TV programs for toddlers – what’s on our watch list

I make no secret about it, our kids watch TV, honestly it’s a lifesaver in our home some days. In saying that though, we are really picky when it comes to what Aria watches and so I wanted to share which TV programs for toddlers we love in our home, I think a lot of you will find it helpful to find a new show that your kiddos will love!

Before I get into which shows Aria watches, I thought that I would also chat about how screen time in our home works. The general “screen time routine” is:

– 30min or so in the morning after waking up, before breakfast

– when Maia has her two naps. These are longer stretches of time but it’s when Dan and I can get some decent chunks of work done, especially now during lockdown.

Some days the girls watch barely any TV and some days they watch more than their normal quota, it all tends to balance out in the end. 90% of the time we don’t eat in front of the TV, but every now and then, when it’s been a particularly difficult day, its an absolute lifesaver.

When it comes to shows that Aria watches we don’t like anything with bullying or blatant and consistent disrespect. Obviously every now and then a show will have one of these elements in but very often it forms part of a lesson, but we have found that many shows (especially ones aimed at girls) have very catty and mean spirited characters and that’s really not something that we want our girls to be watching, because lets face it, “monkey see, monkey do”.

Maia isn’t really interested in the TV, she watches maybe 4 minutes and then she toddles off to get up to mischief somewhere, but here are the shows that Aria loves (and so do we!)

On Showmax

We haven’t really explored too much of the kiddies shows on Showmax but what we do LOVE are the Julia Donaldson books that have been made into 20 odd minute programs. The cinematography is just beautiful and Aria watches these classics again and again. I really hope that over time more will be added but for now Stick Man, The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, ZOG, Snail and the Whale (our favourite!) and Room on the Broom.


On Netflix

Dinosaur Train: This is one of Aria’s current favourites and, if I’m honest, I find myself watching it every now and then too when it’s on. The show follows Buddy who is a Tyrannosaurus Rex who was adopted by a family of Pteranodons. In each episode, Buddy and some of his friends hop onto the dinosaur train and meet all sorts of prehistoric creatures from the different eras. This show is super educational and factual all while telling a lovely story. The lessons are further reinforced at the end of each episode by Dr Scott, a paleontologist who goes through the key details. Well worth putting on your watch list.

Earth to Luna: If your kids want to know how things work and are constantly asking “why, why, why?” then they will love this show! In each episode Luna notices something that she wants to find the answers to like “why don’t things fall up?” and so along with her brother, Jupiter, and their pet ferret, Clyde, they go on a mission to find all of the answers. Everything is fact based and I love how Aria learns something new each time.

Rainbow Ruby: This is such a fun and colourful show full of problem solving, friendship, imagination and life lessons such as forgiveness. Ruby lives at home with her parents, but whenever her teddy bear, Choco’s heart starts to glow, they knows that one of her friends in Rainbow Village needs their help. So off they go to the magical little town where they lend a helping hand to whoever needs it.


PJ Masks: “PJ Masks, we’re on our way. Into the night, to save the day!” Anyone else hear this for 39493 hours after their kid has watched PJ Masks? I’m pretty sure most of you are familiar with this show, but for those who aren’t, here’s a quick run down. When night falls, Amaya, Greg and Connor become the PJ Masks team; they fight off the bad guys from ruining peoples days. There are a lot of recurring characters which I think is helpful and Aria loves to reenact some of the scenes.

Chip and Potato: This is one of the sweetest shows and I have found that a lot of the episodes are quite comforting for little ones when facing something new, for example “Chip starts Kindergarten”, “Chip gets Lost” and “Chip’s First Sleepover”. The show is focused on Chip, a pug, and her secret friend, Potato, who is a mouse. Together they face challenges and figure them out together.

True and the Rainbow Kingdom: I think this is Aria’s favourite show of all time. There are a few different seasons of True (Happy Hearts Day, Tricky Treat Day, Wonderful Wishes, etc) but they all follow the same premise; True is an 8 year old little girl who, along with Bartleby the cat, lives in the Rainbow Kingdom. When problems arise in the magical kingdom, True is the only one of the citizens who can use the Wonderful Wishes from The Wishing Tree. This program is chock-a-block full of lessons about empathy, friendship, perseverance and forgiveness, all while exploring the colourful, wonderful Rainbow Kingdom.


Rescue Riders: If your kids enjoyed How To Train Your Dragon, then they will love Rescue Riders, although I do find that it is slightly more suitable for younger ones that are Aria’s age, she found How To Train Your Dragon a bit dark. Rescue Riders follows the twins, Dek and Leyla who were raised by dragons (and can as a result communicate with them) as they protect their town Huttsgalor as well as it’s people and dragons. Bravery, perseverance and loyalty are three strong themes in this program which makes it just great for kiddos.

Puffin Rock: Oh man, we love Puffin Rock! Oona and her brother , Baba, live on Puffin Rock which is just off the coast of Ireland and together they go exploring with their friends, always learning something new. We find this show really calming, there are no bright, garish colours and the narrators voice is incredibly soothing. It also has some educational elements which is always great.

The Magic School Bus: Does anyone else remember the OG Magic School Bus from when they were little? My sister and I loved it, we even had the PC game! This souped up version is really great, although ever so slightly too advanced for Aria, but she loves it none the less. Just like the original, Ms Frizzle and her class hop onto their magical school bus and go on all sorts of excursions across locations and era’s, learning about science. This is an absolute must watch if your child is about 4 and up.


Aria chops and changes between these shows a lot, so we will go one solid week of True, True, True and just when we think we might cry if we hear the theme tune again, she changes, thank goodness! I hope that you found this blog post on TV programs for toddlers helpful, and remember, cut yourself some slack, lockdown can be rough, so if you allow your little one more screen time than normal, it’s okay!



South African Influencer Sarah Booyens

I’m Sarah, shameless coffee addict, brazen beauty fiend, mid-size style gal and the heart behind parentingbeauty and lifestyle blog, Mascara & Mimosas.


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