Here are five TV streaming services to help keep your kids occupied, entertained, and educated
Best Free Streaming Apps for Kids
Our list of top free streaming services for kids is based on their popularity among the parents. All kids (and parents) need a little downtime, so why not entertain them with free educational—but fun—content?
And HappyKids.TV, Tubi TV, PBS Kids, Kidoodle.TV, and The Roku Channel do just that.
So let’s get into the details of the apps your kids will have a blast interacting with and that *whisper* the parents can appreciate when they want a little quiet time.
- : A parent’s favorite
- : Best for old and new kids’ content
- : Best TV-channel app for kids
- : Excellent for preschoolers to 12-years-olds
- : Best for both kids’ and parents’ content
HappyKids.TV: A Parent’s Favorite
This kid-friendly app is a parent’s favorite as it has received The Mom’s Choice Award and The National Parenting Product Award.
Happykids.TV has a library of 60,000 kid-safe videos in a variety of categories including Popular Shows, Movies, Music, Vlogs, Gaming Videos, Rhymes, Stories, and DIYs.
Kids can watch fun Vlogs by Kids Diana Show, Ruby & Bonnie, and Like Nastya. HappyKids offers family-friendly gaming videos like Minecraft, Roblox, and Super Mario.
And there’s a bonus that parents might appreciate: HappyKids sorts content by age group! So when you open the app, you’ll find options such as “0–2 Years,” “2–4 Years,” 4–6,” “Popular with Boys 6–9,” “Popular with Girls 6–9,” and “Tweens.”
Some new and classic shows your children can watch while on a road trip are the following:
- My Little Pony
- Teen Titans Go!
- Peppa Pig
- Paw Patrol
- Maggie and the Ferocious Beast
- Totally Spies!
- Inspector Gadget
- Barbie Vlogger
- Cat In the Hat
Tubi TV: Best for old and new kids’ content
Within Tubi TV, you’ll find “Tubi Kids” with only child-appropriate programming, such as Coraline, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Scooby-Doo.
We think you’ll like how Tubi Kids has a similar layout as Netflix with horizontal categories and suggestions. You’ll find kids’ content organized by Family Movies, Preschool, Anime, Toon TV, Epic Adventures, Enchanted Tales, and Furry Friends.
The following will entertain your little ones while you’re grocery shopping or in the doctor’s waiting room:
- All Dogs Go to Heaven
- Barbie Dreamtopia
- Yo Gabba Gabba!
- Pokémon the Series
- Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo
- Vampire Dog
- LEGO Ninjago Masters of Spinjitzu
- Barney and Friends
- A Turtle’s Tale 2: Sammy’s Escape from Paradise
- Destined to Ride
- Bob the Train: Alphabet Adventure
- LEGO Friends
PBS Kids: Best TV-channel app for kids
PBS Kids may be pretty obvious since it's been around for more than 20 years and is completely free and delightful.
Your kiddos have two choices: they can stream PBS Kids Live TV on a computer browser or download the PBS KIDS Video app onto their streaming device.
When you go onto the website or app, it'll ask you for your zip code. It'll have you log in online so that you can verify where you live so the channel can serve up the appropriate local content. And once you're in there, you can watch all of the kids' content that your heart or their hearts could desire.
The app is child-safe, educational, and updated weekly with new episodes. Access all of the best PBS Kids shows, including the following:
- Wild Kratts
- Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
- Jelly, Ben, and Pogo
- Elinor Wonders Why
- Clifford the Big Red Dog
- Curious George
- Hero Elementary
- Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
- Sesame Street
Kidoodle.TV: Excellent for preschoolers to 12-year-olds
Kidoodle.TV has more than 100 education and entertainment-based shows for your little ones aged 12 and under.
Like Tubi TV and Netflix, the layout of Kidoodle.TV organizes its content into horizontal rows. Your kids can choose from “Roblox,” “Mario Bros & Friends,” “Minecraft Madness,” “En Español,” “Preschool,” “Ages 5–8,” and “Ages 9–12.”
Your kids can watch the following cartoons when they arrive home from school:
- Blippy Wonders
- PAW Patrol: Pup Tales
- Lellobee City Farm
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
- Minecraft with KREW
- Bratz Rock Angelz
- Peppa Pig
- Pinkfong, Baby Shark
- Jungle Beat
- Kids Diana Show
- Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V!
- Rainbow High!
Although this safe streaming service is free, some parents might want to spend $5 per month for some extra features.
The features include:
- Parental controls
- A password-protected Parents Room.
- Tools to monitor viewing habits (such as limiting the time your children can watch videos).
The Roku Channel: Best for kids and parents’ content
Before we get into the details of what this streaming service offers, we must let you know that you don't need a Roku device or smart TV to stream The Roku Channel.
You can download the app on your Samsung Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV device, iOS device, or Android device. (Or visit the site from your browser to stream on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.)
Anyways! The Roku Channel app offers about 11 animated movies and 21 TV shows for free for your little ones.
Your kids will have free access to the following TV shows and movies:
- Spongebob Squarepants
- How to Train Your Dragon
- Sesame Street
- Despicable Me 2
- Roblox with LankyBox
- Angry Birds
- Garfield & Friends
- The Bumble Nums
The Roku Channel is a great streaming app if you’re looking for free content that you and your kids can enjoy (you can stream The Breakfast Club or Ghostbusters after a day of work).
But some parents might not see The Roku Channel as their first choice because it doesn’t solely just have children’s content.
We were iffy to put YouTube Kids in our top 5 because, in our research, YouTube Kids was mentioned very little or not at all. But we did notice it has almost 2 million reviews with a 4.7-star rating on the Apple Store.
Reviewers said YouTube Kids suggests videos according to your child’s age, it’s for kids 12 and under, and the videos don’t get updated as often as the other apps we mentioned.
Recap: What is the best free streaming service for kids?
- HappyKids.TV: This kid-friendly app is a parent’s favorite because it has earned The Mom’s Choice Award and The National Parenting Product Award. HappyKids has 60,000 videos, including TV shows, movies, gaming videos, rhymes, and stories. We also like how this kid’s app sorts its content by age group.
- Tubi TV: With a similar layout to Netflix, “Tubi Kids” organizes children’s content by horizontal categories, such as Family Movies, Preschool, Epic Adventures, Enchanted Tales, and Furry Friends. You might also enjoy this app, as it has nostalgic content, like Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and Leave It to Beaver.
- PBS Kids: PBS Kids is the best kid’s app for free TV. The PBS Kids channel features educational and entertaining TV shows that even parents know and love, such as Clifford the Big Red Dog and Curious George. Just sign in with your zip code and local PBS content will be delivered to your children.
- Kidoodle.TV: Like HappyKids, toddlers, elementary-aged children, and young middle-schoolers will all have something to watch with Kidoodle.TV. This kids app gives you the option to pay $5 per month for handy features, including the ability to limit the amount of screentime in a day or shut the app down during sleep hours.
- The Roku Channel: Honestly, we didn’t see the big hype with The Roku Channel, but of course, it’s still an excellent free service for children. This app only has 11 animated movies and 21 TV shows for your kids to stream, but we’ll admit that they’re great titles even we would want to watch. Relax at night with the kids and throw on Despicable Me 2 or How to Train Your Dragon.
We found the best free streaming services for your kiddos by ranking them based on these features:
- Kid-friendly, educational, and entertaining content
- Free (like, free free)
- Number of titles
Of course, the most important thing you want in a free kids app is content you’re comfortable with your children watching without worrying about PG-13 videos. And parents all want the best for their children, so access to loads of free educational and entertaining shows is always a bonus.
Secondly, we ensured the app was free with no strings attached. No, we would not like pop-ups every day to suggest we pay $15 per month to access the full library. Sigh.