Short but awesome kids' shows
January 19, 2012 1:34 PM   Subscribe

What are the best kids' shows for ages 6-12?

I work with an after school program, and I've been asked to find shows that the kids can watch. I barely watch TV, so I have no idea where to begin!
Educational would be best but I am open to all suggestions. I'm looking for shows that are about half an hour in length and available on DVD (no broadcast TV). The audience will be a mix of boys and girls, all different personalities, 6-12. We cycle through different activity stations so they'll be watching in small groups as an occasional treat. They're separated by age so the shows do not have to be perfect for every age at once, but we are working on a lean budget.
Thank you!
posted by QryHavoq to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Avatar the last Airbender is one of the most phenomenal shows for that age range ever. Boys and girls love it. It's done too.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 1:47 PM on January 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Avatar, but be aware that kids will be pissed if they miss an episode. Like seriously pissed. Like they will flip their shit if you watch one without them.
posted by Think_Long at 1:48 PM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Your public library probably has a large assortment of kids TV shows that you can check out. Most will run in 30 minute segments. In particular: Arthur and Bill Nye the Science Guy. These suggestions may be a bit dated but these were both very popular and fit your request for "educational."
posted by kbar1 at 1:49 PM on January 19, 2012

Phineas and Ferb is a good one. It's quasi-educational and fun. Wordgirl is another good one that's more educational (with bonus monkey sidekick!).
posted by altopower at 2:20 PM on January 19, 2012 [3 favorites]

I love "Word Girl" (word up!). My daughter likes "Martha Speaks", and "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!". "Sid the Science Kid" is fun, but might be seen as too babyish (main character is about 5 years old).
posted by mogget at 2:25 PM on January 19, 2012

The Little Mammoth series of non-fiction videos is very good. The Big Zoo, The Big Aquarium, The Big Train Trip, The Big Hotel, The Big Submarine, and The Big Air Show were my kids' favorites. I was able to get a lot of them from the library. They are longer than you're looking for, but because they're non-fiction and not narrative, I think you could watch half at a time.

The Dave Movies are the length you're looking for, also non-fiction. My kids liked There Goes a Helicopter, There Goes a Monster Truck, There Goes a Motorcycle, There Goes a Race Car. They come on DVDs with 3 episodes on them, and again, my local library had quite a few of them.

Dragon Hunters is terrific but not educational.
posted by not that girl at 2:32 PM on January 19, 2012

Aaaaaaaaaadventure Time! Not terribly educational but heck of fun.
posted by whitneyarner at 2:46 PM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Note that Adventure Time, while amazing, can often get intense, scary, and weird around the margins, so I'd save it for the oldest groups only.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:17 PM on January 19, 2012

Dinosaurs, Horrible Histories, Rugrats and Hey Arnold! seem to make my 8 yr old niece shut up.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 4:23 PM on January 19, 2012

Phineas and Ferb is awesome. There isn't one person in my house who doesn't love that show.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:00 AM on January 20, 2012

Sincerest thanks to everyone! I'll check out all of your suggestions; it would have taken forever to compile them on my own. This question alone made the MeFi account worth it!
posted by QryHavoq at 10:59 AM on January 21, 2012

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