Terrific TV Shows for Kids of All Genders

One PSP member on our 3s group asks: “I am looking through PBS Kids to find the next show to get my daughter hooked on, but I'm noticing that the characters tend to be boys or are all pink and girly.” Our media-savvy members came to the rescue with high-quality kids shows that feature girl characters without reinforcing stereotypes. Read on for the recs!

 

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  • Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom

  • Bluey: “Bluey is an adorable Australian show all about family play. It's a dog family (with an amazing house if you ask me.) It makes me smile and laugh and encourages sibling and parent imaginative play. Really love that one!”

  • Bo on the Go

  • Cleo and Cuquin: “It has been a consistent favorite of my daughters for well over a year. The main character is a girl named Cleo, and the story plots involve creative problem solving/imagination among Cleo and her siblings. Very cute and not a huge commitment (episodes are under 10 minutes).”

  • Creature Report

  • Curious George: “problem solving. They use trial and error to find solutions that are not complete nonsense. Male chimp (I think?) and the backstory is horrible, but passes the Bechdel test”

  • Daniel Tiger

  • Dino Dana

  • Dinosaur Train

  • Doc McStuffins: “I got my daughter into Doc McStuffins (on Disney+), which features a Black girl who diagnoses her toys’ maladies. The girl’s mother is a pediatrician and the dad appears to be a SAHD (but I may be wrong about that). I have a low tolerance for kids’ shoes and that one has been pretty good. I guess I’m late to the game because apparently the franchise is quite popular.”

  • Dora the Explorer

  • Hello Ninja: “has a boy and girl duo that get equal screen time. That's a favorite here (added bonus.. the ninjas wear masks so initially it helped a lot in getting my son to wear a mask all the time saying he was a ninja).”

  • Hero Elementary: “It has 2 girls and 2 boys as main characters who use the ‘super powers of science’ to solve problems. My 3 y o loves it.”

  • Hey Duggee: “also a new favorite--characters are not-very-gendered animals.”

  • Let's Go Luna: “It's a show about a traveling circus and the moon. There are characters of both genders and Luna the moon is female and not pink or frilly. They explore different cities as they travel the world. I actually enjoy watching this one.”

  • Little Einsteins

  • Llama Llama

  • Martha Speaks

  • Masha and the Bear: “Both my daughter and I love Masha and the Bear on Netflix.”

  • Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir: “they’re kind of into this odd show called Miraculous - maybe it’s called ladybug? that is not appropriate age wise for them but it is a powerful independent girl :-)”

  • Molly of Denali: “a new program, akin to Dora.”

  • Number Blocks

  • Octonauts: “My 2.5 and 4 year old girls love it. I believe it's on Netflix and possibly also Prime Video. The print books are very good (but not very good on ebooks).”

  • Odd Squad

  • Peep and the Big Wide World: “I read about in NYmag and it's truly the best”

  • Peg + Cat

  • Peppa Pig

  • Pete the Cat

  • PJ Masks

  • Puffin Rock: “All animals but sweet stories and the lead Puffin is female.”

  • Sarah and Duck: “I feel like I could watch it for hours. It’s so soothing. (On Amazon prime)”

“Another shout-out for Sarah and Duck! Primary character is a young girl, creative and curious, always embarking on sweet and humble adventures with her pet duck. No annoying songs either! It’s our fave.”

  • Sesame Street: “Hopefully I'm not stating the obvious, but Sesame Street never gets old for our little guy (2.5). High quality, seemingly endless content, combines activity with thoughtful messaging and education while also striking a good representation of gender balance and other important social topics.  They also have lots of guest/celebrity appearances which may grab our attention as adults (because we all need a temporary escape from our day jobs and parenting occasionally).”

  • Sid the Science Kid

  • Spirit: “We like Spirit on Netflix. It's not exactly ‘educational’ but it's all female characters having adventures and being brave.”

  • StoryBots

  • Super Why

  • Team UmiZoomi: “it’s animated, math theme, and characters are a boy, a girl, & a robot.”

  • The Cat in the Hat Knows a lot about That: “series on Netflix. Two leads: Nick and Sally (Plus the cat, of course). Educational.”

  • True and the Rainbow Kingdom

  • Tumble Leaf: “also a new favorite. A fox and friends who go on daily adventures.  Just don't blame me when your kid says "I've figured it out" 157x a day”

“Tumbleleaf is just so sweet and pleasant to watch”

  • Wild Kratts: “Our daughter is really obsessed with Wild Kratts. It’s probably her main obsession on PBS kids. The Wild Kratts are brothers but they depend on Aviva to turn into animals so they can learn more about them. Aviva is a brilliant engineer and our daughter loves her character.”

  • Word Girl

  • Xavier Riddle and The Secret Museum

  • Yo Gabba Gabba!

  • Zaboomafoo: “It’s great and from the Kratt Brothers. And it’s live action!!!”