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The best shows for 10 year olds to enjoy right now

Bear Grylls needs your help in You vs Wild — one of the best shows for 10 year olds.
Bear Grylls needs your help in You vs Wild — one of the best shows for 10 year olds. (Image credit: Netflix)

Here’s our guide to the best shows for 10 year olds to enjoy right now, including clever cookery, dazzling drama and plenty more informative, entertaining and funny shows to suit maturing and inquisitive minds.

Most 10 year olds are looking to move on from traditional "kids" TV shows in the search for something a little more challenging and grown-up. It can be tricky to know what will keep them engaged but still be suitable for their enquiring young brains, so here's our pick...

Here's the best shows for 10 year olds…

Here's the best shows for 10 year olds... You vs Wild: Out Cold

Bear Grylls lights a fire.

What will you do first – shelter, water, or food? (Image credit: Netflix)

Following on from the first You vs Wild season in 2019, Bear Grylls has just released a second interactive film, which begins with him hanging upside down in a tree following a plane crash. He’s lost his memory and needs your help to survive, so what’s first – food, shelter or water?

Viewers choose what Bear should do next and his survival depends on it so young fans need to make sure they choose wisely. From the basics of survival to running from a wolf, if you’re not fast enough Bear soon lets you know, ‘what are you waiting for, quick make a decision!’ he yells.

Why Watch: It’s absolutely absorbing as you guide Bear through some tricky decisions. It’s exciting and fun to be in charge of his fate and a good lesson in survival skills and quick decision making too. 

Our 10 year old says: "This is really fun to watch and take part in. It feels a bit scary sometimes because it feels so real, I felt the pressure to get things right, but in a good way!"

Where to watch: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 2

Episodes:

Average episode length: 14 to 25 mins depending on your decisions. 

Crazy Delicious

The judges and host of Crazy Delicious.

Who will win the golden apple? (Image credit: Netflix)

A cookery show where the set is as edible as the end results! Three passionate home cooks compete over three rounds to impress a trio of judges (known as ‘The Gods’) chefs Heston Blumenthal, Carla Hall and Swedish cookery sensation Niklas Ekstedt. 

Sounds like any other cookery show so far doesn’t it? Well, this series is a must see for younger viewers because it’s presented in such a magical and imaginative way. The contestants gather their ingredients from an edible forest, where everything, even the glasses and watering cans, can be eaten.

Host Jayde Adams guides the contestants through three rounds, the first is The Magic Ingredient, where an everyday item must be transformed into something spectacular. Next is The Reinvention, where food like a pizza must be elevated into something the judges have never seen before. Finally, the two best cooks go through to the Final Feast where things get really crazy, and delicious, of course!

Why Watch: A great show for encouraging young imaginations to run wild. Food becomes fun and playful where nothing is what it seems and the possibilities for creativity and flavour are endless. 

Our 10 year old says: "They have to reinvent things like pizza, hot dogs and burgers using different ingredients and some mad ideas. And they have a whole forest that is edible, even the rocks – it’s amazing."

Where to watch: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 1

Episodes: 6

Average episode length: 45 mins

Doctor Who

The current Doctor Who cast.

Jodie Whittaker stars as the Doctor, alongside her gang of helpers Yaz, Graham and Ryan. (Image credit: BBC)

The iconic British series that started in 1963 currently sees the 13th Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker, the first female to star in the role, zooming around the galaxy, battling aliens and saving the world.

Each week the Doctor and her companions face a new intergalactic foe. They also travel through time allowing the Doctor and her gang to visit some well-known historical figures like Rosa Parks in series 11 and Thomas Edison in series 12.

Why Watch: With a brilliant team of writers, it tells a great story week in, week out. It’s full of action and although it can be a little scary, it is also full of heart and love for the human race. 

Our 10 year old says: "This is my absolute favourite show. It’s a bit scary in parts but I like the thought there are aliens all around us and how the Doctor works together with her friends to save us."

Where to watch: BBC America in the US and BBC iPlayer in the UK

Number of Seasons: 12 (since the 2005 revival)

Episodes: 22 with the current doctor, 127 others are available since the series was revived in 2005.

Average episode length: 44 mins

His Dark Materials

The cast of His Dark Materials.

Lead character Lyra goes on a thrilling adventure in this brilliant series.  (Image credit: BBC)

Based on the trilogy of novels by Philip Pullman, the series follows a girl called Lyra and her spirit animal known as a daemon called Pan. She fearlessly takes on the authorities, the Magisterium and the controlling Mrs Coulter (who also happens to be her mother), to rescue her friend Roger, who has been kidnapped by the mysterious Gobblers. 

Alongside her rescue of Roger she also longs to discover more about the work of her Uncle, polar explorer Lord Asriel. He’s investigating a substance known as Dust and how it connects parallel universes.

Why Watch: The cast is outstanding with actor Dafne Keen as the fearless Lyra, Ruth Wilson as the terrifying Mrs Coulter, James McAvoy as the maverick Lord Asriel and Lin-Manuel Miranda as aeronaut Lee Scorsby. Sophisticated and brilliantly done, an absolute must see.

Our 10 year old says: "I like the thought of being connected to an animal, like Lara is to Pan."

Where to watch:  HBO Max in America and BBC iPlayer in the UK

Number of Seasons: 2 (the third and final season will be released some time in 2022)

Episodes: 15

Average episode length: 50 mins

The Last Kids on Earth

The stars of the Last Kids on Earth.

The unstoppable kids from this fun cartoon. (Image credit: Netflix)

A fast-paced animation about 13-year-old Jack Sullivan as he battles to survive in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by monsters and zombies.

Based on the books by Max Brallier the action begins with a feature length special as Jack gets used to life on his own. He lives in a tree house as he tries to work out how he’s going to survive and rescue his best friend Quint and school crush June. 

Why Watch: Despite the chaos around them the kids do an amazing job at surviving, it’s funny and shows what great teamwork can achieve, even in the face of a 40-foot purple monster and an army of zombies. 

Our 10 year old says: ‘The children outlast the adults because they live using their instincts and still party everyday! They are not even scared of the zombies.’

Where to watch: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 3

Episodes: 21

Average episode length: Season 1 is a 67 minute special, followed by two seasons of 10 episodes of 23 mins each. 

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous

Animated adventure based on the hugely popular Jurassic Park franchise. When teenager and dinosaur nut Darius wins a trip of a lifetime to Camp Cretaceous – he gets a lot more than he bargained for. 

Darius is joined by five other lucky teens who have VIP tickets to explore the unique camp. They are a diverse bunch including vlogger Brooklynn, shy Ben, confident and privileged Kenji, enthusiastic Sammy and sporty loner Yaz.

In the first episode when Darius, Kenji and Brooklynn venture off for some unauthorised exploring, they soon discover the dinosaurs are very real and very hungry!

Why Watch: The dinosaurs look great and it’s brilliant to see the kids having to use their brains to survive when life at camp takes an interesting turn. 

Our 10 year old says: "They have to survive with dinosaurs trying to eat them all day, it’s exciting and fun."

Where to watch: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 3

Episodes: 26

Average episode length: 24 mins

The Deep

The Nekton family – mum Kaiko, dad Will and teenage children Ant and Fontaine –are explorers who travel the ocean depths in their state of the art submarine, The Aronnax.

In episode one the family head off to investigate reports of dragon sightings off the coast of Greenland. As they arrive they meet a mysterious local called Nereus who gives Ant an interesting letter encouraging the family to investigate further. 

Why Watch: The family work together to solve intriguing underwater mysteries, practical Fontaine and enthusiastic Ant are great at what they do, but they are also a typical brother and sister who bicker and fall out too. 

Our 10 year old says: "It shows that if you look down under the sea you will find much more than what’s up in the sky. Also, Ant is really funny, especially when he talks to Jeffrey, his pet fish."

Where to watch: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 3

Episodes: 52

Average episode length: 21 mins

Bad Batch

The stars of Unit 99

What will be the fate of Clone Force 99? (Image credit: Disney+)

Part of the Star Wars franchise and a spin off of the 2008 series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this animated adventure follows a motley crew of elite clone troopers called Clone Force 99. 

In the first feature-length episode Unit 99 are stunned when Jedi Master Depa Billaba is suddenly killed by her own troops. It doesn’t sit well with most of Unit 99, who are used to thinking for themselves and not always following orders.

When they are later sent out by Admiral Tarkin to wipe out a group of insurgents, orders they once again don’t follow, they soon find themselves running for their lives. 

Why Watch: Clone Force 99 are all strong and likeable characters – a fun group of rebels who aren’t afraid to think outside the box and always have each other’s backs. 

Our 10 year old says: "I like the characters, they make a good team but are all individuals and the action scenes, there’s a lot of fighting and great battles."

Where to watch: Disney+

Number of Seasons: 1

Episodes: 16

Average episode length: A 70 min special followed by 25 minute episodes. 

Total Drama

A cartoon that takes an ironic look at the craze of reality TV. Set at Camp Wawanakwa, 22 contestants arrive to take part in a competition and are disappointed to discover their home for the next eight weeks is a nasty old summer camp rather than the five-star luxury they were promised. 

It’s full of big characters and plenty of sarcasm and put downs that can be cruel, but we like how it takes an unsubtle swing at the culture of being famous for any reason. The contestants have to take part in increasingly horrible challenges that reminds us of a mixture of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and Running Wild with Bear Grylls.

Why Watch: An interesting take on reality TV, with a sharp sense of humour that will appeal to the more mature 10 year old who’s already so over reality TV because it’s just like soooooo 2020!

Our 10 year old says: ‘The contestants really suffer to the delight of the hosts, it’s cruel but funny!’

Where to watch: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 2

Episodes: 54

Average episode length: 22 mins

Mr Bean: Animated Series

Mr Bean and Teddy.

Mr Bean and Teddy. (Image credit: Netflix)

This series still delights all the family from toddlers up to teens, making them howl with laughter as the animated Mr. Bean gets himself into more totally predictable trouble. 

From camping trips that go terribly wrong to the love he has for his constant companion Teddy and the wrangles he has with his bad-tempered landlady Mrs. Wicket, without saying a word, Mr. Bean brings on the giggles. 

Why Watch: It’s not complicated or clever, it just makes kids laugh. 

Our 10 year old says: "It’s just stupid and funny."

Where to watch: Netflix

Number of Seasons: 2

Episodes: 104

Average episode length: 11 mins

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series

Welcome back Wild Cats! The drama returns to East High School as a new series, inspired by the 2006 film High School Musical, begins with new drama teacher, Miss Jenn, putting on a performance of the now classic film.

The action centres on main character Nini (Olivia Rodrigo) as she dumps boyfriend Ricky (Joshua Bassett) after meeting someone new over the summer. The new boyfriend, E.J., (who is co-captain of the water polo club, don’t you know!) encourages her to audition for the new production of the musical.

But while Nini gets the lead role of Gabriella (played by Vanessa Hudgens in the original movie) it’s Ricky and not E.J. that bags the role of Gabriella’s love interest Troy (Zac Efron in the original) – awkward!

Why Watch: It’s a nice way to revisit a classic movie in a fresh way. The characters are fun with plenty of emotion and light-hearted teen angst. 

Our 10 year old says: "I like how High School Musical the film was set in the school, but they've never actually performed it. It makes it feel more real. The singing is really good too."

Where to watch: Disney+

Number of Seasons: 2

Episodes: 22

Average episode length: 38 mins

Operation Ouch

Twins and doctors Chris and Xand van Tulleken.

Dr Chris and Dr Xand van Tulleken star. (Image credit: BBC)

Real life twins and medical doctors Dr. Chris and Dr. Xand van Tulleken discover what we are really made of, spend time behind the scenes at hospitals and carry out lots of awesome experiments to show how and why our bodies do what they do.

From marvelous muscles to brilliant brains, plus tons of information about a whole range of conditions and illnesses affecting children, the pair present medical and scientific facts in a fun and engaging way. It’s not for the squeamish but it’s great for getting older kids thinking about science and biology in a new way. 

Why Watch: The brothers are great fun and every episode is packed full of information and fascinating facts. It also celebrates the hard working medical staff that we all need at some point in our lives. 

Our 10 year old says: "It’s educational and fun at the same time. It’s good to see what happens in a hospital and I like it when they go behind the scenes and see what jobs people do that we don’t appreciate as much as we should."

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, CBBC.

Number of Seasons: 6

Episodes: 66

Average episode length: 28 mins