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Best shows for 5 year olds to enjoy right now

Best shows for 5 year olds Paw Patrol on Nick Jr.
Best shows for 5 year olds has to include Paw Patrol (Image credit: Nick Jr.)

Here are the best shows for 5 year olds to watch right now, from presenters tackling mammoth challenges to brave teams of animal rescuers. 

So whether your child likes gentle animations or more chaotic capers, we’ve got it covered. 

And it’s fair to say they’ll be so gripped, you’ll even get to have a cup of coffee in peace. 

Best shows for 5 year olds

Paw Patrol 

What’s not to love about a group of puppy heroes? This colorful animation follows 10-year-old Ryder and his team of fearless pups as they help those in need in Adventure Bay. Playful pups Marshall, Rubble, Skye, Chase, Rocky, and Zuma are all rescue dogs in training and in later seasons they’re joined by friends, Cap’n Turbot, Robo-Dog, Everest, and Tracker. The energetic canines are so popular they even made it onto the big screen with Paw Patrol: The Movie. Surely it's one of the best shows for 5 year olds?!

Why watch: It teaches children we’re all individuals and if we play to our unique strengths we can achieve anything. 

What our five-year-old says: “I like Paw Patrol because they rescue animals.” 

Where to Watch: Nick Jr and Netflix

Number of seasons: 8

Average episode length: 30 minutes 

The Loud House 

It’s loud and chaotic but there’s lots of fun to be had at The Loud House. The show focuses on 11-year-old Lincoln Loud, who has 10 sisters — all very different but equally annoying. He may struggle to get his voice heard at times but, deep down, it’s a household full of love and proof that siblings do love each other really. 

Why watch? The show has a lot of heart and ultimately puts family at the front and centre of everything. 

What our five-year-old says: "I feel sorry for Lincoln sometimes but his sisters are funny."

Where to Watch: Nickelodeon

Number of seasons: 7

Average episode length: 22 minutes 

Peter Rabbit 

Beatrix Potter’s little blue-coated rabbit has been enchanting children since 1901, but in recent years he’s jumped off the pages and onto our screens, a bit more sassy and streetwise but essentially the same mischievous bunny we all love. Kids still enjoy watching Peter and his friends Benjamin and Lily facing real dangers but somehow managing to outsmart incompetent villains. And he’s another hero who’s made it onto the big screen with two movies. 

Why watch? Peter is funny and naughty, and what child doesn’t want to see a cheeky bunny get the better of a grumpy human? 

What our five-year-old says: “Peter Rabbit is good because once a fox tried to eat the rabbits and Peter Rabbit saved them.” 

Where to watch: BBC1, Nick Jr and Amazon Prime

Number of seasons: 3

Average episode length: 23 minutes 

Octonauts

best shows for 5 year olds - Octonauts

Octonauts to the ready! (Image credit: BBC/OCTONAUTS™ Meomi Design In')

This lovable animation is fun, exciting and, as an added bonus, it may even teach your child a thing or two about sea creatures. Kids will love the Octonaut crew — eight talented and courageous critters including a heroic polar bear, a brave kitten and a whip-smart bunny — who explore the ocean in their undersea Octopod looking for adventures. 

Why watch? It teaches children about teamwork, courage, and helping their friends. And as the creatures in the show are based on real-life marine animals and habitats, it’s educational too! Win win! 

What our five-year-old says: “I like the animals. My favourite was when they helped a whale.”

Where to watch: Netflix, BBC iPlayer

Number of seasons: 4

Average episode length: 11 minutes 

Blue Peter

Blue Peter has been a British childhood staple since the 1950s, and viewers of a certain age will remember making incredible creations from toilet rolls. However, the show, now fronted by Mwaksy Mudenda, Lindsey Russell, Richie Driss, and Henry the dog, remains bang up to date and teaches children they can do anything, from taking on big challenges or raising money for charity to doing something creative. 

Why watch? It’s inclusive, interesting, and inspirational, showing that nothing can hold you back from achieving your dreams. 

What our five-year-old says: “I might be a Blue Peter presenter when I’m older.”

Where to watch: CBBC and BBC iPlayer. 

Number of seasons: 63 years worth! 

Average episode length: 25 minutes 

We hope our you enjoyed our best shows for 5 year olds article, we also have recommendations for other ages...

Natasha Holt

Natasha is a London-based journalist who writes for What To Watch, What’s On TV, TV Times and TV and Satellite Week, among other titles.