Kids and Screen Time: Videos I Don’t Feel Guilty About


screen time for kids

Our family has very limited screen time (as in most days we have zero), but sometimes it’s nice to take a video break. Maybe it’s been storming all day, or it’s too hot or too cold to be outside, or as parents, we are just wiped out. 

We keep our viewing to just a few channels- these are our favorites!

4 Family Friendly Videos

Cosmic Kids Yoga

I cannot say enough good things about Cosmic Kids Yoga. The host Jaime talks in silly voices and explains things in kid-lingo. She creates storylines with fun characters or popular movies and applies yoga movement to the entire storytelling process.

Beyond yoga, there are also a series of “Brain Breaks” that run for a shorter time frame, typically less than 10 minutes. These are excellent for our child who is high-energy and needs reminders to slow down. Jaime uses mindfulness strategies in a way that makes sense to kids, with an accessible vocabulary and engaging metaphors. It doesn’t even feel like screen-time.

peg + cat 

We often sing peg and cat’s “Problem Solved” song if we solve a problem in our house and the kids love it. This wonderful show (on PBS, but also available on Amazon) focuses a lot on math concepts but also the persistence to work through a problem until a solution is found. There’s a sassy cat and ukulele music, so what’s not to love? This is a show I don’t feel guilty about turning on when the weather stinks or I just want the kids to chill out while I work on something for a little bit.  

Twenty Trucks

When my stepson first lived with us, I wasn’t sure what to do with him when his dad was working. He was 3 and loved trucks, so I searched YouTube and this is what I found. We spent a lot of time cuddling and watching videos of all these different trucks with catchy songs. Now, at age six, he still points out different types of trucks and construction equipment while we’re out and about. We haven’t watched these videos in a long time, but to be honest I actually miss them.

The Lion In Your Living Room

This isn’t a short video or TV show, but a 50-minute documentary about cats on Netflix. My 7-year-old would watch it over and over if I let her. It’s informative and has led to additional questions she’s had about cats and other animals. Right now she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up, so this video is right up her alley. Her brother will watch it too, though not on repeat. Another documentary on Netflix our kids enjoy is “Flight of the Butterflies”. Both fit in with our family’s emphasis on nature.

Hopefully, this list gives you some new screen time ideas.

What are some of your go-to videos on days that are too rainy/too hot/too cold/too exhausted?

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Always up for taking on new roles, Steph is a hobby enthusiast and now enjoys sharing her varied interests with her amazing, silly, sometimes-adventurous step-kids Olivia and Wyatt. Exploring outdoor spaces and coming up with messy science experiments are favorite family pastimes. Steph is a life-long Iowan, Des Moines area resident since 2006, and happily settled down with husband Alan in 2015. She has a couple different gigs including adjunct instructor at DMACC and graduate student at the University of Iowa School of Social Work, but step-parent is (usually) the most fun.


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