60 TV shows recommended for ages 8-12 (UPDATED!)

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60+ TV shows recommended for ages 8-12 {UPDATED!}~
Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool and Introverted Moms

I had NO idea when I researched and wrote this article originally that it would become one of the top search results that would lead readers to this site for years to come!

I guess it makes sense, though. With the rise of streaming, parents are desperate for resources to sift through ALL that’s out there.

That’s why, years later, I decided to update this post to make it as helpful as possible for you again. My initial article featured approximately 60 shows; this updated one has 100!

To help you navigate the list that follows I’ve divided the TV shows into these categories: Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, Netflix, Peacock, and Other. Categories are accurate as of the date this post published, but keep in mind that network availability may fluctuate in the future.

Here’s what motivated me to initially create the list, back in 2014:

“After a decade of use and about a year of saving, Steve and I finally entered the 21st century when we purchased a new widescreen television and got rid of our old tube model–the one my Nana bought for us right after our first son (now grown!!) was born.

Our kids, who generally choose one show each on Saturdays and Sundays, were clamoring at their newfound options. And I knew I needed to undertake a research project to sort it all out and make sure we use our new screen intentionally.”

60 TV shows recommended for ages 8-12
Our living room armoire, where the tv “lives” behind closed doors except for when in use

On TV ratings

I’ve found determining what is age appropriate for my children much easier since I discovered Common Sense Media. They give ratings and reviews on movies, television shows, music, websites, apps, video games, and more.

For the majority of the shows below, I’ve linked directly to Common Sense Media so you can read more detailed reviews. Personally I have found, however, that adding two years to CSM’s “recommended age” has generally been a better fit for our family!

I rarely watch a movie or show now without going to CSM first.

Here’s an overview of standard TV ratings (find more details here):

TV-Y: children of all ages, including young ones 2-6
TV-7: age seven and up
TV-G: program may not have been made exclusively for children, but seems appropriate for most ages
TV-PG: unsuitable for younger children
TV-14: unsuitable for children under age 14
TV-MA: not designed for children (equivalent to R movie rating)

And you’ll also see these content descriptors:

D – Sexual or suggestive dialogue
L – Coarse or crude language
S – Sexual situations
V – Violence
FV – Fantasy violence (exclusive to the TV-Y7 rating)

I also want to mention that I have not viewed all the shows listed below, so use this as a resource to determine what is right for your own unique family. And now, on to the list!

60 TV shows recommended for ages 8-12
The kids watching Annedroids via Amazon Prime

60+ TV shows recommended for ages 8-12

Common Sense Media TV shows, Ages 8-9+

(Check individual show reviews to determine what age is right for your family!)

Amazon Prime

Disney Plus




Jonathan made signs in honor of the new television

Common Sense Media TV shows, Ages 10-12+

(Check individual show reviews to determine what age is right for your family!)

Amazon Prime

Disney Plus




Happy intentional viewing!

60 TV shows recommended for ages 8-12

Further reading:

Any other tv shows you would add to this list for ages 8-12? Please let us know in the comments!

Originally published on October 13, 2014.

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