Find the best streaming service for you and your kids when it comes to content and parental controls
The best streaming service for your kids will likely include all of the following: their favorite channels, superb parental controls, and a bonus of being a streaming service you will enjoy too.
So which streaming services have the kiddos’ favorites (Disney and Nickelodeon to name a couple), but also has a feature to block anything over G-rated movies from your little ones?
There are quite a few to choose from, but we have done the research for you. Below you will find the streaming services you can unconsciously click on and hand over to your children while you’re shopping, working, or talking with a friend.
Your children’s entertainment for an hour or more is at your fingertips.
Netflix: Editor's choice
What we like about Netflix
- Netflix has excellent parental control settings.
- “Netflix Kids” profile gives you increased control over titles, shows, etc.
Create a child-proof four-digit PIN
Netflix has lots of great ways you can control what your children can watch or can’t watch. You won’t have to worry about their little eyes seeing anything inappropriate if you happen to leave them alone in the living room for an hour or two.
Netflix’s parental controls are the real deal.
In the Settings of your Netflix account under Parental Controls, you can create a PIN to restrict the following:
The Restrict by Maturity Level option lets you choose if you want to require a PIN for content that is for Little Kids (6 and Under), Older Kids (12 and Under) and above, Teens (14 and Under) and above, or Adults (15+).
Netflix’s parental controls are the best because they have features that no other streaming service has.
Restrict specific titles, regardless of maturity rating and a PIN will be needed to view those particular movies or series.
Netflix Kids profile
You can create an individual profile and set restrictions with a PIN, as mentioned above, or you can easily create a kid’s profile. By selecting the Kid? option, your child will automatically have access to only TV shows and movies for kids 12 and under.
The content is the same kids/family content you would see on the original Netflix homepage, but categorized in sections such as Popular, Animated, Girl Power, Funny, etc.
Hulu: Most kids TV channels
What we like about Hulu + Live TV for kids
- Hulu Live has the most kids channels in the live TV streaming industry.
- You can create a kids profile with Hulu.
A great variety of TV channels and on-demand content
With Hulu + Live TV, your kids will have access to the following channels:
- Cartoon Network
- Disney Channel
- Disney Junior
- Disney XD
- Nick Jr.
- Universal Kids
Hulu + Live TV now comes bundled with Disney+ and ESPN+. So if you don’t want cable TV and you have kids (or you're the one who loves cartoons), Hulu Live is the perfect service for you with Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and Disney+. You'll also get lots of on-demand content with Hulu.
If you’re interested in just on-demand content, you and your child will have lots to choose from with Hulu, the on-demand service that is 3x less than Hulu + Live TV.
They’ll have movies (such as Rio or Spy Cat), popular TV series (such as The Amazing World of Gumball and Doc McStuffins), and classic cartoons (such as Rugrats and The Power Puff Girls).
Hulu Live has a kids profile option
Similar to Netflix, you can create a kids profile. A kids profile will allow your children to only view content appropriate for kids up to the age of 12.
First of all, to create this filtered profile, you’ll have to jump on Hulu on your computer.
Click on Add Profile, and you’ll be able to toggle on the Kids feature to allow only kid-friendly content and channels.
Disney+: Most kid friendly
|Disney+ Basic (With Ads)||$7.99/mo.†||View Plans|
|Disney+ Premium (No Ads)||$13.99/mo.†||View Plans|
|Disney+ (No Ads) Annual||$139.99/yr.†||View plans|
What we like about Disney+
- Disney+ has almost exclusively kid-friendly content.
- It has a solid bundling option the family will love.
- This streaming service also has a Kids profile option.
Mostly just great, kid-friendly Disney content
With Disney+, you’ll worry a little less about what your child might stumble upon.
Your child will have an endless amount of old and new Disney movies and series to watch, so you could say they will be entertained for hours.
Disney+ has Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic content. So this streaming service will be perfect if you have a princess-loving kid and another who absolutely loves baby Yoda.
Bundle Disney+ with Hulu and ESPN+
Disney+ gives you the option to bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu with its Trio Basic (with ads) and Trio Basic Premium (no ads) plans. And if you were to order Hulu + Live TV, both Disney+ and ESPN+ automatically come with the subscription.
If you bundle with Hulu instead of Hulu Live, the monthly cost will be just $17.99. That’s a pretty good deal! I personally jumped on this deal. It’s not a bad price for thousands of hours of content.
Make a kids profile
We put this last for two reasons: the Disney+ parental controls are a little weak, but luckily there isn’t too much content on Disney+ that you wouldn’t want your children to see.
Disney+’s parental controls can prevent all PG and PG-13 titles from being watched, but a curious child can venture off into another profile that doesn’t have that restriction. No PIN is required in Disney+ to watch higher-rated shows, such as The Simpsons.
Again, Disney+ doesn’t have as strong of parental controls, but fortunately, there are far fewer high-rated shows they could be exposed to.
Sling TV: Most budget-friendly live TV for parents
What we like about Sling TV for kids
- Sling TV is one of the least expensive live TV streaming services.
- It has parental controls you’ll like.
Sling TV gives you popular channels for a low price
Do your kids love to watch Craig of the Creek, Big City Greens, and PAW Patrol? Then why not save some money while keeping your kids entertained?
You can order Sling TV for $40 per month, and it offers the following kids channels:
- Cartoon Network
- Disney Channel
- Nick Jr.
But depending on where you live, these channels may not be available. So check out the channel lineup to find out what is available in your area.
Parental controls on point
Sling’s Settings conveniently has a Parental Controls tab. When you Enable the controls, you’ll be asked to create a PIN, just like Netflix.
Unlike Netflix, you can’t create profiles for kids. But you’ll have to enter the PIN if you want to watch a restricted movie, like The Hangover.
Sling lets you lock or unlock each rating. And as long as your kids don’t know the PIN, they will only have access to channels with unlocked ratings.
Although YouTube TV is one of the best live TV streaming services, YouTube TV didn’t make the cut for the best streaming services for kids.
YouTube TV’s parental controls lets you block shows based on their ratings under Settings -> Filter. But maybe this can stop a five-year-old, but it certainly won’t stop a tech-savvy 12-year-old who can easily just toggle the filter setting back because changing the setting doesn’t require a PIN. YouTube TV could learn a thing or two from Netflix or Sling.
Amazon Prime Video: Perks for you and the kids
|Amazon Prime Video||$14.99/mo.‡||View plans|
|Amazon Prime Subscription (with Prime Video)||$8.99/mo.^||View plans|
|Amazon Prime Annual Subscription||$139/yr.^||View plans|
What we like about Amazon Prime Video for kids
- Prime Video gives you and the fam perks you can’t get with another service.
- It also has strong parental controls.
You get unique perks with Amazon Prime Video
For the price of one take-out meal, you get a few bonuses with Amazon Prime Video:
- On-demand content for the family
- Rent and buy new release and old movies
- Prime shipping
- Free Kindle book each month
Prime Video gives kids Original Kids Series, Educational TV, Educational Movies, and PBS Kids TV shows. This streaming service is also perfect for kids who love Spongebob Squarepants, Arthur, and Kung Fu Panda.
Perfect for everyone in the family, you can rent old and new movies for $3.99 each or buy them for about $5–$20. So sit down and relax in the living room with your loved ones and watch Detective Pikachu or Rio.
With your Prime Video account, you get free expedited Prime shipping. We don’t know one person who doesn’t like lightning-speed shipping. So order whatever you’d like on Amazon and enjoy next-day or two-day shipping.
Reap the benefits of the parental control options
Prime Video is another streaming service that requires a child-proof PIN. We like the PINs.
In your Settings, select Parental Controls, then Viewing Restrictions. Here you can choose an age restriction and devices you want to apply them to. The parental controls will also block purchases unless the PIN is entered.
And lastly, there is a Kids option in Settings that you can easily tap without needing parental controls. It’s nice to unconsciously and quickly hand over your little one's tablet when they need a distraction.
Recommended devices for kids
Before we get to the recap of the best streaming services for kids, how about we touch on the best streaming device for kids?
Kids might drop our new iPhone or our new Android tablet, so it might be best for kids to have their own devices to watch cartoons and play games on.
Our number one recommended device is the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet. It comes in a kid-proof case of blue, pink, or purple. You can download streaming apps, games, audiobooks, and educational content for your children on this tablet.
For a little bit less of a price, and possibly for your older children, the Fire 8 Tablet has all of the streaming services available to download. Your child can also download Kindle, Audible, and Spotify.
Recap: Which is the best streaming service for kids?
- Netflix: Netflix has the best parental controls by giving you four restriction age choices, the ability to restrict specific titles, the option to create a PIN, and a convenient “kids profile” selection. It might be the priciest on-demand streaming service at $7–$23 per month, but you’ll get access to the biggest on-demand library.
- Hulu: Perfect for families, Hulu and Hulu + Live TV has on-demand content for everyone to enjoy. Hulu Live has the most kids channels among all of the live TV streaming services in the industry. If you opt for Hulu + Live TV, it also comes bundled with ESPN+ and Disney+. So if your kids love Cartoon Network, Disney, Nickelodeon, and Disney+ content, this is your pick.
- Disney+: You won’t have to worry too much about your children accidentally watching explicit content since 90% of the content is kid-friendly. You and your kids can enjoy Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and National Geographic content for $8–$15 per month.
- Sling TV: Sling is the most budget-friendly live TV streaming service at $40–$55 per month, but you do get what you pay for. Sling TV only has three kids channels, but it does have better parental controls than half of the live TV streaming services out there.
- Amazon Prime Video: Prime Video gives you many benefits, such as on-demand content for you and the kids, rent or buy movies, and Prime shipping. You can get all of this for $9–$15 per month.