TV Shows Every Kid Should See At Least Once

June 7, 2013  |  
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It’s not always easy to find good things for your kids to watch on TV. If you’re tired of flipping channels and finding nothing but junk, check these shows out. We’ve gathered a list of the best kids’ programming in history. These shows promote positive self image, good values and they’re a lot of fun to watch for the whole family.

Fat Albert

Fat Albert taught kids how to respect themselves and each other. And Bill Cosby put in plenty of smart mouths and jive talkin’ to keep little kids giggling. It’s positive fun for the whole family and full of even more laughs than you remember. You can stream the whole series for free on Hulu.

Sesame Street

Most of us grew up watching the kids on Sesame Street. And Big Bird and the crew are still on TV. Now you can even watch them on the go. Netflix also has many “best of” episodes available to stream on your iPad or Android tablet. It’s a good way to keep the kids occupied on the go.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

We all watched this coming up and kids today still get a kick out of it. Just tell them that Willow and Jayden’s dad is in it. You can order the box set of the full series from Amazon.com.

Kenan & Kel

These two get up to too much foolery for adults to enjoy them. But kids love this show well into their late teens. These two best friends don’t have many wholesome lessons to impart. But they’ll keep your kids in stitches with good, clean comedy fun. Buy the season or stream it on Amazon or iTunes.

Adopted by Aliens

Adopted by Aliens is a fun, family cartoon created by filmmakers and sisters Shawnee and Shawnelle Gibbs. It’s about a 12-year old girl who was adopted by aliens. She deals with a lot of issues that kids today have to tackle like drugs, bullies, social workers and…aliens. It’s pretty good. You can stream it free here.

The Cosby Show

No list of quality family programming would be complete without it. The Cosby Show will always have a place in our hearts. Now it’s time to share it with a new generation. Stream the series from the beginning for free on Hulu.

Static Shock

Static Shock is the first black teen superhero. It’s action-packed, smart and funny. Plus it tackles important topics like racism, cliques and loss. Static Shock was so good, it was nominated for an Emmy and a Humanitas Award. You can stream it here on Amazon Instant Video.

“Fillmore!”

Fillmore is a former juvenile delinquent who’s seen the error of his ways. Now he’s a detective with the school safety patrol. The story lines are action-packed, engaging and full of life lessons. You can find many of the episodes on  YouTube. Unfortunately, the series hasn’t been widely released on home video or DVD as of yet. However, you can buy a rare copy here.

Little Bill

I think we can go on ahead and crown Bill Cosby the king of children’s entertainment. Little Bill is a wonderful show for preschool children. It teaches kids how to accept each other for who they are, how to build confidence and the importance of family values. It’s been on the air since 1999 and it’s still running on Nick Jr. You can also stream it on demand on Amazon.

Gullah, Gullah Island

This show is about an African-American family living on Gullah, Gullah Island. Together, they learn important lessons about life, family and getting along with people of all ethnicities. Lessons aside, it’s a lot of fun to watch. It’s full of bright colors, friendly characters and Binyah Binyah the polliwog. One of the few recent kids’ shows with real kids and not cartoons. You can buy it on iTunes and Amazon.

Diff’rent Strokes

This show is just as entertaining today as it was 35 years ago. It is one of the few shows in existence that handled race relations this well. They tackled a lot of other social issues too like racism, sex, eating disorders and class discrimination. It was also funny as all get out. You can watch it on iTunes or buy the box set from Amazon.

What’s Happening!!

People loved What’s Happening!! because it was one of the few shows on TV about kids being raised in single parent homes. They also loved it because it was one of the best and funniest shows on TV at the time. And it wasn’t just because Rerun was Dy-no-mite. The show tackled real issues in a family-friendly way. This is one you definitely want to watch along with your kids. You can buy the DVD box set on Amazon.

Family Matters

Family Matters was on the air for 10 years and it was one of the best family shows around. We laughed at Steve Urkel and had a crush on Stefan Urkel. And we learned a lot of lessons along the way. Whoever your favorite character was, you’ll want to share this show with your kids.

Sister, Sister

Lots of people called this show “The Black Full House.” “Sister, Sister” focused on family values and sibling rivalries. It’s great for kids with siblings and parents trying to teach important life lessons. Buy the DVD Box set on Amazon.

That’s So Raven

We’ve loved Raven Simone since The Cosby Show. And That’s So Raven is a great kids’ show from The Disney Channel. Raven plays a girl with incomplete psychic visions that she and her friends have to figure out on their own. It’s lots of fun. You can watch it on iTunes,

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  • wliu81

    i’d recommend any of the 60s – early 00s kids cartoons. also, where was recess and hey arnold? they had positive black characters children can look up to. plus, they were great series.

  • wliu81

    i’d recommend any of the 60s – early 00s kids cartoons. also, where was recess and hey arnold? they had positive black characters children can look up to. plus, they were great series.

  • Realityh03$Anonymous….ohwait

    OMG Filmore!!! All i can say now is ‘Disco.’ the line he said when he found a clue…. Idk why the show didnt last, it was like Law & Order set in middle school.

  • Gigi

    Smart Guy with Tahj Mowry was worthy of being on this list.

    • CoCo Lee

      It was… Marcus and Mo always gave me a great giggle… lol

  • TraceFace

    I’ve seen everything on this list except for Adopted by Aliens. I must check it out!

  • CoCo Lee

    Should have put the whole Nickelodeon 90s line up… where was all that… rugrats… cat dog the Amanda sow and others…. my niece knows nothing about these just spongebob and icarly

    • pickneychile

      Now I was with you til you said CatDog! That was the decline of Nickelodeon imo. Lol

      • CoCo Lee

        Haha… I was a weird child who loooooooved CatDog… Don’t Judge me!! lmao