Best shows for 7 year olds to enjoy right now

Twins Dak and Leyla with their gang of friendly dragons.
Twins Dak and Leyla with their gang of friendly dragons. (Image credit: Netflix)

Here's our handy guide to the best shows for 7 year olds to enjoy right now, including everything from incredible history to amazing animations and lots of clever, kind, and funny shows along the way.

With so many brilliant TV shows out there for children, it’s hard to know where to start and what shows will keep them entertained and maybe, dare we say it, teach them a thing or two as well? So here's our pick...

Here's the best shows for 7 year olds

Dragons: Rescue Riders

Dak riding his dragon Winger.

Dak riding his dragon Winger. (Image credit: Netflix)

Twins Dak and Leyla are the heroes of this fun animation based on the hugely successful How to Train Your Dragon franchise. 

Rescued by a mother dragon from a shipwreck, the twins were raised by dragons and now fly around with their gang of four friendly beasts — Summer, Winger, Cutter and Burple — rescuing other dragons and sometimes the odd person too.

In the first episode, they help Duggard, the chief of Viking village Huttsgalor, where they decide to stay and lend a hand. 

Why Watch: The dragons are really cute and the series is positive and fun, with a strong message about helping and caring for each other, no matter what your differences. 

Our 7 year old says: "It teaches you to never give up and be strong."

Where to watch: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 2

Episodes: 26

Average episode length: 24mins

The InBESTigators

An Australian show about four clever and kind-hearted kids who solve crimes around their school and local area. 

Ava, Maudie, Ezra and Kyle are the fantastic four and the cases they investigate include everything from lost notebooks to discovering who is cheating in a school quiz, missing packages and sad little sisters.

Why watch: The series is all about putting intelligent and kind kids at the heart of the action. Each of them is very different and each brings their own unique skills set to the group. But they always look out for each other and act with kindness and integrity. But don’t tell the kids that! 

Our 7 year old says: "It shows you that children can be smarter than adults."’

Where to watch: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 2

Episodes: 20

Average episode length: 30 mins

Malory Towers

Felicity (April Woods) and June (Edesiri Okpenerho) leaning out of a train window in Malory Towers

(Image credit: BBC/King Bert Productions & WildBrain)

Based on the hugely popular novels by Enid Blyton, the drama follows the adventures of Darrell Rivers as she leaves home to attend an all-girls boarding school.

As the BBC puts it, "Welcome to Malory Towers — join Darrell in a world full of midnight feasts, lacrosse games, jolly picnics and blossoming friendships. There is an adventure to be found around every corner".

Why Watch: It's a lovely piece of escapism and might inspire your seven-year-old to read the books as well.

Our 7 year old says: "Lots of fun and I enjoy seeing what Darrell gets up to."

Where to watch: iPlayer in the UK, not available in the US.

Number of Seasons: 4

Episodes: 55 including two Christmas specials!

Average episode length: 24 mins

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

The main character She-Ra.

Nothing stands in She-Ra's way as she fights for justice.  (Image credit: Netflix)

Grown-ups of a certain age will remember the 1980s classic He-Man and the Masters of the Universe as one of the best shows on telly (but we really didn’t have much compared to kids nowadays!) this updated and thoroughly modern spin-off puts the female character She-Ra at the center of the action. 

When we first meet her she’s a cadet called Adora, training to fight for control of the planet Etheria. But after going exploring with her best friend Catra one night, she discovers a sword that transforms her into She-Ra and gives her superhuman powers. 

Why Watch: It’s great fun, full of witty characters, fast and action-packed, plus there’s a broad range of characters so something for everyone to relate and connect to. 

Our 7 year old says: "Sometimes being right goes against everything that you've been taught."

Where to watch: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 5

Episodes: 52

Average episode length: 24 mins

Pokémon Journeys: The Series

Pikachu and Ash.

The enduring partnership of Pikachu and his trainer Ash. (Image credit: Netflix)

The enduring love kids feel for the little yellow creature called Pikachu continues with this new series (the 24th) from the iconic franchise. 

In the first episode Ash is desperate to go to Professor Oak’s new Pokemon Camp, but he sleeps in and misses learning about the Pokemon that live in the forest. We also meet new character Goh who knows a lot about Pokemon already and is very keen to show off how much he knows. 

Why Watch: The passion for Pokemon doesn’t diminish, the funny little creatures have been delighting kids since 1996 and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. 

Our 7 year old says: "It shows you can make friends with anyone and anything."

Where to watch: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 1

Episodes: 48

Average episode length: 22 mins

Carmen Sandiego

Master thief Carmen Sandiego.

She's clever, smart and has a big heart too. (Image credit: Netflix)

Wearing a striking scarlet coat and fedora hat, Carmen Sandiego is a glamorous and clever master thief. Always one step ahead of the law, Carmen is helped by her technical genius friend Player and best friends Zack and Ivy.

The first episode reveals why Carmen became a thief. Found abandoned as a baby she ended up at V.I.L.E, a training academy for thieves, where she was known as Black Sheep. She learnt her trade from the best but then discovers that the academy is not all it seems.

Why Watch: A sophisticated and stylish animation, with an intriguing central character that will keep kids coming back for more. 

Our 7 year old says: "It’s like Robin Hood because she steals from the bad guys and then puts it back in its rightful place."

Where to watch: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 4

Episodes: 32

Average episode length: 24 mins

The Boss Baby: Back in Business

The Boss Baby

Hold my calls! I've a bottle to drink. (Image credit: Netflix)

Following on from the 2017 film The Boss Baby, this animation sees the Boss Baby and his brother Tim continue their work for Baby Corp — a factory that makes babies and ensures the world loves babies more than anything else, even puppies and kittens. 

It’s completely bonkers, but tremendous fun, where babies and kids know a lot more than adults and run the world of Baby Corp without the grown-ups being any the wiser.

Why Watch: It’s a baby in a suit with a sharp, sophisticated sense of humor — it’s genuinely funny. Also, it’s full of crazy baby characters including Jimbo 'the muscle', Staci 'the wild card' and the triplets, who bring their own kind of crazy chaos times three.

Our 7 year old says: "Babies can rule, be afraid."

Where to watch: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 4

Episodes: 49

Average episode length: 24 mins

Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts

Kipo and her gang of misfit mutant animals.

The imaginative animation starring Kipo and her friends. (Image credit: Netflix)

After being washed from the safety of her burrow, young girl Kipo emerges on the surface of a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by giant mutant animals — of course! 

Her quest is to find her way home, but this imaginative series is full of surprises and obstacles. Inquisitive about her new world she has a lot to learn about who and what to trust.

Why Watch: Kipo is a strong and determined central character and the animals and other humans she meets along the way will delight and entertain.

Our 7 year old says: "The girl can turn into a giant pink jaguar, it’s so cool."

Where to watch: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 3

Episodes: 30

Average episode length: 24 mins

Horrible Histories

Martha Howe-Douglas, Ben Willbond and Matthew Baynton.

Just another day at the office for actors Martha Howe-Douglas, Ben Willbond and Matthew Baynton. (Image credit: BBC)

Based on the books by Terry Deary, this epic series is brilliant for teaching kids about history in a fun and entertaining way. 

Focusing on all the yucky stuff about days gone by, plus plenty of catchy songs, the series brings history alive for any young mind, especially if you like your history served with a large slice of gore, muck and laughter.

Why Watch: The creative team and many of the main actors are from the world of comedy, including Matthew Baynton (Ghosts) and Sarah Hadland (Miranda). It's clever and daft and a great introduction to a subject that many parents may remember as sometimes being a little bit dull.

Our 7 year old says: "A funny history program that only gives you the horrible parts."

Where to watch: Hulu Plus in the US and BBC iPlayer in the UK.

Number of Seasons: 10

Episodes: 121

Average episode length: 30 mins

Operation Ouch

Twins and doctors Chris and Xand van Tulleken.

(Image credit: BBC)

Operation Ouch follows identical twins Dr Chris and Dr Xand van Tulleken as they discover amazing facts about the human body. They also follow real cases in a real hospital, following young patients as they get treated for all manner of knocks and bruises. The two medics also look into really strange medical treatments.

Why Watch: This is genuinely interesting for adults as well as kids! Mind you it's not for the squeamish!

Our 7 year old says: "I love finding out how the body works."

Where to watch: Can rent via Amazon Instant Videos in the US, available on iPlayer in the UK

Number of Seasons: 11

Episodes: Over 100!

Average episode length: 28 mins

Joanne Lowles
Freelance writer and editor

Joanne Lowles has been writing about TV since 2002. After graduating from Cardiff University with a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism, she worked for All About Soap magazine covering the ups and downs of life on the cobbles, the square and the Dales. 

Next came nearly 10 years at TV Times magazine as a writer and then deputy features editor. Here she spent many happy days interviewing the biggest names in entertainment and visiting the sets of some of our most popular shows including Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife and Strictly Come Dancing

With a love of nature and wildlife she’s also interviewed the leading experts in this area including David Attenborough, Chris Packham and Steve Backshall. She’s also travelled the world visiting Mongolia, Canada and South Africa to see how the best in the business make the most brilliant natural history documentaries. 

Freelance since 2013, she is now is a digital writer and editor for What to Watch, previews the best on the box for TV Times mag each week and loves being constantly surprised, entertained and informed by the amazing TV that she is lucky enough to watch. 

With contributions from