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The Best Children's Shows of All Time 

Ranker TV
Updated August 5, 2020 55.6k votes 4.6k voters 138.4k views 393 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite shows made for kids, no matter when you enjoyed watching them.

Here you have it, folks: a list of the very best kids' shows on television, ranked from best to worst, as voted on by people who love watching these programs, whether it be young kids, their parents, or maybe even adults who just like to watch children's shows in their free time -- hey, we don't judge! 

With their entertaining characters, light-hearted storylines, and often elements of education nestled in with all the fun, it's easy to see why so many people like these popular kids' shows. And because we know there's debate about what the MOST entertaining children's TV series of all time is, we're giving you the power to vote -- so don't let your favorite programs get to the bottom of this list! Be sure to vote them up so they have a chance to reach the top spot... and if you don't like any of the children's shows on this list, feel free to vote them down to move them to the bottom of the pile.

So if you've found yourself scratching your head, wondering what the best children's television shows of all time are, let this list guide your decision on what to watch with your kids. And with everything from Batibot, to Blue's Clues, and of course, PBS cartoons like Arthur, you're sure to find a kids' show that tickles your fancy.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
SpongeBob SquarePants is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
24nnaikar1 added Tom Kenny, Rodger Bumpass, Bill Fagerbakke

Premiered: 1999

SpongeBob SquarePants is an American animated television series created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon. The series chronicles the adventures and endeavors of ...more

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Spongebob Squarepants Memes That Imagine Quarantine In Bikini Bottom #162 of 642 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Children's TV Shows

2
Phineas and Ferb is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Vincent Martella, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dan Povenmire

Premiered: 2007

Phineas and Ferb is an American animated comedy-musical television series. Originally broadcast as a one-episode preview on August 17, 2007 and again previewed on September 28, 2007, the series ...more

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#68 of 362 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #30 of 483 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #14 of 660 The Best Cartoons of All Time

3
The Tom and Jerry Show ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Tom Kenny, Rick Zieff, Gary Cole

Premiered: 1975

The Tom and Jerry Show, also known as The New Tom and Jerry Show, is an animated television series produced for Saturday mornings by Hanna-Barbera Productions in association with ...more

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#8 of 660 The Best Cartoons of All Time #7 of 132 The Best, Most Fab Cartoons from the 70s #109 of 394 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

4
Blue's Clues is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Steve Burns, Traci Paige Johnson, Seth O'Hickory

Premiered: 1996

Blue's Clues is an American children's television series that premiered on Nickelodeon. Producers Angela Santomero, Todd Kessler and Traci Paige Johnson combined concepts from child development ...more

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Blue's Clues Fan Theories #113 of 362 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #117 of 660 The Best Cartoons of All Time

5
Scooby-Doo, Where Are Yo... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Don Messick, Casey Kasem, Nicole Jaffe

Premiered: 1969

Scooby Doo, Where Are You! is the first incarnation of the long-running Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon series Scooby-Doo. Created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, it premiered on CBS ...more

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#3 of 362 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #10 of 483 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #3 of 660 The Best Cartoons of All Time

6
Looney Tunes is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
ZacharyGolus added Mel Blanc, June Foray, Arthur Q. Bryan
Looney Tunes is an American animated series of comedy short films produced by Warner Bros. from 1930 to 1969 during the golden age of American animation, alongside its sister series Merrie ...more

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The Best Looney Tunes Characters of All Time, Ranked! #1 of 362 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #2 of 483 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

7
Arthur is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
J.T. Turner, Melissa Altro, Daniel Brochu

Premiered: 1996

Arthur is a Canadian/American animated educational television series for children, created by Cookie Jar Group and WGBH for the Public Broadcasting Service. The show is set in the fictional ...more

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Surprisingly Dark 'Arthur' Fan Theories That Make Us Rethink The Series #78 of 362 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Timelisted on Longest Running Children's TV Shows

8
Sesame Street is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Caroll Spinney

Premiered: 1969

Sesame Street is a long-running American children's television series created by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett. The program is known for its educational content, and images communicated ...more

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12 Fascinating Facts About Sesame Street You Never Knew as a Kid #45 of 333 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Yearslisted on Longest Running Children's TV Shows

9
Bob the Builder is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Chris Evans, Richard Briers, Greg Proops

Premiered: 1999

Bob the Builder is a British children's animated television show created by Keith Chapman. In the original series Bob appears as a building contractor specializing in masonry in a stop motion ...more

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#181 of 362 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #214 of 483 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #172 of 660 The Best Cartoons of All Time

10
Scooby-Doo! Mystery, Inc... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Frank Welker, Mindy Cohn, Grey Griffin

Premiered: 2010

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is the eleventh incarnation of Hanna-Barbera's Scooby-Doo animated series, and the first incarnation not to be first-run on Saturday mornings. The series is ...more

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#70 of 362 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #65 of 483 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #77 of 660 The Best Cartoons of All Time

11
Avatar: The Last Airbend... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Zach Tyler, Dee Bradley Baker, Mae Whitman

Premiered: 2005

Avatar: The Last Airbender is an American television series that aired for three seasons on Nickelodeon from 2005 to 2008. Avatar: The Last Airbender is set in an Asiatic-like world in which ...more

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The Best Episodes of 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' #116 of 642 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #87 of 362 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time

12
Clifford the Big Red Dog... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
John Ritter, Grey DeLisle, Cree Summer

Premiered: 2000

Clifford the Big Red Dog is an American-British animated children's television series, based upon Norman Bridwell's famous children's book series of the same name. Produced by Scholastic ...more

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#139 of 483 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #122 of 660 The Best Cartoons of All Time #85 of 236 The Greatest Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time

13
Curious George is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Jeff Bennett, Frank Welker, Rino Romano

Premiered: 2006

Curious George is an animated television series based on the Curious George children's book series, which features Jeff Bennett as the voice of The Man with the Yellow Hat. Frank Welker, who ...more

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#80 of 362 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #154 of 483 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #105 of 660 The Best Cartoons of All Time

14
Bear in the Big Blue Hou... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Noel MacNeal, Peter Linz, Vicki Eibner

Premiered: 1997

Bear in the Big Blue House is an American children's television series created by Mitchell Kriegman and produced by The Jim Henson Company for Disney Channel's Playhouse Disney preschool ...more

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#48 of 83 The Best After School Shows from the '90s #137 of 1,319 The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows #4 of 79 The Best Puppet TV Shows

15
Franklin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Noah Reid, Elizabeth Saunders, Leah Renee

Premiered: 1997

Franklin is a Canadian children's animated television series, based on the Franklin the Turtle books by Brenda Clark and Paulette Bourgeois. It was produced by Nelvana, and aired on Treehouse TV ...more

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#172 of 483 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #181 of 660 The Best Cartoons of All Time #104 of 236 The Greatest Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time

16
The Flintstones is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Alan Reed, Mel Blanc, Jean Vander Pyl

Premiered: 1960

The Flintstones is an animated, prime-time American television sitcom that was broadcast from September 30, 1960, to April 1, 1966, on ABC. The show was produced by Hanna-Barbera. The ...more

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17
Wizards of Waverly Place... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
JenAnistonFriends added Selena Gomez, David Henrie, Jake T. Austin

Premiered: 2007

Wizards of Waverly Place is an American fantasy teen sitcom which ran from October 12, 2007 to January 6, 2012 on Disney Channel. The series was created by Todd J. Greenwald, and stars Selena ...more

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#189 of 291 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #81 of 535 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #19 of 187 The Best TV Shows You Can Watch On Disney+

18
Drake & Josh is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Drake Bell, Josh Peck, Miranda Cosgrove

Premiered: 2004

Drake & Josh (Nickelodeon, 2004) is an American sitcom created by Dan Schneider. Despite having opposite personalities, stepbrothers Drake Parker (Drake Bell) and Josh Nichols (Josh Peck) ...more

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#183 of 291 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #233 of 442 The Funniest TV Shows of All Time #262 of 333 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

19
The Care Bears is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Mickey Rooney, Tara Strong, Melleny Brown

Premiered: 1985

The Care Bears, also called The Care Bears Family, is an animated television series based on the Care Bears franchise, which aired between 1985 and 1988 in syndication; on the ABC network, The ...more

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#45 of 362 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #123 of 483 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #125 of 660 The Best Cartoons of All Time

20
Rugrats is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Elizabeth Daily, Christine Cavanaugh, Nancy Cartwright

Premiered: 1991

Rugrats is an American animated television series created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó and Paul Germain for Nickelodeon. The show focuses on a group of toddlers, most prominently ...more

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20 Things You Didn't Know About Rugrats #300 of 642 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Children's TV Shows

21
Dora the Explorer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Fatima Ptacek, Regan Mizrahi, Alexandria Suarez

Premiered: 2000

Dora the Explorer is an American educational animated TV series created by Chris Gifford, Valerie Walsh, and Eric Weiner. Dora the Explorer became a regular series in 2000. The show is carried ...more

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#306 of 362 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #408 of 660 The Best Cartoons of All Time #299 of 323 The Greatest Cartoon Characters in TV History

22
The Suite Life on Deck ... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Dylan Sprouse, Cole Sprouse, Brenda Song

Premiered: 2008

The Suite Life on Deck is an American sitcom that aired on Disney Channel from September 26, 2008 to May 6, 2011. It is a sequel/spin-off of the Disney Channel Original Series The Suite Life of ...more

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23
The Magic School Bus is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Lily Tomlin, Daniel DeSanto, Erica Luttrell

Premiered: 1994

The Magic School Bus is a Canadian–American Saturday morning animated children's television series, based on the book series of the same name by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. It is notable for ...more

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15 Magic School Bus Fan Theories That Will Make You Question Your Entire Childhood #42 of 362 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #60 of 483 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

24
Baby Looney Tunes is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Sam Vincent, June Foray, Terry Klassen

Premiered: 2002

Baby Looney Tunes is an American animated television series showing the Looney Tunes characters as babies: it is not meant to be taken into canon with the original Looney Tunes. It was produced ...more

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#104 of 660 The Best Cartoons of All Time #313 of 1,319 The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows #30 of 42 The Greatest Cartoon Shows on Kids' WB

25
Clifford's Puppy Days is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Children's Shows of All Time
Clifford's Puppy Days Lara Jill Miller, Henry Winkler, Masiela Lusha

Premiered: 2003

Clifford's Puppy Days is a short-lived animated children's television series that originally aired on Both PBS and PBS Kids from 15 September 2003 to 13 October 2004. A prequel to the original ...more

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#233 of 660 The Best Cartoons of All Time #133 of 236 The Greatest Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time #42 of 1,319 The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows