Over the past 15 years, Netflix rose to dominance in streaming through the power of binge-watching. Allowing users to stream favorite TV episodes, one after another has been copied–but few rivals seem to understand the value of that connection viewers have with their “comfort food” shows, the familiar pacing, and relatable characters.
With so many licensed series leaving Netflix and being reclaimed by Paramount Plus, Disney Plus, or HBO Max, families with kids at home may wonder if the top streamer still has enough for them. After all, many Netflix originals are driven by edgy themes with explicit content. (To their credit, experts say Netflix also features the most robust parental controls of any streamer.)
Yet Netflix has so many titles, it can be easy to miss even some of the highlights–including those geared to families with kids. Admittedly, I grew up on Disney and know their library far better than Netflix offerings … which is partly why I devour articles here on Kids & Family titles, to get up to speed.
In my family’s own years of browsing and binge-watching various shows, here are the 10 series that stand out as must-see Kids & Family TV series on Netflix.
Best Family Shows on Netflix for All Ages
Floor Is Lava (2020–present)
TV-G, 11 episodes
A twist on the children’s game, Floor is Lava features various obstacles that teams of three must navigate. While some dismissed it as hokey and overly simplistic, many families enjoyed it as undeniably fun. When the world was sheltered-in-place during the COVID-19 pandemic last summer, Floor is Lava became a massive hit and season two is slated for 2022 release.
Our Planet (2019–present)
TV-G, 8 episodes
Consistently the highest-ranked Netflix Original series on IMDB, Netflix mimics the style of BBC’s Planet Earth–and perhaps outclasses it. With a nine-figure budget, Our Planet stole away behind-the-scenes BBC talent and narrator David Attenborough for this educational docuseries. Vistas are jaw-dropping and up-close visuals of the natural world eye-opening.
Blown Away (2019–present)
TV-G, 24 episodes
The rarely seen art of glass-blowing involves the careful layout of colored shards heated to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, then twisted by an artisan into elaborate shapes. In Blown Away, the world’s top glass artists assemble at a custom-built “hot shop” with 10 blazing furnaces in Ontario, Canada. It’s wildly unpredictable as artists race against the clock, with the best creations sometimes broken. Perfect for casual watching with aspiring young artists.
Best Family Shows on Netflix for Ages 3 and Up
Dragons: Race to the Edge (2015-2018)
TV-Y7, 78 episodes
Without question the best franchise to come out of DreamWorks, How to Train Your Dragon goes far beyond a thrilling trilogy of theatrical films. Between those installments, hours of TV adventures (voiced by most of the same cast as the movies) reveal a much larger world. One caveat: Race to the Edge builds on characters and plotlines introduced in an earlier 2012 Cartoon Network series. Netflix needs to get those remaining 40 early episodes streaming too.
The Magic School Bus Rides Again (2017-2020)
TV-G, 29 episodes
“Please let this be a normal field trip!” But with Miss Frizzle as your teacher, kids of the 90’s knew it never would be–as scientific concepts came to life through fun, frantic adventures … often involving the bus and kids shrinking down to bug-size or even entering the human body. The reboot mimics the original show ably enough, and Netflix also features 15 of the classic episodes for nostalgic parents eager to share it with their kids.
Best Family Shows on Netflix for Ages 7 and Up
Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008)
TV-Y7, 62 episodes
During the height of COVID lockdowns in summer 2020, Netflix smartly dropped the entire run of the 21st century’s most notable animated TV series–and it became a massive hit. Drawing on hero’s journey templates akin to Star Wars or The Matrix, this multi-season journey perfectly balances intriguing villains, fantasy elements, and justice-driven heroes who often take a break to just chill. Spin-offs haven’t quite captured that magic, but Paramount+ is betting they will.
Netflix is betting big on the franchise too with their upcoming live-action series.
Carmen Sandiego (2019–2021)
TV-Y7, 32 episodes
A sharply written reimagining of the beloved edutainment franchise, this spy series introduces plucky Carmen as a student at VILE only to defect once she realizes their nefarious schemes. It’s a globe-trotting serial that name-checks dozens of countries and key facts, just like the popular PC games from the 80’s. The real twist comes in how characters and relationships evolve over multiple seasons. While we wait for Netflix to license the original show, play the interactive episode too. Nice work, gumshoes.
Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous (2020-present)
TV-PG, 37 episodes
Starting with author Michael Crichton and director Steven Spielberg, dozens of storytellers have been involved in bringing the Jurassic franchise to life. Surprisingly, this TV extension of 2015’s Jurassic World franchise revival isn’t a cheap rip-off. Introducing a core group of teens stranded on Isla Nublar among other locales, conflicts on Camp Cretaceous arise from how their personalities (i.e. the jock, the nerd, the social influencer) respond in peril from massive dinos. Jurassic fans should take note this show is tightly linked to the films, with creatures seen here later roaring on the big screen.
Best Family Shows on Netflix for Ages 10 and Up
White Rabbit Project (2016)
TV-PG, 10 episodes
If your kids are obsessed with MythBusters (and they should be), this companion series reunites the “build team” of Tory Belleci, Kari Byron and the late Grant Imahara for just-as-explosive learning. From hoverboards to super-fast cars to even hot-air balloons, it’s a series that reveals how science and technology are full of exciting possibilities.
The Toys That Made Us (2017–present)
TV-14, 12 episodes
You never knew so much thought, strategy, and love went into children’s playthings. To be sure, serious critics dismiss this show’s hyperactive editing and frequent record-scratch cuts as gimmicky. But that style seems to hit a sweet spot for the Gen Z YouTube generation, who will learn a lot from this series. Definitely skip around in the Toys lineup to franchises you know and love … but don’t miss their third-season episode on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is surprisingly moving and a series high point in storytelling.
Are there top-tier Kids & Family series missing on this list? Comment below and join the dialogue.