Family dinnertime with a computer

Best Family Shows on Amazon Prime

Wherever we are in this pandemic, you might be on the lookout for that one show that’ll carry you over until things return to “normal.” Or maybe you’re just looking for something new to look forward to during family TV time. Most of the shows in this list are light, mostly funny, and can definitely take the edge off. There’s never been a better time to sit back, relax, and watch some TV with your family than now. So, let’s take a look at some of the best family shows on Amazon Prime.

There are quite a few good family-friendly shows on Amazon Prime, and I’ll list as many of them as I can think of here. However, these are my top picks for best family shows on Amazon Prime right now (updated April 2021):

  • Gortimer Gibbons
  • Just Add Magic
  • Eerie, Indiana
  • Pingu
  • Spongebob Squarepants

    For those of you with younger kids, we’re including some of our family’s childhood favorites. Many of them are shows we watched alongside our daughters, so they definitely appeal to all ages. They’re mostly silly with a moral tucked in here and there. Many are animated, and they’re just a lot of fun!

The criteria for the shows on this list are pretty simple. We wanted them to be clean enough for our (pretty conservative) family, and they had to be enjoyable for the whole family if possible. Most of the shows on this list are ones that the entire family watched together; however, there are some that won’t appeal to older kids of certain ages or adults that get bored easily with kids shows.

I also listed how much content you’ll be able to stream with each series. Even some of the shows that only have a season or two available are still worth watching. You may discover a new favorite show to rent from the library.

In terms of content, make sure that you check everything yourself. We always do! Don’t rely SOLELY on the advice of anyone without vetting the content for yourself. And if you’re interested in streaming music for your whole family with Spotify, we’ve got some good info for you.

Also, this list of clean shows on Amazon Prime will be an ongoing project, so check back for more!

Just a note about my family’s tastes so you can get an idea of where this list might skew. We most definitely fit into “just outside the mainstream” in terms of our preferences for movies, TV shows, and music. So, keep that in mind. Our daughter’s were always “the last ones” in their groups of friends to see certain movies and TV shows. But, we’ve always gone out of our way to find quirky, interesting, and often challenging content for our family.

This article was written in conjunction with my older (now an adult) daughter, so you’ll have the benefit of two POVs throughout.

Hope that helps!

Table of Contents

Family shows to stream from PBS
Arthur (Season 10)
The Best of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (Season 7)
Reading Rainbow (Seasons 1 and 2)
Zoboomafoo (most of Season 3) and Wild Kratts (Season 1)
Family shows on the silly side
Spongebob Squarepants (Seasons 1 through 6)
Mr. Bean (Season 1)
The Dick Van Dyke Show (Season 2 + free on IMDb)
Classic comics and animation
Wallace & Gromit
Shaun the Sheep (Seasons 0 through 5)
The Gumby Show
Pingu
Bingeable series for families with older kids
Gortimer Gibbons
Just Add Magic
Eerie, Indiana
Best family shows on Amazon Prime – Wrap-up

Family shows to stream from PBS

    PBS seems a pretty obvious place to start for family-friendly clean shows on Amazon Prime. Whether you stream these shows through the dedicated PBS app on your Fire TV Stick, or just through Prime Video itself, you’ll find plenty of good family shows to stream if you start here.

    If you were a PBS kid growing up, then you’re in luck. A lot of the good children’s TV shows on Amazon are from PBS, both old and new. There are plenty of kid’s shows here to take you down memory lane, as well as many new ones that you can watch with your own kiddos now!

    Many of the PBS shows on Amazon Prime offer limited seasons to stream for free. If you watch a season or two from each of these great family shows on Amazon Prime, however, you’ll end up with hours and hours of fun and educational family streaming content.

    If you do find yourself wanting more of these, you can either purchase them from Amazon Prime, sign up for the PBS kids streaming service, or better yet, find the shows you fall in love with at your local library as I mentioned above!

Arthur (Season 10)

    What 90’s kid didn’t love Arthur? Arthur, the aardvark, and his fellow classmates navigate school and the difficulties that come with it. Based on the Marc Brown Arthur adventure series, this classic show often deals with how to be the bigger person when you’re faced with difficult dilemmas.

Arthur and his hilarious friends also deal with more serious issues within their families as the show goes on, such as disabilities, cancer, and social matters like same-sex marriage. While the show is known for bringing up heavy topics like these, some episodes are simply fun-filled adventures. The age range for Arthur is supposedly 4-8, but I definitely watched it with my younger sister well past 8 years old.

Currently, the only season that’s available to stream for free on Amazon Prime is season 10. But, even with half-hour episodes that still gives you five hours of animated aardvark fun.

The Best of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (Season 7)

    Though I wasn’t old enough to watch this show when it first aired, I watched my fair share of it while it reran on PBS when I was growing up. After watching the many movies that have recently come out about Fred Rogers, I’ve wanted to rewatch this show even in my adult years. 

Hosted by the always generous and soft-spoken Fred Rogers, this show, similar to Arthur, introduces children to topics that were deemed too much for younger viewers by previous shows. Mr. Rogers brought up subjects like race and disability and taught children how to better deal with their negative emotions. He reminded us that no topic that deals with the human experience is too taboo to talk about.

Most importantly, however, was Mr. Rogers’ constant focus on caring about the world around you and everyone in it. 

    Amazon Prime will give you one season of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood to stream for free, season 7. However, just like with Arthur above, you’ll get 10 great episodes and five hours of classic family viewing.

Reading Rainbow (Seasons 1 and 2)

    Though Reading Rainbow started a little bit before my time, it continued throughout my childhood on PBS. As an avid book lover from a very young age, this show was one of my favorites. 

Hosted by LeVar Burton, Reading Rainbow encouraged reading and dissected a theme found in that episode’s collection of books. Each episode starred celebrities who narrated each story, as well as everyday kids who recommended books to look for on your next library visit. 

The show’s animation comes straight from the books themselves and sound effects are added for a super fun storytime!

    You’ll get seasons one and two of Reading Rainbow for free on Amazon Prime, which is a solid four hours of family entertainment that’ll get your kids excited about reading!

Zoboomafoo (most of Season 3) and Wild Kratts (Season 1)

    If you’re an animal lover, then you’ll love Zoboomafoo

One of the most popular shows during my childhood, Chris and Martin Kratt, as well as Zoboomafoo the lemur, introduced all kinds of animals and taught viewers how to respectfully treat the animals around us. 

This show was a mix of live-action, claymation, and puppets. Also, the clubhouse where they filmed looked like the coolest place I had ever seen as a kid. The wacky and energetic Kratt brothers made the show super entertaining. They even have a newer spinoff animated show called Wild Kratts, which is also available on Amazon Prime.

    Amazon Prime lets you stream 20 episodes of season three of Zoboomafoo, which is a whopping 10 hours of streaming family entertainment. And if you add in season one of Wild Kratts, which is free on Prime, that’s another five hours!

Family shows on the silly side

    PBS shows have always been a favorite of mine, but sometimes we just need a silly, entertaining show to cheer us up. Amazon Prime has a good number of shows that fit that bill. Some are older, and some are newer, but here are a few of my favorites.

Spongebob Squarepants (Seasons 1 through 6)

    Though it started as a show to teach kids about the ocean and the creatures that inhabit it, Spongebob Squarepants definitely turned into the silliest show that I watched as a kid. It was one of my parents’ favorites as well. There are enough silly references and situations to keep both kids and adults entertained for hours and hours.

A sea sponge named Spongebob and his sea star best friend, Patrick, get into many different antics with their cranky squid neighbor, Squidward. This was one of my top shows growing up, and even though it can be over-the-top goofy, it definitely helped me be unabashedly myself, even when it wasn’t the cool thing to do. 

Spongebob is always whole-heartedly himself and I’ve always admired that.

Amazon Prime has six seasons to stream for free at the moment. With at least 20 episodes per season, you’re looking at over 120 episodes. At nearly a half hour each, it will take you quite a while to get through all of Spongebob’s adventures.

Mr. Bean (Season 1)

    My family and I love British comedy. I know the dry humor isn’t for everybody, but Mr. Bean is so bizarre and odd, how could you not laugh at his ridiculous mishaps and misunderstandings? 

Rowan Atkinson plays a quiet, often confused man who gets into all sorts of trouble. Though he seems to have no regard or awareness for his environment and the people around him, he always has time to take care of his stuffed bear. The second-hand embarrassment we get from watching him can be understood in all languages, which must be one of the main reasons why he has so few speaking lines.

There are 14 great Mr. Bean episodes to stream on Amazon Prime. That’s nearly seven hours of side splitting silliness for the whole family.

The Dick Van Dyke Show (Season 2 + free on IMDb)

    Another show with a lot of physical comedy and misunderstandings that was a favorite growing up was The Dick Van Dyke Show. This is definitely an old-timey classic that features the rhythms and situations of life many decades ago.

Amazon Prime features one six episode season to stream for free. The other seasons of the show are available through IMDb TV, which means that while it’s still free, it does come with ads. 

Dick Van Dyke plays a TV comedy writer alongside Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam and is married to Mary Tyler Moore. With a lot of fast quips in the writing room as well as the household, The Dick Van Dyke Show is a good-hearted, classic comedy for the family.

Classic comics and animation

    If you’re looking for something a little more toned down, these animated series might be a good option. They’re a little bit calmer than something like Spongebob, but definitely still entertaining for the whole family. 

Wallace & Gromit

    Fans of the movie Chicken Run will be pleased to find out that the earlier work of creator Nick Park is available on Amazon too! Wallace & Gromit is actually spread across several different collections. Amazon offers Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection and Wallace & Gromit’s Cracking Contraptions to subscribers for free streaming. Our entire family loved all things Wallace & Gromit.

The short films follow inventor Wallace and his trusted dog Gromit as they venture into space, get mixed up with the wrong penguin, and get framed for stealing sheep. There’s a wonderful playfulness and innocence in these series. And, the curiosity of an inventor’s mind is put on display very well here. 

As a child of art students, I always loved watching in awe at the amazing claymation. Especially in the older works of Nick Park, you can really see the detail and care that went into the show. “A Close Shave” introduces Shaun the Sheep, which later became its own spinoff and is also available on Amazon.

Shaun the Sheep (Seasons 0 through 5)

    Speaking of Shaun the Sheep, definitely check this one out if you aren’t yet familiar with it.

    This is another series in the tradition of Mr. Bean and others where there’s almost no dialog, and you never miss it. The characters are all so expressive and interesting that no one ever really needs to talk. The stories are fun and ridiculous. The animation is wonderful.

    Amazon actually offers all of Shaun the Sheep for free streaming with your Prime membership. The seasons feature varying numbers of episodes, but there are hours and hours of family streaming fun here.

The Gumby Show

    My dad was a huge fan of Gumby growing up, which meant that I was a fan of Gumby as a kid. The very homemade claymation is so charming even when I watch it today. 

Gumby is always experiencing new places like Mirrorland or a medieval kingdom with his friend Pokey, the red pony. The Complete 50’s Series on Amazon presents a remastered Gumby how he would have appeared on TV screens in the 50s. Amazon also has The Adventures of Gumby: 1960’s Series, The New Adventures of Gumby from the 1980s, as well as The Gumby Movie, so there’s plenty of Gumby to watch for the whole family.

Pingu

Noot Noot!

Pingu is such a strange piece of wonderfulness that’s it’s honestly hard to explain. It seems that Pingu is actually becoming more popular lately, and it should! It’s one of those shows that appeals to everyone from a toddler to a Boomer.

We discovered Pingu about 20 years ago when we first started on our cord cutting journey. This British-Swiss claymation production features Pingu, a 5-year-old penguin, who gets into trouble, helps with his family, loves hockey, and much more.

The sounds alone are worth trying this one out!

Bingeable series for families with older kids

Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street

    While I missed this one when it was originally released (away at college and all), it was a huge favorite of my family, especially my younger sister. 

    Gortimer Gibbons is unlike the vast majority of family shows. Yes, it’s funny, and it’s adventurous, and it features plenty of childhood drama to overcome. However, this one never talks down to its audience, and it deals with some incredibly heavy and serious topics. This is a really fun show with plenty of heart and tears as well.

    I would caution parents not to just plop their younger children in front the TV to experience this one on their own. There are some very heavy thematic elements in this show. But, it is so well written and acted, it’s worth it. This is one of those shows that presents opportunities for parents to actually talk to their kids about serious topics.

    There are lots of magical moments and qualities in this show. The characters are fully formed and well rounded. They’re people you grow attached to and look forward to seeing each episode.

    Give this one a shot if you like deeper stories and aren’t afraid of some sadness and reality. There are three seasons to stream for free with your Amazon Prime account.

Just Add Magic

    This one is potentially my younger sister’s favorite bingable show. It’s the story of three friends who cook together and discover magic in the process.

    One of the main characters discovers her grandmother’s cookbook in the attic, and when the three friends begin to try out the recipes, and solve the riddles, magic ensues! 

What they come to realize is that actions have consequences, magic or not.

    This one is similar to Gortimer Gibbons in that the characters feel real and fleshed out. The writing is overall quite good as well. But, while there are some serious issues that the characters tackle, it isn’t as heavy as Gortimer Gibbons for the most part.

Eerie, Indiana

Eerie, Indiana is one of those “out of the mainstream” shows that you’ll probably hate or absolutely love. It aired in the early 90s, and it most definitely feels like it.

This show is very odd, and really fun. It can get creepy, and for some younger viewers it can be downright scary. I would recommend watching some episodes first before showing your younger kids. But if your family enjoys movies like Nightmare Before Christmas or Coraline, you should all be fine.

Best family shows on Amazon Prime – Wrap-up

    There are so many options for the best family shows on Amazon Prime. Many are shows that we’ve all grown up watching ourselves, which can be such a fun thing to show your little ones or even watch and reminisce yourself.

Whether everyone just needs a good laugh, or you all want some substance from the shows you watch, there’s definitely something for the whole family.

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