of 10-year-old Alaska native Molly Mabray, her family, her dog Suki and her friends Tooey and Trini. You can watch Molly of Denali on SBS on Demand. Rated G.
Who else is jealous of Mister Maker’s craft wall? If you need ideas for crafts with your preschooler, tune into Mister Maker. It’s an arts and craft show that combines live-action, graphics and animation to demonstrate art projects you can do at home. You can watch Mister Maker on ABC Kids. Rated G.
TV Shows to Watch with School-Age Kids
Little Lunch 🇦🇺
Set during morning snack time, Little Lunch is an entertaining kids mockumentary. The episodes are only 13 minutes long but as you watch the shows, you’ll realise so much can happen during that morning break. You can watch Little Lunch on ABC Kids and Netflix. Rated G.
The Inbestigators 🇦🇺
If you and your kids love solving mysteries, follow the antics of the detective agency Inbestigators. It’s made up of four Year Five school friends who team up to solve different cases. It’s a similar format to Little Lunch so it’s fun for both kids and adults to watch. You’ll enjoy trying to solve the mystery before the Inbestigators team does. You can watch The Inbestigators on ABC Kids and Netflix. Rated G.
Follow the adventures of a primary school handball team in Hardball. After moving from New Zealand to Western Sydney, Mike discovers handball. Similar to the style of Little Lunch and The Inbestigators, it’s a funny show. As the kids say “If you want to play handball, you got to play hardball”. You can watch Hardball on ABC ME. Rated G.
Izzy’s Koala World 🇦🇺
Set in Magnetic Island, this is the show to watch if you and your kids love koalas. Thirteen-year old Izzy rescues and cares for koalas with the help of her veterinarian mum. You’ll meet lots of different koalas in this series including Flame, named as she was rescued from a bushfire. You can watch Izzy’s Koala World on Netflix. Rated G.
In Operation Ouch, identical twin doctors Dr Chris and Dr Xand take children through the human body, and explain how medicine impacts biology during medical treatments. It’s a great show for kids to learn fascinating facts about the human body. You can watch Operation Ouch on ABC ME. Rated G.
Want a fun and entertaining way for your kids to learn about history? Watch Horrible Histories. Based on the bestselling books, Horrible Histories presents events and characters from history in an entertaining way. Subjects include Christopher Columbus, Queen Elizabeth I and Charles Darwin. You can watch Horrible Histories on ABC ME. Rated G.
Lockie Leonard 🇦🇺
Based on the Tim Winton books, this show focuses on Lockie Leonard who moves to a small coastal town in WA with his family. A talented surfer, Lockie loves the epic surf but can do without the other complications like going to a new school, having no friends and living in a house that is sinking into the swamp. It’s an entertaining show with some wry observations. Available to watch on Netflix. Rated PG.
LEGO Masters 🇦🇺
Get inspired to build by watching LEGO Masters. In this show hosted by Hamish Blake, Brick heads teams compete against each other in different challenges. Some of the builds will astound you and your family. You can watch LEGO Masters on Channel 9. Rated PG.
Follow along in the adventures of Kayne and Kamil as they race around Australia in search of weird, wacky and endangered species. It’s a great show to watch in lockdown as they explore different spots in Queensland, Northern Territory and other spots we can’t currently travel to. You can watch Bushwacked on ABC ME. Rated G.
Coyote’s Crazy Smart Science Show
Learn about the science of the world from an Indigenous point of view in the Canadian show Coyote’s Crazy Smart Science Show. It’s a fascinating show which covers various topics like solar power, rivers, skateboarding and astronomy. Available to watch on SBS. Rated G.
The World According to Jeff Goldblum
In this documentary series, Jeff Goldblum tackles a different subject of pop culture in each episode. He chooses a subject and then looks at the science and history behind it. Episodes include ice cream, bikes, RVs and sneakers. You can watch The World According to Jeff Goldblum on Disney+. Rated G.
If you don’t have a fear of deadly animals, this is the show for you. Steve Backshall, along with his crew, travels to different parts of the world in order to find the 60 most deadly animals living on the planet. Watch Deadly 60 on ABC ME. Rated G.
Deadly Pole to Pole
If you want more deadly wildlife, check out Deadly Pole to Pole. In this series, Steve Backshall and his tcrew travel from the Arctic to the Antarctic in search of the world’s deadliest wildlife. He encounters the world’s only carnivorous caterpillars in Hawaii and killer whales in Patagonia. Watch Deadly Pole to Pole on ABC ME. Rated G.
The Baby Sitters Club
Based on the 80s book series, this show follows the adventures of a group of friends who set up a babysitting business. However, this show is a modern reboot with great female role models. Available to watch on Netflix. Rated PG.
Are You Tougher Than Your Ancestors? 🇦🇺
This reality show for kids shows Australian kids what life was like in the past. Participating kids will have chores, challenges and face other issues as they take on a day in the life of their ancestors. Kids can participate in different careers to see if they what it takes. It’s a great show to watch together when your kids complain how hard they have it. You can watch Are You Tougher Than Your Ancestors? on ABC ME. Rated G.
In this spinoff of the original Mythbusters series, a team of Junior Mythbusters set out to prove or bust a myth. There’s lots of science, fun and entertainment as they tackle different tall tales. You can watch Mythbusters Junior on ABC ME. Rated G.
Mustangs FC 🇦🇺
In this comedy-drama, Marnie and her best friend, Liv, who start their local football club’s first all female team. The players need to work together to face challenges as well as juggle their own personal lives. With an inspiring diverse cast, this show focuses on the relationships between the team members as they start as the underdogs. You can watch Mustangs FC on ABC ME. Rated G.
A reboot of an 90s kids show, Ghostwriter is worth watching. The show’s name comes from a ghost which haunts a bookshop owned by Ruben’s grandfather and releases fictional characters into the world. Ruben and his friends must try to solve the various literary mysteries in order to resolve the ghost’s unfinished business. Available to watch on Apple TV+. Rated PG.
Floor is Lava
There is something about this show that makes for entertaining family viewing. Teams have to navigate across a magma-filled obstacle course. The rooms are based on different areas of a house and so contestants might have to leap across spinning beds onto dressers or attempt to jump on cargo nets. Lots of fun to watch especially when contestants fall off into the fake lava. After watching Floor is Lava, you’ll be tempted to recreate the experience in your living room. Go on, jump from the coffee table to the sofa! Available to watch on Netflix. Rated PG.
Anne with an E
Adapted from the classic children’s book Anne of Green Gables, this TV series features Anne Shirley, a precocious orphan sent to live at Green Gables on Prince Edward Island. However, Marissa Cuthbert and her brother are expecting a boy, not a redheaded female. Available to watch on Netflix. Rated M.
If your lockdown baking isn’t going exactly to plan, watch some episodes of Nailed It! and you’ll feel much better. Baking is harder than it looks and there can be some epic fails. However, as long as you have a go and yell out “Nailed it!”, it’s worth the effort. Host Nicole Byers is hilarious in her reactions to some of the contestant’s baking efforts and you’ll always pick up baking tips from resident baker Jacques Torres. Available to watch on Netflix. Rated G.
What’s For Dinner 🇦🇺
For food appreciation, watch What’s For Dinner. This show takes you inside the homes across Australia to find out what’s for dinner and how they’re preparing it. There’s a range of different cuisines and cultures to explore from around the world as well as a meal sourced from Indigenous plants. You can watch What’s For Dinner on ABC ME. Rated G.
Back in Time for Dinner 🇦🇺
If your kids are complaining about dinner, this is the show to watch. In this show guided by Annabel Crabb, an Australian family goes on a time-travelling adventure to discover how the food we eat has transformed the way we live, Australian society and family roles over the past 60 years. This series starts in the 1950s but there is a follow-up series Further Back In Time For Dinner which covers the period from Federation to the 1940s. You can watch Back in Time for Dinner on ABC iView. Rated PG.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Based on the Lemony Snicket book series, A Series of Unfortunate Events tells the tale of the Baudelaire children who are left orphaned after a house fire. They then have to foil the schemes of Count Olaf, who is trying to steal their family fortune. As you can guess, it’s a darker show and one that might not be suitable for all families. Available to watch on Netflix. Rated PG.
The Mysterious Benedict Society
Adapted from a book series, The Mysterious Benedict Society follows the adventures of four kids. These four orphans, each possessing a unique skill, are summoned to a boarding school known as The Institute by an eccentric benefactor, Mr Benedict who wants them to help save the world from the spread of misinformation. It’s a timely show relating to fake news. Available to watch on Disney+. Rated PG.
For a science fix, watch the documentary series Brainchild. It’s all about the science of the world explained in a way that is fun and engaging for families. Topics include social media, dreams and germs and you’ll learn heaps. Available to watch on Netflix. Rated PG.
TV Shows to Watch with Tweens & Teens
A favourite of a lot of families, this show focuses on the events after the fall of the Empire and introduces a new hero, The Mandalorian. Descended from an ancient race of warriors and bounty hunters, the show follows his exploits in the outer reaches of the galaxy as he attempts to track down targets. The Mandalorian is available to watch on Disney+. Rated M.
After the death of their astronaut mother, siblings Alex and Haley enrol at the elite Greenhouse Academy that their mother once attended. There, they find themselves opposite sides of a traditional school rivalry with one in Raven and one in Eagle. However, they soon have to team up to solve a mystery. It’s very bingeable. Available to watch on Netflix. Rated PG.
Teenage Boss 🇦🇺
Use Teenage Boss with Eddie Woo to teach your child the value of money. In this series, kids are provided with the household finances for a month. They need to develop a budget and then keep track of spending. Watch them as they grapple with financial decisions and realise it’s not easy being responsible. You can watch Teenage Boss on ABC ME. Rated G.
Teen Titans Go!
It might not be to everyone’s taste, but Teen Titans Go! is hilarious. it’s about superhero roommates Robin, Raven, Beast Boy, Cyborg and Starfire who protect Jump City. However, there’s lots of bickering and tension and eventually teamwork. Available to watch on Netflix. Rated PG.
Set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, Loki, brother of Thor finds himself again in trouble, this time with the Time Variants Authority, an organization that exists to ensure that people stay in their set timelines, to keep the universe in order. They provide Loki with a choice, to either be erased from existence or help fix the timeline to stop an even bigger threat. This six-part series follows Loki as he travels through time. Loki is available to watch on Disney+. Rated M.
Marvel’s Agent Carter
This show follows the adventures of Agent Peggy Carter, a former operative for the Strategic Scientific Reserve. Set in 1946, Peggy’s skills are no longer needed now that men have returned to work after World War II. However, she is given the opportunity to go undercover to help an old friend clear his name after being accused of being a traitor. It’s a great show to watch as it features a female role model. Agent Carter is available to watch on Disney+. Rated M.
It’s more Marvel in WandaVision. In this innovative show, Scarlet Witch and Vision are 1950s-era Wanda and Vision who have arrived in their new home in a new suburb and are living the suburban life! It’s normal as can be except when they start questioning who they are and strange messages appear. WandaVision is available to watch on Disney+. Rated M.
Kim’s Convenience Store
At first glance, Kim’s Convenience doesn’t seem like an obvious choice for family viewing with teens, but it’s worth a watch. This comedy show set in Toronto depicts the life of a Korean-Canadian family and their interactions with customers, each other and the changing society around them. Available to watch on Netflix. Rated M.
Ted Lasso is an American grid-iron coach is recruited to coach Richmond FC, a Premier League team in England. Despite having no experience, he is determined to improve Richmond’s results. This fish out of water comedy has some great messages about teamwork, commitment and hard work. It’s a heartwarming and enjoyable show but it does contain coarse language and some sexually themed jokes. You can watch Ted Lasso on Apple TV+. Rated M.
Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet
Don’t let the name put you off this show. It’s an engaging comedy set at a gaming company that has made Mythic Quest, a popular multiplayer computer game. The show focuses on the interaction between the staff members as well as the development of the game. Contains coarse language. You can watch Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet on Apple TV+. Rated M.
The Good Place
Choose The Good Place for its comedy appeal and philosophical references. Upon her death, Eleanor Shellstrop arrives in heaven and is paired with her “soulmate”, Chidi who is a moral philosophy professor. However, it turns out that Eleanor was never meant to be there and has been mixed up with a more deserving woman, also named Eleanor Shellstrop. Instead of confessing, she instead asks Chidi to teach her to be a better person. Available to watch on Netflix. Rated M.
Never Have I Ever
This coming of age teen series revolves around Devi, an Indian-American high school sophomore. The show mixes comedy and drama as Devi navigates the typical teen issues relating to friendship, school, and romance as well as managing cultural expectations and grief relating to the loss of her dad. This teen show is narrated by tennis great John McEnroe which at first seems odd but makes sense when you realise that they are both hotheads. Be prepared, it contains themes of sexuality although there are no sex scenes. Available to watch on Netflix. Rated M.
Set in Northern Ireland during the 90s, Derry Girls is a comedy focusing on a group of high school friends. Although it includes references to sectarian violence, IRA and the British occupation, it’s a hilarious show about friends, family and the trials and tribulations of high school. Yes, there’s plenty of swearing and some sexual innuendo from Michelle, but it includes the funniest depiction of a nun in recent times. Sister Michael is unforgettable. Tip: Watch it with the subtitles on as it’s easy to miss some words and slang with the thick Derry accent. Available to watch on Netflix. Rated M.
Shadow and Bone
Based on a book series, Shadow and Bone is a fantasy series featuring orphan Alina. The series begins with an explanation of the country of Ravka and how it was cut in half by a mysterious darkness called the Fold. A member of Ravka’s military, Alina is chosen to take on a mysterious role. In the events that follow, she learns she has untapped supernatural powers. Available to watch on Netflix. Rated MA-15.
For a great show combining teenagers, supernatural forces and secret government exploits, watch Stranger Things. The show starts with the disappearance of Will Byers and the appearance of Eleven, a girl with psychokinetic abilities. Set in 1980s Indiana, this show is a homage to the movies and TV shows of the era. If you love ET and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, this is the show for you. However, be prepared that some of the monsters in the Upside Down World can induce nightmares. Available to watch on Netflix. Rated MA-15.
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