16 Shows and Movies That Are Great to Watch as a Family

As the cold weather approaches and parents are scrambling to find fun activities to do with their children, I’m making a bucket list of shows that I know my family will enjoy. Some of my favorite memories with my mom include us snuggled in her bed watching reruns of Charmed or racing to catch the newest episode of American Idol after school and work. 

As many of us struggle with hectic schedules and just overall exhaustion, I feel like many families can benefit from just sitting back and relaxing together. I know too much screen time is always a worry, but with the way things are in the world right now, these moments spent snuggling with our kids on the couch with a huge bowl of popcorn can become little slices of heaven.

Here are a few favorite shows and movies that are perfect for families to watch together.

 

Learning Shows

 

Ryan’s World

Where to Watch: YouTube

Ryan’s World is my eldest son’s favorite show to watch on his Tablet in his down time, and to be honest, I was a little skeptical of allowing him to watch other kids play with toys. But Ryan’s channel is much more than that—it can help families with children from 2-6 learn and get inspired from watching amazing science experiments and DIY arts and crafts that are great to do at home.

 

Mike Likes Science

Where to Watch: YouTube

This channel is great for parents and children to learn computer science in a more accessible and fun way. My 4- and 5-year-olds love his fun songs.

 

Emily’s Wonder Lab

Where to Watch: Netflix

If you all remember Bill Nye the Science Guy, this show is another educational and fun series that is great for children 5+. I love watching it to add even more ideas for at-home experiments, and seeing a woman in STEM is amazing. Emily also has a set of chapter books for kids; you can find the Ada Lace books here.

 

Super Why!

Where to Watch: PBS Kids

Super Why! helps children learn the basics of reading through interactive storybook adventures. 

 

Ask the StoryBots

Where to Watch: Netflix

Ask the StoryBots is an award-winning series that helps answer children’s big questions in fun ways. Each episode is a journey to find answers with an amazing cast of celebrities. This show is perfect for children and families to binge watch on a rainy day.

 

Just-for-Fun Shows

 

Gabby’s Dollhouse

Where to Watch: Netflix

My children and I love watching Gabby’s Dollhouse. It stars a BIPOC girl in an adorable live action and animation, which makes it great for preschoolers.

 

True and the Rainbow Kingdom

Where to Watch: Netflix

There are several different series of True on Netflix, and they are all so adorable. This show is great for toddlers, and each episode teaches children how to break down problems and use their thinking skills as well as teamwork to find solutions. 

 

Doc McStuffins

Where to Watch: Disney+ and Hulu

This is such a sweet show that features a little girl who can fix “patients” with help of her toy friends. Parents will love the diversity, and it’s perfect for preschoolers.

 

Nostalgic Favorites

 

Rugrats (2021)

Where to Watch: Hulu

This series is described as a reboot and revival of the original show created in 1991. As a big Rugrats fan from back in the day, I’m definitely putting this on our watch list!

 

The Magic School Bus

Where to Watch: Netflix

An oldie but a goodie: The Magic School Bus is an educational show that many parents will remember from their own childhood. I love going down memory lane and sharing that with my children.

 

Clifford the Big Red Dog

Where to Watch: PBS Kids, Amazon Prime Video

Another classic that I, as a millennial, have to recommend: Clifford features a giant puppy and his best friend Elizabeth in this reimagined animated series that focuses on social-emotional skills.

 

Curious George

Where to Watch: PBS Kids

This series will inspire children and adults to explore and find science, math, and engineering in your day-to-day life. 

 

New Movies to Stream With Kids

 

The Addams Family 2

Where to Watch: Available to rent for $19.99 across streaming services like Amazon Prime Video

With Halloween right around the corner, we are all excited to watch the sequel of this eccentric family. 

 

Cinderella

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

This new take on Cinderella is said to feature a modern heroine, played by Camila Cabello, who has big dreams. I can’t wait to see the magic created by Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, James Corden, and more.

 

Vivo

Where to Watch: Netflix

In this movie, a honey bear named Vivo spends his day playing music to crowds with his owner Adrés, but when tragedy strikes, it is up to Vivo to deliver a message. With beautiful new songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda, this is a movie that all families can enjoy. 

 

Wish Dragon

Where to Watch: Netflix

I almost overlooked this movie, but after sitting down with my kids, it quickly became a favorite. It features a hilarious dragon and a teen determined to reconnect with his childhood best friend.

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