It's kids and family week here at OnMilwaukee.com and, more than ever, we'll feature articles and blogs about children's health, education, travel, fun and more. Kids and family week is brought to you by Aurora Health Care.
Kids and their screens. It’s not your parents' TV these days, that’s for sure. There's streaming, Amazon Prime, AppleTV, Netflix, apps and more. Oh, sure, there’s still PBS, but really, who watches live TV anymore? Not kids.
But, if you have kids in your life, Lord knows you’ve seen your share of children’s programming. Much of it is horrible, some of it amazing. Too much of it annoying. It’s hard to do a list of the best shows for kids, so this off the top of my head list is simply some of the kids’ shows that I can tolerate. And, really, many of them are actually pretty darn good.
Many are quick to say that all kids’ TV sucks, so I’m sure you’ll have your own opinions so please chime in and share. And, don’t forget to stream "Paw Patrol" for the kids in your life. It’s a solid show, and a current favorite.
1. Paw Patrol
I’m not a dog person. Nothing against the furry creatures, but they are too much work for me. I will, though, take my pets in cartoon form and the fairly new (2013) "Paw Patrol" is a good watch. The Nickelodeon series stars puppies named Chase, Marshall, Rocky, Zuma, Rubble and Skye. They are led by a boy named Ryder and all work together on missions to protect the Adventure Bay community.
Lots of fun technology, songs and decent humor make "Paw Patrol" a dog gone good bet.
2. Fireman Sam
"Fireman Sam" is an animated series about a fireman named Sam (duh!), his fellow firefighters including a dude named Elvis and other townspeople in the fictional Welsh rural town of Pontypandy. With a late 80s date and newer spawned 2009 episodes, the series is about to relaunch on Amazon Prime.
The lead kid, Norman Price, is much better in the older 80s episodes but in all episodes generally provides the mischievous and - at times annoying - antics that usually end up with Fireman Sam coming to the rescue.
Not sure what it is exactly about "Fireman Sam" that I like so much. Maybe it’s the accents, the entertaining plots and catching theme song. This is a good show. Check it out.
3. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
"Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood" should be on this list. There’s no kid’s show that’s better. But, let’s be real, it could use some updating. Not the messages — Fred Rogers’ and his wisdom are timeless. Luckily, much of the magic and messages transfer to your preschoolers via "Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood." Nice lessons, even mechanics stuff like brushing teeth are what Daniel and this family do well. Introduce Daniel to the 2-year-olds in your life.
The most "controversial" on this list is sure to be "Caillou." The 4-year-old character and the narrator/grandmother can induce a nails on a chalk board type reaction for many adults. The family, mom, dad, Cailou and little Rosey, live in a blue house and everything is colorful, if not funny looking in this show. The lessons, relationships and imagination trump the corny design and leave behind a down home values-driven show that teaches. Plus, someday, I’m going to be a costume winning "grown up Cailou" for Halloween.
HBO’s "Crashbox" is OnDemand and on HBO Family but originally aired in 1999. It consists of about seven 2-to-5-minute educational games during each 30 minute show. Aimed at 8-15-year-olds it’s a bit more boy focussed but still fun, engaging and just odd enough to make it work.
6. Sesame Street
What more can you say about "Sesame Street" that already hasn’t been said? It’s still solid, ever changing and really its only "problem" is its one-hour time (although 30 minutes shows and segments do exist). "Sesame Street" works, teaches and cares.
7. Wild Kratts
6-8 year olds seem to love "Wild Kratts." Its themes around biology, zoology and ecology try to teach kids small ways to make big impacts. To be honest, I’ve never seen a full episode, but kids I talk to love this show and its focus on "saving the animals" works.
8. Mickey Mouse Club
Kids love Mickey, and Disney’s "Mickey Mouse Club" still shines and works. The chant "Meeska Mooska Mickey Mouse!" that’s used to summon the Clubhouse is awesome and how can’t you love "Hot Dog" from They Might be Giants?! Great numbers lessons and good Disney fun always.
9. Imagination Movers
Graduating a bit older on the Disney ladder, "Imagination Movers" is just flat out fun entertainment. Good music and lessons to boot. And, Warehouse Mouse rocks.
10. Thomas the Tank Engine
I’ll end with Thomas or "Thomas and Friends" as the show based on the books by the Reverend Wilbert Awdry and his son, Christopher Awdry, is called. Characters are good, animation solid, life lessons galore and with narration from Ringo Starr, George Carlin, Pierce Bronson and others you simply can’t go wrong with Thomas. Go, Go Thomas! And, sing it with me: "They're two they're four they're six and eight. Shunting trucks and hauling freight red and green and brown and blue, they’re the really useful crew …"
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jeff Sherman
Published Jan. 1, 2017
To begin 2017, I've compiled a few thoughts, inspirational nuggets and observations that may help power you to help make this the best year yet. It's a list I've kept for a while and refer to often. Figured it was time to share it.
Published Dec. 8, 2016
Milwaukee Downtown, the business improvement district in Downtown Milwaukee, is selling its annual ornament. This year, it's the Wisconsin Club, 900 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Published Nov. 22, 2016
It's that festive time of the year. Christmas and holiday parties seemingly every night. I love it. But, it's tough not to eat and drink more than usual. This list helps you get a better focus on which drinks contain the highest alcohol-to-calorie ratio.
Published Nov. 17, 2016
Cole Swindell brings his "Down Home" tour to Milwaukee on Dec. 3. The tour is part of the FM 106.1 Country Christmas Triple Play at The Rave and features Jon Langston. To prepare for his visit, Swindell used OnMilwaukee to find five restaurants he wants to hit while here.
Published Nov. 17, 2016
The magic of Christmas and the holiday season begins tonight, Thursday, Nov. 17, in Downtown Milwaukee. The City's Christmas tree is lit and more than 500,000 lights will illuminate the city at the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Kick-Off Extravaganza.
Published Nov. 14, 2016
From the good news department comes this video posted by the Milwaukee County Transit System on Facebook this past weekend.
Published Nov. 7, 2016
It's sprouted quickly in the Village of Shorewood, growing from an old Verizon store's ashes into a well-designed, soon-to-be new restaurant that embraces the charm, scale and walkability of the neighborhood. Here's a photo gallery of The Ruckus, coming soon to Oakland Avenue.
Published Nov. 5, 2016
The Sacramento Kings were in Milwaukee Friday night before their Saturday night game against the Bucks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. And they had some viral fun in Downtown Milwaukee.
Published Nov. 5, 2016
Country music star Keith Urban's 23-song set Friday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Downtown Milwaukee was crisp, collected and just flat-out killer. Here are Jeff Sherman's five key takeaways from the show.
Published Nov. 3, 2016
Twitter's is Jeff Sherman's go-to news source. And like all content sources, it has its pitfalls and problems. Not enough quality, too much yelling - you've heard them all. So how do we make Twitter better? Here are several ideas.