Let’s be honest, TV and movies can be a great tool in helping keep toddler’s attention when parents need to get things done and can even help toddler’s learn too. Of course, I would never recommend putting your child in front of a screen all day and I try to limit our toddler’s screen time to an hour or less each day. However, toddler tv can also be annoying (hello Caillou). We made the decision to cut cable a few years ago just because it is so expensive and we don’t watch even a quarter of all the chanels, but that hasn’t stopped us from finding some great shows and movies for Aiden to watch that even I like to watch. This post is all about the best toddler shows and movies for cord cutters (that won’t drive you crazy).
In place of cable, we have Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video. I’ve found that there isn’t a huge amount of overlap between the three. I would say Prime Video is my least essential but since we pay for Prime anyway we might as well use it. Plus, they have a few good original shows. Netflix even has quite a few original programs that are great for toddlers.
The Best Toddler Shows
BeatBugs — This show is a Netflix original and each short episode is inspired by a Beatle’s song. It follows the adventures of five insects who live in an overgrown backyard. There are lots of popular artists featured to sing the Beatles’ songs. Because of this show, Aiden is now obsessed with the Yellow Submarine show. I think it’s so cool that this music is coming back in a relatable way for young kids. It’s so cute!
Octonauts — This show is a Disney Junior show that you can find on Netflix. Aiden loves all kinds of animals and marine life. This show is about underwater explorers who find sea creatures in need of assistance. The episodes profile the sea creatures so Aiden really likes learning about them.
Super Monsters — This show is a Netflix original. I’m not sure if your little one is obsessed with monsters and superheroes, but mine is and this show combines them. It follows the pre-school aged kids of famous monsters who are learning how to use their powers while preparing for kindergarten.
Ruff Ruff Tweet and Dave — We have been watching this one for awhile. It’s a Universal Kids show, but you can get season one on Hulu. The show follows Ruff Ruff the dog, Tweet the bird, and Dave the blue panda on learning adventures with their teacher/mentor/friend character Hatty the Hampster. Throughout the show Hatty asks questions and now that Aiden is a little older he actually participates. It’s an adorable show.
Sesame Street — This is a classic! I remember it was my favorite show as a child and I love watching it with Aiden now. Sesame Street is on HBO now, but you can get six seasons worth of episodes on Hulu. Aiden learns a ton from this show.
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Daniel Tiger — This is the best toddler TV show on Prime. I watched Mr. Rogers growing up so this one takes me back and I love it. Daniel Tiger is very cute and he and his friends learn lots of lessons. I can’t tell you how many of the songs we sing on a daily basis to remind Aiden about things like sharing, using his words, and eating. I’m pretty sure there is a Daniel Tiger episode for anything you need to teach your toddler and I guarentee they will listen to Daniel more than you 😆
The Best Toddler Movies
One of my favorite things about not having cable is that it is super easy to throw on a movie. Aiden doesn’t have the attention span to watch a whole move (and I wouldn’t want him to always spend that much time in front of the TV), so we are usually at some random point in three different movies. We rotate through and ask what he wants and then just pick up where we left off. Netflix is great for movies, the only issue I have is that occassionally one of Aiden’s favorites rotates off. Then I have to hope it’s on Prime video!
Moana — Aiden is obsessed with Maui and Moana. He has been able to sing the songs since he was about one and a half (see cute video below)! I love the story and the songs are always stuck in my head.
Finding Dory — This is another one we have on a lot. Aiden loves Dory, Nemo, and the octopus Hank. It’s a little depressing to me, honestly, but it’s over our toddler’s head and he just enjoys all the sea animals and the adventure of finding Dory’s parents.
Trolls — This is Aiden’s newest obsession. He LOVES Trolls. I think it’s a cute movie too so I don’t mind watching it. It’s very positive and upbeat. The Trolls TV spin-off show on Netflix; however, is not my favorite.
Zootopia — This is an example of a movie we had on Netflix that was removed. We watch it enough that I ended up buying it on Amazon and we watch it through Prime video. There are a few parts that are a bit scary for toddler but overall it’s a positive movie with a good message. Aiden loves all the animals.
Do you watch any of these toddler shows or movies? Do you have any to add to the list? I would love to hear about them in the comments!
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