If your kids have a favorite cable channel or two, it can make you think twice before cutting the cord. With so many paid streaming services available, it’s tough to make the best call in choosing one that will still let them tune in to their favorite movies and TV shows.
We’ve put together a list of our top best picks of streaming services for children. While each child’s interests may be different, our selected services feature enough content that you’re sure to find a winner. You may also want to churn through services to find the right one for your family.
While live streaming services like YouTube TV or Sling TV may offer some kids’ streaming options, you’re going to want the on demand availability of these services. Each of our recommendations works with Roku, Fire TV, or Apple TV.
Best for Kids
The Streamable’s Choice
The king of creating kid-friendly content, it’s no surprise that Disney’s streaming service more than meets the bar. While the other options on this list are good in their own respects, Disney+ is hands-down the winner. The simple reason? Their catalog.
For the youngest kids, Disney and Pixar classics like “Ratatouille,” “Toy Story”, or “Aladdin” are sure-fire winners. The Disney+ offline mode means you can load up an iPad for a long trip and your kids will stay entertained.
For todders, “Doc McStuffins” is always a hit.
The service also offers Jim Henson’s brilliance by way of “The Muppet Show” and various Muppet movies.
If you’d like something more subdued, even the youngest kids can enjoy the great nature documentaries available on the service. Disney Nature offers several relaxing films like “Monkey Kingdom,” “Oceans,” “Dolphin Reef,” and “Penguins.” Under the National Geographic section, you’ll find “Giants of the Deep Blue,” “700 Sharks,” “What Sam Sees” and “Wild Cats of India.”
As your children grow up, they might want something a little more sophisticated. Thankfully, Disney+ brings Star Wars and the Marvel Universe to the table. In addition to the blockbuster films, new, high-quality content is being uploaded to the service regularly. “The Mandalorian,” “WandaVision,” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” are three prominent sci-fi/action series that have gained critical and popular praise.
- Multiple profiles
- Offline downloads
- Family-friendly content
- Nexus for Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic
- No live TV unless bundled with Hulu Live
- Less overall content than Netflix
- Content may grow stale unless you like watching the same movies and shows over and over
Best for Toddlers
Disney is the name for universally fun and exciting Hollywood-style content, but if you’re looking more for wholesome enrichment, PBS is more in line with what you’re after. Committed to making a positive impact on children through entertainment, PBS Kids encourages respectful interaction in diverse society, involving parents, teachers, and caregivers to have a say in the kind of programming shown on TV.
The main goal of PBS Kids is to contribute to the mental welfare of its young audience, and the shows available on the service endeavor to reflect this in a way both entertaining and - wait for it - completely free of charge.
That’s right; you can subscribe to PBS Kids without spending a penny, so there’s no reason not to give it a shot. Here you can watch “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Arthur,” “Molly of Denali,” and more.
You will have access to limited episodes of “Sesame Street,” but if you’re looking for a more robust catalog of Big Bird, Elmo, and Oscar the Grouch, check out Max.
With the mobile app, you can download various shows for offline entertainment on-the-go.
We recommend giving the free version a try, but be aware that the app will swap out episodes periodically. If you’d like the full library of each show available, simply add PBS Kids as a channel through Amazon Prime Video.
The free PBS Kids Games app provides educational games based on the PBS Kids shows, and that’s also worth a download.
- Offline downloads
- Great for young kids’ mental health and development
- Not much for older kids
- Episode availability changes unless you pay for the Prime Video channel
- Broad selection means not all programming will be enjoyed
Paramount+ is coming on strong with its children’s programming. You’ll find popular Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. shows like “PAW Patrol,” “Blue’s Clues,” “Peppa Pig” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.”
The service has also been bulking up its feature-length family movies, so you’ll find titles like “Rumble” and “Clifford the Big Red Dog.”
While the content will likely keep your kids entertained, one major drawback is the fact that the ad-supported tier of Paramount+ still features commercials - often three ad breaks per show. If you’re a parent looking for a “safe” streaming experience, that’s a negative that should be considered. Your options are to pay for the ad-free tier ($11.99 / month), or simply subscribe to Noggin, which has an almost identical programming lineup.
- Popular shows from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.
- Same-day releases of major movies like “Clifford the Big Red Dog”
- Affordable bundle with Showtime for parents
- Selection more limited than some services
- Ads appear far too frequently in ad-supported tier
- Most shows aren’t educational
Normally one of our top choices, when it comes to the countdown for best children’s streaming services, Netflix is firmly adequate. “CoComelon” and “Octonauts” are bona fide toddler favorites, while family movies like “Over the Moon” and “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” provide a bit of prestige. The Michelle Obama nutrition show “Waffles + Mochi” also provides valuable lessons.
One downside to Netflix’s kids’ section is that it looks like an endless scroll of cheaply animated cash grabs, so it’s hard to separate the worthwhile titles from the discount-bin video dandruff.
Netflix does have arguably better content for tweens and teens, however. Shows like “Stranger Things”, “Wednesday,” or “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” are both Netflix originals. If you’ve got two kids, one older than the other, and are concerned about protecting the younger, you can always set up a Netflix Kids account.
- Wide variety
- Original programming
- No commercials
- Offline mode allows on-the-go viewing
- Losing content to other services
- No live streaming
If your child loves to kick back with a graham cracker and binge ultra-popular shows, Noggin might be the perfect choice. It has mega-hits like “Peppa Pig,” “PAW Patrol,” and “Blue’s Clues.” You can create up to 5 profiles, so each of your children can have their own viewing history.
A nifty parental dashboard on Noggin’s website allows you to see what your child has been watching.
The interface is a little clunky, especially if you’re expecting kids to navigate the platform. There’s also the repetitious nature of the programming, which kids may love, but it can grind on parents after a while. It may be fun watching the “PAW Patrol” pups saving various animals in need, but kids won’t really learn much in the course of an episode.
Perceptive parents will note that the Noggin library is almost identical to Paramount+. The big difference is that Paramount+ has a lot of content for adults as well. Because Noggin is inherently ad-free, that may be a better option. Otherwise, Paramount+ makes sense, but we would suggest paying for the ad-free tier ($11.99 / month) to avoid unwanted marketing messages.
- 30-Day Free Trial
- Offline downloads
- Incredibly popular shows
- Episodes may play in random order
- Library is somewhat limited
- More “junk food” TV than educational
- Older kids won’t find much to watch
If you’re a Prime member you’re already getting this service for free. Much like the above PBS Kids, that makes Amazon Prime another easy winner for a good budget option.
Even if you’re not a Prime member, the video service is only $8.99 / month.
The standard Amazon Prime Video service is a hodgepodge of children’s programming. It offers many popular kids’ shows, but you’re consigned to a handful of seasons unless you’re willing to pay more. The regular subscription offers episodes of shows like “Sesame Street,” Nickelodeon’s “Spongebob Squarepants,” and “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”. If your child really needs “PAW Patrol,” you can add a Paramount+ subscription through Prime Video as well.
One major frustration with Prime Video is that the navigation is terrible. It can be hard to separate the quality shows from the low-effort garbage. Prime Video has a staggering amount of poor content on its platform, and kids can’t easily discern it from the thumbnail.
A good option is to pair your Prime Video subscription with inexpensive channel add-ons, so you can get the full PBS Kids library or all the shows on Noggin, Boomerang, Ameba, or Kidstream. Without the add-ons, you could say Prime Video’s kids’ selection is a mile wide and an inch deep.
- Wide variety of content for kids
- Generous free trial
- Service is free if a Prime member
- Optional free trials for Prime and channel add-ons
- Clunky UI
- Virtually no original content for kids
- Options limited without channel add-ons
- Limited content for teens
If you like DreamWorks Animation, Peacock should be part of your streaming lineup. You’ll see hits like “Madagascar,” “Shrek,” “Puss in Boots,” and the “Despicable Me”/”Minions” franchise.
Unfortunately, Peacock is lacking in the TV department. Children love to watch endless episodes of their favorite characters, and Peacock comes up pretty empty in that department. You will see “Curious George,” “Trolls: TrollsTopia,” “Top Chef Jr,” and “Dragons: Rescue Riders: Heroes of the Sky.”
Ultimately, Peacock has been investing heavily in its adult lineup, but the Kids section is fairly weak.
- Popular DreamWorks Animation films
- Poor TV selection
- Limited future investment
Max has pulled back on its kids’ content under new ownership, so it’s a better service for adults than children. There’s still a decent library here.
Max is home to the superhero adventures of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and the other DC characters. You’ll also see several Cartoon Network shows and some classic Warner Bros. animation including Looney Tunes.
Popular shows on the platform include “Courage the Cowardly Dog,” “Ben 10,” and “Adventure Time.” Max is home to some episodes of “Sesame Street,” as well. Classic series include “The Smurfs,” and “The Flintstones.”
The movie library does include “The Wizard of Oz.” Max is often home to the Harry Potter films (though they do move off the platform often).
- Good for the whole family
- Parental controls
- Not as many animated movies and shows as Disney+
- Weak selection of family films
- Almost nothing for the preschool crowd
Kartoon Channel offers a wide range of kid-friendly content without the worry of stumbling into something inappropriate. The library has far more TV shows than movies.
Popular shows on the platform include “Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten,” “Strawberry Shortcake: Berry in the Big City,” “Yu-Gi-Oh!” “Peppa Pig,” “Roblox Rumble,” “English Tree TV,” “Finny the Shark,” and “5-Minute Crafts.” For throwbacks, you’ll find “Barney,” “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers,” “Bob the Builder,” and “Casper the Friendly Ghost.”
Helpful categories narrow the content to “Big Kids,” “Junior,” “Pre-School,” “Fairy Tales,” and “Game Loading” (video game shows).
Kartoon Channel also offers 24/7 virtual streaming channels, in case you’d like to watch without overthinking the choice.
- Good variety of shows
- Fun throwbacks
- Virtual streaming channels
- Shows for gamers
- Missing most popular shows
- Weak movie library
A new player to the game as of summer 2021, Sensical brings some great features that will appeal to parents. The service is separated with specific content for preschoolers (ages 2-4), little kids (ages 5-7) and big kids (8-10). Every video is viewed, vetted, and rated by dozens of individuals trained in child development.
While you won’t find as much content as some other services, Sensical combines TV shows and short videos to create a compelling mix. Children can also watch virtual live streaming channels focused on specific topics like games and puzzles, history, sports, science, music, and more.
Parents also have some excellent tools, including a dashboard to get reports on what your child has been learning and how long he or she has been watching. If your child exceeds the time limit you set, you can simply offer a temporary override with a PIN code.
The service is ad-supported, but The Streamable didn’t see any commercials when we tested it at launch.
We only found one feature-length movie on the service. This is primarily a service for short videos and TV shows.
- Great parental controls
- Different content curated by age
- Virtual live streaming channels by topic
- Slim library may get stale
- No offline viewing
Hellosaurus is a unique video streaming app for kids — it has interactive features, so kids can play music or make art or appear in the videos alongside the stars. Hellosaurus features creators like The Wiggles, Kidz Bop, Mother Goose Club, Kids Diana, Cosmic Kids Yoga, Bounce Patrol, and Super Simple.
Due to the interactive elements, Hellosaurus requires a camera, microphone, and touchscreen, meaning it won’t work on a standard TV. You’ll need a smartphone or tablet to view and interact with the shows.
All content is vetted and curated by experts, ensuring that kids have a high-quality play experience. Kids can explore topics like music, mindfulness, science, art, healthy habits, storytelling, vocabulary, and more.
- Innovative platform allows more interaction than most
- Older kids may not find much to watch
Hopster is an ad-free video streaming and interactive app that is kidSAFE+ Coppa certified with access to 2,000+ family-friendly preschool TV shows, formal early childhood curriculums from around the world, educational games, preschool books, music, and more.
The award-winning app and safe digital environment is trusted by more than 2 million families. You can try with a 7-day free trial or premium subscriptions ranging from Monthly ($7.99) and Yearly ($59.99). There is also a Limited Version that is completely free but there is very little content available due to the paywall.
Kids can draw, play some games, and listen to a few songs without subscribing, but there are only a couple of shows available for free. The pressure to subscribe will be heavy with this one as kids can see what content is available behind the paywall. It’s generally geared to preschoolers with the occasional shows that skew a bit older.
Made in partnership with some of the UK’s most intelligent academics, Hopster is designed with educational games that center around mathematics, phonics, alphabet, empathy, caring, communication and decision making.
Children who use the app to watch educational TV shows, are only allowed to watch three episodes in a row before the app recommends another activity instead, putting an emphasis on engagement and interaction.
Hopster is available in English (UK/US), French, Icelandic, Serbian, Bosnian, Slovenian. The service is available as an Amazon Prime Video channel, allowing you to access all the content alongside the larger streaming service.
Toon Goggles is an on-demand streaming service for children (13 and under) that offers an array of animated and live-action titles as well as fun and engaging games, news stories, educational content, and a kid-safe music service that plays pop hits.
The platform is fully COPPA-compliant (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), with a strict screening process so that entertainment is always age-appropriate.
The service is completely free with ads. However, if you wish to remove them, you can subscribe to the “Premium” plan which is only $1.99 per month.
Some cool features include a “Jump!” button that plays a recommended video based on what you are currently watching. There’s also a parent-enabled camera button that allows kids to create a short video using fun filters.
HooplaKidz Plus is a video streaming app for kids that makes learning easy with 650+ curated videos. Content ranges from Nursery Rhymes to 230+ preschool songs and learning videos.
The massively popular HooplaKidz Youtube channel has over 15 million subscribers and 170 million monthly views across 9 global languages. It has been entertaining and educating kids since 2010.
Kidstream offers hours of educational, award-winning TV shows for preschoolers and kids of all ages and interests such as science, arts and crafts, dance, music, sports, adventure, action, imagination, problem solving, and social & emotional learning. The on-demand channel features shows like “LazyTown,” “Madeline,” “Space Kids,” “Guess How Much I Love You?,” “Science Max,” “Ella the Elephant,” and more.
Named one of Roku’s top channels for 2020, Kidstream has a seven-day free trial and you can sign up for the subscription that costs $4.99 per month. If you have Amazon Prime Video, it’s worth subscribing through that platform so you can access all the content there as well.
Ameba is a children’s video streaming service that is full of educational programming. The content catalog comprises 14,000+ episodes and 2,800 hours of kid’s shows.
There is a Free ad-supported version that allows you to watch up to five episodes per show. However, there are some shows that are exclusive to Premium members. The Premium (ad-free) plan is $3.99/month, $19.99/year, and $39.99 for three years. You can also watch one free, ad-supported video per show when you use the service as a guest.
We recommend adding Ameba as a channel on Amazon Prime Video so you can access the content on that platform as well as the Ameba app.
Kidoodle.TV is a video streaming service designed for kids 12 and under and and offers show and movie suggestions based on age range. The platform has a content library that contains 45,000 episodes of popular TV shows, Kidoodle.TV Originals, educational programming, gaming content, and more. The content varies by region with new titles regularly added. Notable series include Little Angels, Dude Perfect, and Paw Patrol to name a few.
The ad-supported service is completely free (Freemium) or there is a ad-free paid subscription for $4.99 per month (Premium).
The kidSAFE certified platform has received the Mom’s Choice Award and Stevie Award. Kidoodle.TV launched in the market in 2014 and as of 2020, has its own originals and is available in 160 countries and territories.
Da Vinci is a streaming service for children 7+. It includes 13,000+ hours of award-winning TV shows and documentaries that encourage creativity, social-emotional learning, and curiosity. The app includes 200+ games developed by academics in childhood education and cognitive development.
The content is available in 22 languages.
The app is sometimes called “Da Vinci Kids” in various app stores.
Kanopy is a streaming platform for independent films and documentaries. It has a collection of more than 30,000 films such as a wide array of dramas, comedies, biopics, and television series. The library includes award-winning films and shows from major television networks like HISTORY, A&E, and PBS.
Kanopy started in 2008 to provide films to academic institutions. The service is completely free, but only available for members of participating libraries or college universities. Viewers get 10 Play Credits each month for all the content in the regular Kanopy collection. There are some Credit-Free movies you can watch and the entire Kanopy Kids library has unlimited viewing.
Hoopla is a free streaming service accessible with your library card. The service features movies and TV shows, along with millions of audiobooks, ebooks, comics, and more. The BingePass feature also allows free access to services like Curiosity Stream, Hellosaurus, and Hallmark Movies Now.
Titles may vary based on library catalog.
Yippee is an American religious subscription video on-demand over-the-top streaming service with thousands of hours of “faith-filled” series for kids ages 2–10. Plus, it is the exclusive streaming service of “The VeggieTales Show.”
“No ads, no algorithms, no sassy attitudes. Just good shows your kids will actually want to watch including hand-picked YouTubers reviewed and screened by parents like you.”
The monthly subscription is $7.99/month whereas the annual subscription is $49/year.
Ryan and Friends Plus is a video streaming service with the star of “Ryan’s World” and the hit Nickelodeon show “Ryan’s Mystery Playdate.” The service offers fun, educational shows, cartoons, and exclusive content! Featuring science experiments, DIY crafts, pretend play, challenges, and tons of other kid-favorite activities that are fun for the whole family.
Ryan and his Ryan’s World pals – including Combo Panda, Gus the Gummy Gator, and others – team up with Ryan’s favorite kid video stars like popular vlogger Jason Vlogs, rising star Marlin “MarMar” Chan of MarMarLand, Scratch Garden, and more, for a non-stop learning adventure.