If you’re looking for a quick way to keep your child entertained, a streaming service is the answer.
However, every parent fears that leaving their kid unattended in front of the TV might lead to them seeing something inappropriate. That’s why it’s important to have a streaming service that not only offers fun and occasionally educational content, but also decent parental controls.
Here are the best streaming services for kids… and chances are you might find something to enjoy on them too.
Sling TV is the only live-streaming service containing Nickelodeon and Disney Junior as part of its channel selection. Sling TV has two packages: Sling Orange and Sling Blue, which vary in content and price.
Other than Disney and Nickelodeon, Sling TV also offers other kid-focused content channels like Baby TV, Baby Juniors, and Nicktoons. However, some of the media contained might not be available depending on your geographical location.
Sling TV is relatively affordable, and the parental controls are excellent. So, you can leave your kids to enjoy the service without a second thought.
When you hear Hulu, you hardly think “kids content”, but it’s there. The streaming service offers various classic sitcoms and reality competition shows that cater to a children’s audience. Not to mention family-friendly movies and cartoons, new and old, including LEGO Master, Looney Tunes, and Teen Titans Go!, to name a few.
Hulu has parental controls and lets you create an individual profile for a kid within your own account. When you do that, it automatically restricts viewing options to content from the “Kids Hub,” which gears around ages 13 and below. Once you do that, you can rest assured that your child won’t accidentally watch something inappropriate.
However, a downside of Hulu is that it’s pretty pricey. That’s something to consider when deciding which streaming service is best for your kids.
Disney+ contains mostly kids-friendly content and has very little explicit content. Its library includes a mix of both classic Disney movies and new releases. The streaming service offers Pixar productions alongside Marvel and Star Wars features. All of which your kids can enjoy and become a part of the fandoms. Start them young, right?
Kids can find and enjoy the series Duck Tales, Rescue Rangers, and Doc McStuffins, along with movies from the entire Disney collection of princesses, adventurers, pirates, robots, talking animals, and more.
Disney+ gives your kids a variety of content to choose from and experience. It also gives parents an option to set a separate kid’s profile, and the pricing is relatively affordable.
Amazon Prime Video offers Amazon’s original content and is relatively budget-friendly, with some free trials available. You can stream on-demand and rent or buy some titles.
The interface is friendly and easy to navigate, themed around popular colorful characters, and Amazon Prime Video provides your children with original kids’ series, plus educational TV shows and movies.
Kids can enjoy favorites like SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and not to mention the plethora of animated children’s books turned into series, like Clifford the Big Red Dog and Busytown Mysteries.
Netflix is one of the best streaming services period, let alone for children. It allows you to control what your child is viewing through decent parental controls. With Netflix, fears that your kid might come across explicit and inappropriate content are unsubstantiated as you have all the control.
Kids can enjoy content like The Wiggles and The Magic School Bus. Also, a plethora of shows based on well-known children’s books like The Cat in the Hat and toy-based shows like Barbie, My Little Pony, Lego Ninjago, and more.
Netflix also has Netflix Kids, which offers distinct categories you can browse through that make choosing what to watch a breeze. It has categories like Magic, Dealing with Feelings, and Talking Animals, alongside the more conventional Anime, Action, and Comedy.
Something to keep in mind is the cost of maintaining an account for your kids is relatively high compared to other sites like Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.
YouTube TV comes with a wide variety of TV channels. It offers Universal Kids, PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, three different Disney channels, and Cartoon Network for full kids’ entertainment. Your kids can enjoy shows like the beloved Paw Patrol, Sesame Street, and Arthur, among others.
YouTube TV has an excellent content selection, user-friendly interfaces, and an excellent DVR feature. A drawback to YouTube you should bear in mind is it gets pretty pricey and might be beneficial only to those with no TV cable connection.
Kidoodle.TV was created by a family-focused company and provides TV shows that tend to be parent-approved.
The best part about Kidoodle.TV is that it’s a free service that doesn’t even require you to sign up or create an account to enjoy it. You’ll see ads, though.
Kidoodle.TV allows you to regulate not only what content your kid has access to but also watch time. And controlling your kid’s time spent watching TV is the best feature.
The service advertises itself as the safe streaming platform for kids as it shows content that’s ‘‘hand-picked by caring people.’’ However, since other people pick the content, you can’t be sure whether all of it would be deemed appropriate by you.
Choosing the right streaming service for your kid doesn’t mean the only requirement should be for it to boast cartoons or movies. Sometimes you feel better leaving them to watch something educational. For those times, CuriosityStream is what you need.
CuriosityStream is often branded as the best streaming service for documentaries, though it does still offer shows and movies, but think of it more as educational entertainment. It provides access to documentaries covering a range of topics like geography, animals, politics, nutrition, and more.
CuriosityStream is by far the best way to educate your child on a variety of issues without physically engaging them with books. Helping your kids learn without them expecting it by having them watch TV is the best parental subterfuge.
CuriosityStream is budget-friendly, so it won’t break the bank if you choose to get it.
HBO Max is excellent for streaming kid-centered content. It offers a vast library of kid and family-friendly shows and movies, like Sesame Street, The Jetsons, and the Ice Age flicks, among others. Even studio Ghibli movies like Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro are available.
A downside to consider is that though the movie library itself is pretty adequate, HBO Max is still not as big as Netflix and Disney Plus. The service is still expanding, trying to reach the above-mentioned giants of kid content.
Peacock TV is one of the largest streaming services, falling under the NBC and Comcast umbrella.
The best part about Peacock TV is that some of its packages are free, so cost shouldn’t weigh your decision. Even the paid ones aren’t likely to break your budget.
Like most others, the streaming service offers various adult content not appropriate for kids, so it has parental controls. Use them and let your kids enjoy Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Care Bears, and The Mummy shows, Balto, and the Harry Potter movies.
Use Parental Controls to Keep Your Child Safe
Finding a streaming service with kid-appropriate content can prove a challenging feat. Most services mix kid-friendly features together with adult content. Kid channels you get with cable are littered with ads, and unsuitable content often slips through the cracks.
Landing on a streaming service that offers parental controls is your best bet to know for sure that your kid isn’t viewing content they shouldn’t.
Paid or free, invest in your kid’s entertainment, whether it contains a sly educational aim, serves as background noise, or as a reward for doing homework.
Are you doing enough to protect your kids online? With the best parental control apps for Windows, you won’t have to think twice.
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