If you were born before 2000, most of your screen time as a kid involved watching TV. Didn't we have the absolute best kids shows? From Little Bear and The Magic School Bus to Spongebob and Kim Possible, we had no shortage of wholesome, educational, and fun shows to watch.
Here are a few of the best shows from your childhood worth showing to your kids today. You might just encourage the youngest Rugrats fan alive now.
Educational Shows From Your Childhood
Remember how entertained we were by those sneaky educational shows that we looked forward to after school? These were the shows that captured our attention and shaped our minds that kids today still love.
The Magic School Bus
How badly did you want to shrink down with Mrs. Frizzle and take off on a scientific adventure? This show made learning fun and inspired our imagination all at the same time. Today you can rewatch classic episodes of The Magic School Bus on Netflix, Vudu, and Prime Video.
The classic opening, the lovable lemur, and two brothers who knew more about animals than we could imagine. Zoboomafoo shaped so many of us into animal lovers and still airs today on PBS. You can also stream the early seasons on Prime Video.
Another PBS show we loved that taught us one of life's greatest loves - reading. You may have watched this one on special afternoons at school more than you did at home, but the places you were able to see and the people you met throughout each episode felt more like entertainment than education. You can watch the classic reading adventures on Amazon Prime Video.
Out of the Box
If you watched Disney Channel in the midmorning, you probably saw Out Of The Box more than a few times. This creative show, reminiscent of Barney, features songs, crafts, and pretend play. Tony and Vivian, the teacher-type main characters, led you and the children of the show through half an hour of learning and playing together. Introduce your child to the origins of your crafting obsession by streaming the show on Disney+.
Everything you knew about classic literature as a kid probably came from this show on PBS. Wishbone took us on unforgettable adventures as he entered the world of classic characters throughout famous literature pieces. You can currently watch Wishbone on Youtube or purchase the two seasons on Amazon Prime Video.
Gullah Gullah Island
The education presented to us in Gullah Gullah Island was less about letters and numbers, and more about the importance of caring for others and telling the truth. This show also included something many other shows of its time didn't: culture. We learned so much about the history and culture of the descendents of former slaves who lived in the Sea Islands through this program structure. You can introduce your child to this culture and education rich show on Paramount Plus.
Superhero & Crime-Fighting Shows You Loved
They're the shows that inspired your dreams of fighting crime and doing some good in the world. From traditional hero types to the unexpected and heroic cartoon characters we loved most, these shows can still inspire kids today.
Cheerleading, acing her classes, and saving the world on the down low. Kim made the crop top timeless and gave us one of our first character relationship ships in a show - there is no better match than Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable. Find it on Disney+ to relive all the classic one liners.
The Powerpuff Girls
Sugar, spice, and the oh-so-important chemical-X brought this preschool trio to life. The Powerpuff Girls gave all little girls a reason to believe we too could save the world when we weren't coloring or playing with dolls. Take a trip down memory lane by streaming the show on Hulu Plus or Netflix.
We dare you not to burst out in song just by reading that title. Duck Tales had a classic opening theme and countless adventures with Huey, Dewey, and Louie as they captured bad guys and had a blast doing it. Stream Duck Tales for your kids on Disney+ today.
Cyberchase gave us important lessons on problem solving while saving the world from the evil Hacker. This hero-type show is as wholesome as it is entertaining. You can rent Cyberchase on iTunes or watch new episodes on the PBS Kids website.
Family-Friendly Shows & Sitcoms for Lighthearted Laughs
Before we could watch morning cartoons on Saturday, we got to enjoy the Friday night sitcom lineup. Life lessons, teen heartthrobs, and laugh tracks were the backdrop to our pizza roll feasts. Anyone else in favor of bringing back the TGIF originals?
Boy Meets World
Before the 2010s remake, Girl Meets World, Corey and his friends taught us every lesson we could possibly need from middle school to college. Boy Meets World is still relevant today and manages to handle real life teen issues in a realistic way. You can stream it on Disney+ for your older kids.
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
Is there anything more classic? Mister Rogers gave us so many things to think about and so many important reminders as we started to navigate life in childhood. He's still a great teacher for kids today and you can watch the original show on the PBS Kids Amazon channel.
Little House on the Prairie
The kids who get it, get it. This show was the only thing that made some of us want to live in days gone by. Little House On The Prairie, adapted from the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, taught important lessons about pretty much everything in a pioneer-age setting. Watch Laura and her entire family grow on Peacock TV.
Punky Brewster gave us laughs and a few tears. Punky taught us how to see the brighter side of some of life's hardest moments. Punky Brewster is currently streaming on Peacock TV as well as the 2021 reboot of the series following Punky's life as an adult.
Speaking of reboots, Full House has one too. But nothing quite compares to the original cast and the original heartwarming episodes. Full House tackled the tough parts of growing up with gentleness and age-appropriate dialogue. Full House is available for streaming on Netflix in Canada and Hulu in the United States.
"Did I do that?" - it's the classic one-liner we remember most from this wholesome show. Family Matters what about so much more than Urkel, though. We learned so much from this lovable family. Family Matters is currently streaming on Hulu.
Toddler-Safe Programming Your Parents Loved
Talk about wholesome! These shows from our childhood aimed at toddlers were engaging and parent-approved. Grab your Flintstone vitamins and apple juice; we're going back to the golden era of childhood.
Bear in the Big Blue House
The title is pretty self-explanatory for this one, but Bear was truly a gem. The puppet styling of this show made it feel nostalgic even while it was still airing. Today you can find it on Disney+.
Barney & Friends
Come on, you know you want to sing the classic Barney song right now. Your toddler probably will too. Barney & Friends is safe for young viewers, sparks creativity, and is a dose of nostalgia for you too. Find it on Netflix and Peacock TV.
Dora the Explorer
If you didn't watch Dora The Explorer as a kid on your own, you likely had to watch it with younger siblings or friends. It's a classic part of the early 2000s childhood and still a fun way to help your little one learn a bit of Spanish while helping Dora and her friends on her latest adventure. Find the sweet show on Prime Video or airing on NBC.
Bob the Builder
Bet you still know all the words to the opening of this British original series. Bob taught us about way more than just masonry. You can show your kids the original show on Paramount Plus and new episodes of the series.
Wholesome Cartoons for Every Kid
Family values, sweet animated characters, and unforgettable opening themes marked the wholesome cartoons we loved as kids. Parents knew they were safe to watch, and we loved tuning in at every opportunity.
The concept of this show was simple, but the outcome was purely beautiful. Little Bear was a gentle toddler TV show that taught important lessons with lovely animation. You can stream Little Bear on Apple TV, Paramount Plus, and Sling TV.
Arthur has given us lessons in life for 25 years, so there's a chance your kids are already familiar with the anthropomorphic show. You can rent or stream the wholesome and classic show on Amazon Video or Vudu.
The Berenstain Bears
Mama, Papa, Brother, and Sister were just a family of bears living an ordinary life, but they taught us important lessons about everything from generosity to kindness. If your kids love the books still popular today, they'll love the show too. Stream full episodes on YouTube.
Adventures From the Book of Virtues
Learning life lessons from talking animals? Check. References to classic literature? Also check. This animated series tackled some serious moral questions that come along in childhood and made them feel like a true adventure in learning. You can stream the show today on Amazon Prime Video.
Who would have thought that a turtle could leave such an impact on us? Franklin showed us how to handle the hard parts of childhood and it really felt like we were growing up right alongside him. Show your kids why this turtle meant so much to us by streaming episodes on YouTube or Hoopla.
Disney Channel Originals We Obsessed Over
Did you even grow up in the 2000s if you didn't watch Disney channel original shows every single evening after dinner? These shows are the ultimate throwback and the ultimate representation of early 2000s fashion trends. Show your kids the Y2K styles we obsessed over by streaming all of these on Disney+.
That's So Raven
One of the many Disney channel original shows to get a reboot, Raven gave us endless laughs. Older kids will love the family dynamic and comedic style of That's So Raven - and the protagonist's ability to see into the future.
How badly did you want to dress like Lizzie and wear your hair like Miranda? If you were in middle school when Lizzie was airing on the Disney Channel, you lived in the golden age of kids' sitcoms. You can still follow Lizzie, Miranda, and Gordo on their preteen adventures.
The Proud Family
A wacky and lovable dad, a successful mom, and an unforgettable grandmother are the main characters in Penny Proud's life. But we get to see her navigate friendship, peer pressure, and social issues throughout the series. The original show and its reboot are currently streaming on Disney+.
They may have looked perfect on the outside, but the Stevens family was just as crazy and chaotic as all of our families growing up. Ren and Louis gave us countless episodes of hilarity over the course of the show's three seasons. The original sitcom and the movie that wrapped up the series are both streaming on Disney+.
Saturday Morning Cartoons Better Than Your Fave Cereal
A bowl of cereal in our laps and sleep still in our eyes, those Saturday morning cartoons just hit different. Show your kids why sleeping in on the weekends wasn't an option because we weren't missing a single second of our favorite cartoons.
Talk about relatable cartoon gold. Recess was somehow relatable and a total fantasy of school yard structure all at one time. It's still streaming on Disney+ and just one viewing will send you right back to Saturday mornings on your living room floor in front of the TV.
Give your kids a look at what you thought the future would look like when you were little. The Jetsons were part of the Saturday morning line up in the 1960s and it's still a great watch today. You might find it on Tubi as well as Amazon Prime Video and AppleTV.
There's a long list of Inspector Gadget spinoffs and reboots, but nothing comes close to the original cartoon we watched on Saturday mornings. Inspector Gadget gave us action, adventure, and plenty of laughs since it's start in 1983. You can find the classic cartoon on Paramount Plus and Pluto TV.
Why does it feel like Pokemon dominated our childhood? If we weren't trading cards or hiding our collections from school teachers, we were watching the cartoon or begging our parents to buy us the latest game. Rediscover why you chose Pokemon all those years ago and stream the original cartoon on Hulu Plus.
Did you know Pepper Ann was the first animated Disney show to be created by a woman? Thanks to her we got to see Pepper Ann face the usual trials of adolescence and felt less alone in our journey. You can still watch Pepper Ann on Disney+.
Shows for Older Kids to Learn From & Enjoy
Most of us started watching these shows between the ages of 7 and 10, but if we're being honest, we still love watching them today. If you have older kids, it might be time to introduce them to these classic shows that kept us entertained while eating our Hot Pockets.
The Scooby Doo Line Up
There are a handful of Scooby Doo shows, starting in the 1960s and created as recently as 2021. The mystery gang is a classic group of friends every kids should know and you'll have fun guessing the face behind the mask with your own kiddo. Newer Scooby Doo shows are currently airing on Cartoon Network and Boomerang. You can also find the classics on Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video.
If you had clothing, bedding, or a backpack with Spongebob's face on it, you probably grew up in the early 2000s. Your older kids are probably already familiar with the unforgettable character, but they may still need to see those classic early seasons. Though the famous sponge still airs on multiple channels today, you can watch it anytime on Paramount+.
Friendship, adventure, and all the extreme sports a kid could imagine. We all longed to be cool enough to join the Rocket Power gang. Your kids can join in with Otto and Reggie in their seaside adventures through Paramount Plus.
Our football-head shaped friend, Arnold, faced some tough lessons in his young life and we got to face them right along with him and all his friends. Hey Arnold might be best suited for slightly older kids, but it's worth a watch since the show tackled issues many cartoons never touched and showcased an extremely diverse cast of characters. Hey Arnold is streaming on Paramount Plus and Hulu.
Doug Funnie helped many of us feel seen in those tough early teen years. He wasn't exactly the most popular kid, but he showed us the importance of all the things that actually matters, like friendship and character. Doug is currently streaming on Paramount Plus and Disney+. (Note that Paramount shows the first four seasons and Disney shows the final three because the rights to the show changed in the middle of the series when Disney bought its production company.)
Laugh-Out-Loud Throwback Cartoons and Kids Shows
These were the shows that had our parents laughing just as much as we were. Show your kids where your sense of humor really came from with these hilarious throwbacks.
Family fun, a game show set-up, and tons of slime. This one had us rolling with laughter in the 90s and we even got a reboot of the series in 2018. Stream the hilarious episodes on Paramount Plus.
It doesn't get much funnier than Goofy. Goof Troop was a bit different from other cartoons of its time since it featured Goofy as a single dad to his son Max and showed us all the ins and outs of father-son relationships that aren't often depicted in cartoons. Have a laugh with your kids - and sing that classic opening theme song - and stream the cartoon on Disney+.
The Looney Tunes Comedy Hour
The classic cartoons that have kept audiences laughing for decades are still getting giggles today. You might not remember every detail of the Looney Tunes lineups, but if you sit down and watch them today, you'll be taken right back to those afternoons of laughing with Bugs, Daffy, and the rest of the gang. Your kids will probably get a kick out of them too. You can stream some episodes on YouTube or start collecting the DVDs for endless laughs.
Tom & Jerry
We really loved chaotic animal cartoons, didn't we? Tom And Jerry is another classic cartoon that's been around for a long time and for a good reason. The cat-and-mouse duo are always reliable for a laugh. You can watch Tom And Jerry on the WB YouTube channel and streaming on Tubi today.
Shows You May Have Forgotten About
For all the slightly obscure shows we watched as kids, these were some of the best. You may have forgotten about them for quite a while, but they still hold a special place in your heart.
Rolie Polie Olie
He's round. He's a robot. And he lives in a teapot. Rolie Polie Olie was one of the more obscure cartoons on Disney channel but it was cute, creative, and entertaining for boys and girls of all ages. Find it on Disney+.
Dragon Tales is another show that boys and girls both love. You probably remember catching it on PBS as a kid. The magical world of Dragon Land and the adventures of all your favorite dragons is still in existence if you rent or buy from Amazon Video.
Baby Looney Tunes
The Looney Tunes had countless shows and movies through the decades, but Baby Looney Tunes was entirely different. In the early 2000s it welcomed us into the developing minds of our favorite toons as they played, avoided naps, and drove Granny a little bit crazy. There really isn't anything cuter than a baby Tweety Bird. Baby Looney Tunes is currently available on Amazon Video.
Clarissa Explains it All
It's high time we start a petition to reboot this this early 90s teen sitcom. Clarissa was a fashion icon, and she walked so other female sitcom leads - like Alex Mack - could run. Revisit the sassiness tucked into each episode and stream Clarissa Explains It All on Paramount Plus.
The Busy World of Richard Scarry
This show was based on the books of Richard Scarry and if you don't recognize it by name, the opening theme will give you an instant reminder of the show lost somewhere in your memory. Each episode featured a long list of characters throughout the town and always left us with a valuable little lesson. Catch episodes of the 90s cartoon on YouTube.
Quirky Shows That Touched Our Heart
Most of these shows don't fall into just one category because they each had so many layers. We laughed, we cried, we learned. You may have watched these shows while other kids were enjoying super mainstream cartoons, but they definitely created core memories for your childhood.
While some kids were watching The Muppets, you might have enjoyed Fraggle Rock. Laughter and music were the core of this puppet show and there's a good chance your parents watched it before you did. Keep the tradition going and stream the musical hilarity on Apple TV Plus and Vudu.
Babies going on imaginary adventures? It sounds strange in concept but this show had a major grip on a lot of us. We learned a lot from Tommy, Angelica, and the rest of the group. Mostly how to use a toy screw driver to break out of a baby gate. You can watch the Rugrats and its spinoff, All Grown Up, on Paramount Plus.
Some kids watched Mickey Mouse, some watched Bugs Bunny, and some of us watched the Animaniacs. Yakko, Wakko, and Dot were, in fact, animated maniacs in every way. But we loved them for it. Rediscover the show on Hulu.
The Wild Thornberries
Talk about wild family dynamics! This crazy family was always on an adventure and having a daughter who could talk to animals only made things crazier. Revisit this truly wild family on Paramount Plus.
Hello Kitty & Friends
If you didn't have a friend obsessed with Hello Kitty, it's probably because you were the friend obsessed with Hello Kitty. There's a long list of Hello Kitty shows, but the one that aired from 1989-1998 was probably where you found your love of the Sanrio franchise. You can still see episodes today on YouTube.
All together now: "we love our bread, we love our butter. But, most of all, we love each other." If you were a preschool-aged child in the early to mid-90s, you might have had a slight obsession with the brave and kind Madeline. Revisit the sweet little redhead and her classmates on , Paramount Plus, and Pluto TV.
Relive Childhood With Your Little One
You can probably think of a few more shows you looked forward to each week as a kid, but we think this list is pretty extensive. All of the streaming services available today have given us the opportunity to revisit those shows that shaped our childhood and, even better, share them with our own children.
Grab your favorite snacks of childhood - we personally think Dunkaroos are a good choice - and watch your kids fall in love with the same characters you've cherished well into adulthood.