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The Best Children's Shows of All Time 

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Updated July 6, 2020 55.1k votes 4.5k voters 136.5k views 384 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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Crazy Good Fan Theories About SpongeBob SquarePants #161 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Animated Series

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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#30 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #68 of 378 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #174 of 391 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

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 731 The Best Cartoons of All Time #7 of 139 The Best, Most Fab Cartoons from the 70s #115 of 422 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 378 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #118 of 731 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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#9 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #3 of 378 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #3 of 731 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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Looney Tunes Fan Theories That Will Burrow Their Way Into Your Brain #2 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #1 of 378 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time

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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Shockingly Dark 'Arthur' Fan Theories #113 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Madelisted on Longest Running Animated Series

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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Dark 'Sesame Street' Fan Theories #44 of 391 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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#216 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #196 of 378 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #174 of 731 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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#73 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #70 of 378 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #80 of 731 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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29 Avatar The Last Airbender Memes For Fans Binging The Entire Series Now That It's On Netflix #122 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #5 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

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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#138 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #122 of 731 The Best Cartoons of All Time #84 of 236 The Greatest Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time

13
Bear in the Big Blue Hou... is listed (or ranked) 13 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 #141 of 1,317 The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows #4 of 78 The Best Puppet TV Shows

14
Curious George is listed (or ranked) 14 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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#153 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #80 of 378 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #102 of 731 The Best Cartoons of All Time

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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#173 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #180 of 731 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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'The Flintstones' Actually Took Place In A Post-Apocalyptic Hellscape #138 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Animated Series

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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#192 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #67 of 148 The Greatest TV Title Sequences Ever #108 of 146 The Most Annoying Kids Shows of All Time

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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#283 of 391 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #31 of 461 The Best Duos of All Time #176 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History

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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#123 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #45 of 378 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #125 of 731 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 #240 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Animated Series

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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#312 of 378 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #414 of 731 The Best Cartoons of All Time #304 of 325 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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#262 of 303 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History #127 of 146 The Most Annoying Kids Shows of All Time #26 of 140 The Best High School TV Shows

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 #59 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #42 of 378 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time

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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#103 of 731 The Best Cartoons of All Time #312 of 1,317 The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows #131 of 246 The Best Cartoons to Watch Stoned

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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#234 of 731 The Best Cartoons of All Time #133 of 236 The Greatest Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time #113 of 1,317 The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows