As parents, we tend to be nostalgic for our own childhood television shows from Johnny Quest to Ninja Turtles and Sesame Street, but there are some really great kid’s shows on television right now. Not all of them are suitable for all ages, but you should know better than anyone whether or not your eight year old is ready for some "big kid" shows:
Recommended for children 10 and up
One of the most popular shows on television right now, Regular Show, follows a pair of twenty something slackers, Mordecai and Rigby, as they try to get out of work and find new and more inventive ways to slack off. They usually wind up putting more effort into undoing the trouble they’ve caused than they ever might have expended at work. Regular Show is mostly kid-friendly entertainment, but about once per episode you can expect a joke aimed at the older brothers and sisters. Though the show rarely ventures into excessive toilet humor or adult jokes, the humor is a little edgier than most kids shows.
Recommended for children 12 and up
Adventure Time combines slapstick humor, character driven comedy and action and adventure into a truly unique series set in the far future in the Land of Ooo. The humor is generally kid-friendly. Some of the adventure scenes can be a little scary for the younger children, but the lead character, Finn, faces every danger with an enthusiastic, fearless attitude, finding fun in even the scariest scenarios. Jake, Finn’s shape-shifting magic dog, gets most of the biggest laughs thanks to his bizarre perspective and unpredictable sense of humor.
The Amazing World of Gumball
Recommended for children 8 and up
The Amazing World of Gumball is one of the most visually innovative shows on television right now, utilizing a mix of cell based animation, computer animation and live action, among other techniques. That said, it’s perhaps the most traditional series on this list in terms of writing. Following a bickering brother and sister pair through misadventures at home and at school, the humor is very kid-friendly, the characters likable, and the show almost never deals with anything truly scary or explores edgy humor. Gumball serves as proof that you can keep kids interested, even today, with little more than likable characters and funny setups.
Yo Gabba Gabba!
Recommended for children of all ages
Yo Gabba Gabba! is simply a sensory delight. Though the show does explore educational territory with segments like "Don’t Bite Your Friends," the show’s core audience is comprised of children who are still learning about shapes and colors. With inventive, upbeat music and lively dance numbers, Yo Gabba Gabba! is incredibly fun to watch, even for adults. The show was put together by the creators of Homestar Runner as well as members of the group The Aquabats and features cameos from stars like Biz Markie.
If you want to read more, check out www.cablenet.net for information on television for kids and adults alike. It may seem as if all of the best shows were on TV when we grew up, but you can still find some of the best children’s entertainment on television today.
About the Author
Eric Halberg is a father of three whose kids range in age from 3 to 9 years. He writes about TV shows for a variety of entertainment blogs online.