Today, kids have so many options to experience entertainment. It’s either SnapKidz or another app where kids lip sync to some annoying pop song. Luckily, every type of video platform (television, streamers, and, the web) is still cranking out quality children’s content worth your dollar and worth their time. Here’s a list of the best entertainment for your kids this week, from a PBS spin-off, to a classic trilogy on Netflix, to a new Amazon preschooler special.
The fourth season of Steven comes to an end this March, and new episodes are airing every week on Cartoon Network. The popular show has been highly touted this season for its “beautiful and gentleness,” and how the show is a “bright spot” on television. This season, the coming-of-age hero travels across space and other dimensions where he teaches and learns how to accept everyone’s differences. It feels topical, but really the show has always been this good, regardless of who’s been president.
Common Sense’s Take: Common Sense Media is the leading nonprofit source helping parents make movie and TV choices for their children. Universe deals with a few themes that are definitely for older kids, but CSM says the quirky show puts a big value on family, fun, and finding your purpose.
Steven Universe airs on Cartoon Network, and season 4 is now on Amazon Prime.
CREATIVE GALAXY HEART DAY SPECIAL
The Amazon Original series for preschoolers is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a special episode. For some reason, Creative Galaxy refers to the holiday as “Heart Day” — kind of like how Daniel Tiger calls Thanksgiving “Thank You Day“. It’s probably a royalty issue. In the special episode, Arty uses his art skills to create messages of love for friends and avoid Russell Stovers chocolates at all costs.
Common Sense’s Take: CSM says the series “fosters an appreciation for art.” Also, kids will “learn about different techniques … and watch the process by which a project is designed and completed.” It’s a quick way to get kids to say “I heart you” now, so they can get it out of their system.
Creative Galaxy’s special hits Amazon on February 7.
The cult favorite is on Netflix this month, and that includes its lesser known sequels. Balto loosely follows the true story of the greatest dog who ever lived. Real-life Balto led a sled dog team, manned by Gunnar Kaasen, that delivered an antidote to a small, remote town in Alaska on a dangerous trail in 1925. The journey was a success, and Balto became immortalized through memorials, statues, and Kevin Bacon’s voice.
Common Sense’s Take: CSM was receptive to all three films, calling the first installment a movie which “promotes acceptance and reinforces the value of friendship.”
When a kids’ show launches a spin-off, it’s typically a lesser version of the original (remember Rugrats: All Grown Up). Thankfully, PBS’ Odd Squad spin-off is really just an extension of the bizarre, funny program your kids already love. Odd Tube comprises 1-3 minute shorts featuring Agent Olympia (played by Anna Cathcart) from OS HQ, during which the Agent uses her quirky, energetic one-on-one talks to the viewer to teach shapes, match, science, and language. Somehow the short format makes the show feel even odder.
Common Sense’s Take: CSM says OddTube is “unpredictable but always funny, lighthearted, and well-stocked in early-learning topics of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) variety.” Plus, it might remind parents of The Adventures of Pete & Pete if they had an internet show.
OddTube can be seen on PBS and on YouTube.