For parents who are spending a bit more time at home with their little ones lately, gentle TV shows for kids might be your best friend right now. Because, hey, sometimes you need something that is sort of soothing, something that might calm your kids down rather than rev them up or get them overexcited. And fortunately, given Care Bears, Franklin, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, and more, there's a whole slew of options available for parents and caregivers who just want the kids to chill out for a bit.
Watching television might not be top of mind for everyone, but for parents trying to keep little kids entertained while they're trying to work or get the laundry done, it's certainly a useful tool they can employ. Of course, all television is not the same, just like not all children are the same. Some little ones might really benefit from television shows that are gentle in every way. From the theme of the show to the voices to the color scheme, some shows are designed to really soothe kids while also keeping them interested.
In other words, these shows are basically magic. And if you're a caregiver, you might really need them in your life.
Care Bears was a massive feel-good phenomenon in the '80s, and right now seems like as good a time as any to bring them back into kids' lives.
Fans of the original series can catch episodes on Amazon Prime, but there is also a very adorable updated version called Care Bears & Cousins available on Netflix and this one has other little care animals joining the original crew.
'Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood'
PBS Kids' Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is another sweet show about a young tiger whose family and friends all treat each other with respect and kindness. The show is based on the original Daniel Striped Tiger from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, so there's even a bit of a nostalgic element to the show.
Kids can watch it on PBS Kids or stream episodes from YouTube.
Franklin the turtle lives in a forest neighborhood with his family, goes on sweet adventures with his pal Bear, and generally lives in a simple time that kids will be sure to enjoy.
You can stream the first season of Franklin on Amazon Prime to catch him learning how to skateboard, consider a new pet, and even have a bad day.
The Smurfs have seen a resurgence since its heydey in the 80s and for good reason. Every tiny Smurf has a purpose and a way to help out the community, where there's always a happy ending and some light humor on offer.
You can watch full episodes of The Smurfs on its official YouTube channel.
Little puffin Oona and her baby brother Baba live the sweet life on Puffin Rock, the Netflix show where they learn about family, nature, and have safe adventures that are calming to the eye.
Amazon Prime's show Tumble Leaf is also nature-themed, with bright happy colors and a slow, gently pace for kids who might want to learn a little science with Fig the Fox.
'Lily's Driftwood Bay'
Think a day of exploring on the beach sounds relaxing? Then you'll love Lily's Driftwood Bay on Sprout. A little girl who spends her days wandering the beach with her animal pals looking for natural treasures on her imaginary beach.
'The Book Of Pooh'
Winnie the Pooh is perhaps one of the most calming characters in children's literature, and The Book of Pooh on Disney+ is as gentle as the bear himself.
The music of the Beatles sung by sweet little bugs who are also best friends and amazing performers? Yes please. Beat Bugs on Netflix Jr. is beautiful to look at, charming, and best of all, musical.
'Adventures Of Gummi Bears'
Another blast from the past, Adventures of Gummi Bears on Disney+ tells the story of a young hero who helps find a lost colony of Gummi Bears. Not as calm as some other choices, but gentle and sweet all the same.
Julie Andrews teaches kids, puppets called "the Greenies," all about how to put on a musical performance, from how instruments work to how the importance of working together. With a little help from some of her famous friends.
Julie's Greenroom on Netflix Jr. will have you wishing Julie Andrews was your teacher too because her class looks like so much fun.
And best of all, like the rest of the shows on this list, Julie's Greenroom is gentle. Easy to watch. Exactly what kids and parents might need for a calm afternoon.