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8 Shows To Watch If You Are Trying To Break Your Kid’s CoComelon Addiction

CoComelon
(Image credit: Netflix)

As a parent of three young kids, I watch more children’s TV shows in the hope of entertaining restless little ones than I care to admit (to myself, and judging friends and family who preach about the dangers of too much screen time for developing minds). And, no matter how hard I try to rid my kids of the plague that has found its way into my home, there is no escaping one show in particular: CoComelon on Netflix. 

Despite this, I have been looking for replacements for CoComelon, not because I’m worried about the supposed damaging effects of the show on developing minds (I’m not an expert in that field, so I won’t comment), but because I need to break my kids’ addiction to the cheery, oddly animated phenomenon that has taken up a permanent spot on the Netflix Top 10. Here’s what I’ve found…

The Classical Baby introduction.

(Image credit: HBO)

Classical Baby (HBO Max)

First introduced in 2005, the HBO animated series Classical Baby is something the entire family can enjoy and has been a favorite among my kids and myself for about as long as I have been a parent. Each of the 17 episodes focus on topics ranging from music to art and dance to holidays, with so much in between. 

Winner of multiple accolades, including a Peabody Award and four Emmys, Classical Baby is a far more relaxed alternative to CoComelon, and helps introduce young children to classic musical arrangements by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and other classical composers. Basically, this is a must for anyone with an HBO Max subscription.

Stream Classical Baby on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)

Ducks (puppets and real ones) on Baby Einstein.

(Image credit: Kids II, Inc. )

Baby Einstein (Peacock)

Originally created in 1996 by a mother and former teacher looking for a show to introduce to her young children, Baby Einstein is a series a videos that uses animation, puppets, and live-action footage to teach young kids about a variety of topics including poetry, foreign languages, colors, animals, and so much more.

Baby Einstein is a great transitional series to show to your young kids if you don’t want to get them off CoComelon cold turkey, but instead gradually, as it features a number of songs that will quickly become very familiar to them. But, unlike the popular Netflix show, this video series has more structure and is less of a free-for-all.

Stream Baby Einstein on Peacock. (opens in new tab)

Rolie Polie Olie

(Image credit: Disney Channel)

Rolie Polie Olie (Disney+)

If you and your kids are fans of William Joyce’s beautifully-illustrated books or Academy Award-winning animated short, then Rolie Polie Olie is the perfect option. This CGI-animated series, which ran on the Disney Channel from 1998 to 2004, follows an adorable little robot named Olie Polie who finds himself getting wrapped up in all kinds of adventures on his unique world and beyond.

Growing up in the same town as William Joyce, I long have had love for the show and the rest of his work, which made Rolie Polie Olie’s 2021 addition to Disney+ such a delight. You don’t have nearly as many songs (though you won’t get the theme song out of your head), but if your kids are like mine, they’ll quickly become obsessed with this wholesome show.

Stream Rolie Polie Olie on Disney+. (opens in new tab)

Zoe, Rocco and Elmo eating cookies on Sesame Street.

(Image credit: PBS)

Sesame Street (HBO Max)

There isn’t much that can be said about Sesame Street that hasn’t been brought up before, but there is no denying its place in the annals of children’s TV history. This landmark program was created by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett in 1969 and has remained just as relevant over the course of the past 52 years, with its iconic characters and their ability to connect with kids and parents alike.

With the many colorful and unique residents of Sesame Street, the show will surely keep your kids attention long enough for the lessons to resonate at some point. And, with enough variety found on the show, they’ll find at least one thing they like. Definitely one of the best shows on HBO just for kids.

Stream Sesame Street on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)

Bluey and friends

(Image credit: Disney+)

Bluey (Disney+)

The Australian animated series, Bluey, which was first introduced in 2018, is a rather simple children’s show geared at the preschool audience, but it does a lot of things really well. The show follows Bluey, a young Blue Heeler who gets in all sorts of adventures with her family that has them setting off to worlds of their own imagination while also teaching the audience about the importance of family and introducing them to Australian culture.

One of the best things about Bluey, is the fact that it can genuinely be enjoyed by the whole family. Plus, the animation is straight up beautiful, making it a real treat for the eyes.

Stream Bluey on Disney+. (opens in new tab)

Pocoyo

(Image credit: Netflix)

Pocoyo (Netflix)

In terms of great animated children’s shows on Netflix, there are few titles as enjoyable as the Spanish-British series, Pocoyo. This delightful program, which features narration by British comedian Stephen Fry, follows young Pocoyo as he makes his way through various hilarious situations with an assortment of animal friends in a giant white void (well, except for the colors that get all inverted).

My son loved Pocoyo particularly, and I have even caught his grandparents enjoying it from time to time over the years. If you want some light humor to balance out all those CoComelon songs, then this cheerful animated treat is worthy of spin.

Stream Pocoyo on Netflix. (opens in new tab)

Fred Rogers on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

(Image credit: PBS)

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (Amazon)

There are few shows that mean as much to a large portion of the American population as Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the long-running educational children’s show that ran on PBS from 1968 to 2001. This multi-format show featured host Fred Rogers in a number of different segments that saw him do everything from interact with puppets and real-life people out in the world.

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is about as different from CoComelon as it gets, as it has a slower pace that allowed Fred Rogers to connect with his target audience (young children) unlike ever before. Not afraid of silence or uncomfortable situations and topics, Rogers broke new ground with the genre and continues to inspire generations nearly 20 years after his passing.

Stream Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

Jim Henson's Word Party

(Image credit: Netflix)

Jim Henson’s Word Party (Netflix)

Even though Jim Henson passed away in 1990, his legacy still lives on thanks to the Jim Henson Company and the various educational shows it has produced over the years. One of the most recent additions to that list of achievements is the Netflix animated series, Jim Henson’s Word Party, which serves to entertain and educate children with skits and songs that help expand their vocabulary.

Each episode has a different topic, including space, dinosaurs, family, and outdoor adventures, each showing young children something new about the world around them and beyond. And, each episode clocks in under at 15 minutes, which is perfect for younger kids with short attention spans.

Stream Jim Henson’s Word Party on Netflix. (opens in new tab)

I’m not saying your kids will allow you to replace CoComelon with any of these shows, but these should be more than helpful if you’re looking for a good place to start. And, in the event you want to know what other children’s programming is coming out this year, check out this list of upcoming Netflix TV shows.

Philip Sledge
Philip Sledge

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.