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Best Streaming Services for Kids in 2021

If you’ve had kids at home spending more time than usual on screens, it may have come to your attention that navigating streaming services designed for adults can be challenging if you have children. Fortunately, some streaming platforms have taken steps to make their systems kid-safe and easy to use. If you’ve been searching for the perfect streaming service for your kids, here are some you’ll want to consider.

Kids’ Streaming Platforms

If you’re just starting to look at streaming services for kids, you may be wondering what options are out there. You’ll find great appropriate programming for children on both paid-for and free streaming services. Be aware that some platforms that allow individuals to upload videos can be problematic for children to use and watch while unsupervised. While these platforms do often host plenty of kid-safe programming, you’ll want to opt into a closed streaming service (free or paid) to reduce the risk of exposure to inappropriate content.

Disney+

If you’re looking for access to classic kids movies and TV shows you know and love, a subscription to Disney+ might be what suits your needs. Nostalgic favorites like Cinderella and Mary Poppins can provide hours of wholesome viewing. New releases are also available on the platform, and while many might think of Disney as strictly for younger children, the platform includes fun movies for older children and teens, like the Star Wars series and Marvel movies.

If you’re more in the mood for documentary and education, Disney+ also includes National Geographic programming. With parental controls enabled, you can determine whether your children have access to the complete library of video content or limit them to G, PG, or PG-13 options. Disney+ subscriptions can frequently be found in packages, so if you already have a streaming service, check to see if you can add on Disney+ for an additional nominal fee.

PBS for Kids

PBS has long been known for producing quality content available on public television. Classic education programs like Mr. Rogers and Reading Rainbow have been joined by new favorites like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Super Why! Part of PBS’s mission has been to bring quality programming to every child, regardless of whether or not they have access to paid subscriptions like cable TV. As a result, PBS for Kids is offered for free. If your child uses a tablet or computer, many education-based games and activities are available as well.

The PBS app is available on a variety of platforms, including iOS and Android, and can be used on computers, tablets, phones, and smart TVs. An easy-to-use navigation system that’s designed for young children to use reduces frustration and encourages confidence. With award-winning programming and no cost to you, it’s a great streaming service for those with young children or for those who occasionally need an option for children’s programming.

Nick Jr.

The new generation of Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. (and Nick — for older kids) offers plenty of great programming for children. Top picks such as Paw Patrol and Shimmer and Shine are all available on Nick Jr. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and other shows geared toward teenagers can be found on Nick. New content is on tap to be released, so there’s no need to worry you’ll run out of viewing options.

Partial access to the Nick Jr. app is available for free, but to view all the content you’ll need to register for access and confirm an existing subscription to cable or a like service. Like PBS, Nick Jr. also offers games and activities through its app and can be a good option for on-the-go use on tablets and phones.

Netflix

You may already have this streaming service in your home. The original streaming platform has come a long way from its beginning days of mail-ordered DVDs. Individual profiles and access to parental controls can help you create the ideal streaming service for your child. More than one child in the household? You’ll love that each child can have their own profile with their preferences saved, creating a safe, fun, and easy-to-navigate system for every child in the house. Rotating programming and access to Netflix originals and educational shows will give your children access to plenty of entertainment.

While the basic Netflix service used to cover multiple devices using the account at the same time, this is no longer the case. To crack down on password sharing device use is closely monitored, and you’ll need to upgrade your account to stream on multiple devices at the same time. Keep this in mind when budgeting your streaming services, as the upgrades do come at an increased cost.

Get All the Programming Your Child Craves — Wherever You Are

Distribution laws can get complicated, and not all programming is available to you. Instead, your computer’s current location will dictate what programming you’ll have access to. Whether you are traveling, an ex-pat, or just have the urge to expose your children to programming from outside of the United States, you can easily gain access to streaming platforms and shows from other parts of the world.

Using a Virtual Private Network can help you navigate region distribution limitations. Changing a VPN server location to the specific region you’re interested in gives you access to shows available in that part of the world. If you’ve been hearing great things about fun kids shows like Bing, The investigators, and Die Ollie and Moon Show, but haven’t been able to watch it in the United States, using a VPN is what you’ve been missing. Of course, a VPN is indispensable when you’re traveling outside of the U.S. and still want access to your regular slate of programs.

In addition to giving you access to more programming, a VPN can offer you significant additional cybersecurity.

Safe and Fun Streaming for Kids in 2021

Here’s to a year where our kids are spending a little less time with their favorite streaming services. When it is time to pull out your favorite snack, decompress, and enjoy some quality TV viewing, though, you’ll love these perfect-for-kids streaming solutions.