Want to ensure your child’s screen time is spent on quality programs? Check out our top picks of the Best Kids Shows on Disney+ Hotstar in 2021.
Our kids have been at home for nearly a year now, and home has become everything for them – a place to eat and rest, to get entertained, to attend classes and to bond with friends and family. If you notice, many of these activities are done solely through a screen!
With the pandemic still on, our kids are going to be in the same situation for a little more, and we’ve just got to make the most of it even though the situation isn’t ideal. While we cannot restrict screen time altogether, we can make sure that our kids intake some quality entertainment that can also double up as a learning and play experience.
Please remember that experts across the world still suggest that limiting screen time is better for kids’ physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. The WHO and the American Academy of Pediatrics discourage any screen time for children under the age of two years. If you absolutely must, use the screen only for communicating with grandparents or other friends and family members.
Children two years and above may enjoy screens some more, but keep the overall screen time to less than 60 minutes a day. For children 4 and above, you can allow some extra time, maybe on weekends. In any case, don’t let kids watch TV non-stop for an hour; break it up into 20 minute intervals throughout the day.
Since Disney+ Hotstar is one of the top picks in streaming platforms these days, we’ve picked our top choices for kids programs in 2021. You can get these programs with either the VIP subscription which costs Rs.399 per year or the Premium subscription which costs Rs.1499 per year. Along with our top picks, we’ve also included some bonus offline fun ideas for kids after watching the shows!
25 Best Kids Shows on Disney+ Hotstar in 2021
Best Shows for Children above 2 Years
1. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
This is a show that every parent of a preschooler or toddler already knows about! The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has been nominated for and even won numerous awards for music, content and performances. This show is the first time the popular children’s characters appear in an interactive format on TV. The show is engaging, colorful and encourages some physical activity. It also fosters language and some early math skills.
Make it more fun with a set of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse puzzles.
2. Doc McStuffins
Doc McStuffins features a little girl who loves being a doctor to her stuffed toys, fixing all their minor problems with her little ‘medical’ tools. She even has a book she refers to for diagnosing the toys’ illnesses! The show has received praise for including an African American protagonist who is also a female character that isn’t just concerned about looks and dressing up. The shows also include little health tips that can be easily included.
Let kids have their own Big Book of Boo Boo’s and use it to identify their doll’s ouchies!
3. Handy Manny
Although the show is named after Manny, it’s probably his box of tools that are going to be a hit with little kids! Young children are often entranced by seeing their parents with tools and they’ll love Handy Manny. Manny is a friendlyhandyman and the show promotes values of respect for all kinds of jobs as well as for team work. The show is quite funny too and promotes problem solving skills – much like Manny has.
Kids can spend some more time with Manny’s tools through this cool Handy Manny themed coloring book.
4. Jungle Junction
If you’ve got a child who loves vehicles and animals with equal fervor, this show is the perfect for her! Jungle Junction features a bunch of animals who move about on wheels. The animal friends face problems during their adventures, but they work together to sort things out. The show focuses on relationships, communication and on sticking together even when things go wrong. The animation quality is very good, with bright colors that aren’t overwhelming.
Create your very own set of animal besties with these animal cars and create your own adventures!
5. Puppy Dog Pals
Pugs are adorable, and when they’re pug puppies, you get a show that is irresistible! Puppy Dog Pals features two pug puppy brothers who have some interesting adventures as they set out on their own about town. They do of course, get into trouble sometimes, but they solve it somehow! This show is more of entertainment value rather than learning, and kids will enjoy the fun the dogs are having.
Take the fun off the screen too with a cute little Puppy Dog Pals Board Book that is hard and durable enough for young kids.
Best Shows for Children above 5 Years
6. The Jungle Book
This is the original Disney Jungle Book version, released way back in 1967. It is a testament to the magic of Disney that something so old will still interest young viewers today. Although the plot deviates a little from the book, it is just as interesting and the animation is excellent.
Warning: Some kids may find a few scenes disturbing, so parental discretion is advised.
Continue the fun of Mowgli and his animal friends with a with a set of toy animals that you can give your own names to.
7. Winnie the Pooh
Few things can take us back to the innocence of childhood like watching Pooh’s adventures with his friends. This show features a motley group of friends, each one more different from the others, but still getting along and helping each other. This show teaches kids valuable lessons about friendship, trust, loyalty and not giving up when facing issues. It’s a lovely, sweet and simple watch for kids of all ages.
Once your little one watches this show, he’ll be more inclined to finish his milk in this cute Winnie the Pooh tumbler.
8. Lilo and Stitch
Children make friends without any prejudices, and they forgive easily, lessons which we adults would do good to learn. Lilo & Stitch celebrate these values of unconditional acceptance and friendship, as well as the concept of holding on to family. This series is a spinoff on the Academy Award nominated movie, and introduces kids to a different culture.
If kids haven’t watched the movie yet, introduce them to the plot through the Lilo & Stitch Book of the Movie.
It’s no secret that kids of this age group love playing with cars and trucks, and the Cars movie franchise just added fuel to this fire! The story of Lightning McQueen who in helping a city, finds his own destiny and makes new friends is a tale that never loses its charm. Children will enjoy seeing different kinds of vehicles and their interactions. The movie focuses on friendships, taking responsibility and a little on the importance of community.
This Cars play set will be a dream come true for Cars fans and will keep them off the screen for a good while!
10. Simple Samosa
Simple Samosa is India’s very own homegrown animated show that features an iconic Indian dish that’s well known across the world – a samosa! The entire concept of foods being main characters is funny in itself, and their antics and dialogs make the show hilarious for kids. Even the show’s titles are punny, like ‘Chutney Dam’ or ‘Anda Bhatija’. It’s also interesting to see how they’ve managed to bring together foods from different parts of the country, like jalebi, dhokla and vada, along with samosa.
Kids are going to welcome nap time much more eagerly when they can share it with these Simple Samosa pillows!
11. Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins is a true example of the saying that ‘old is gold’. We’ve grown up watching this movie and it still retains its charm today s much as it did several years ago. Relive the magic of Mary Poppins and her amazingly magical bag as you watch this with your kids. It reinforces the basic tenet of childhood that ‘anything is possible’ – you just have to believe in it!
A great accompaniment to the movie is the Mary Poppins omnibus collection of all six stories – should keep the kids hooked!
12. The Princess and the Frog
If you’re sick of traditional fairy tales and stories of damsels in distress, The Princess and the Frog should come as a breath of fresh air that you’ll have no qualms in exposing your kids too! This take on the traditional fairy tale is modern, progressive and lots more fun! It introduces kids to dark skinned people in lead roles and teaches valuable lessons of not resorting to shortcuts to success and the value of hard work.
Tiana’s dream was to open up her own restaurant, and now kids can join in with a recipe book for kids based on the movie.
Best Shows for Children above 8 Years
Many parents find that children’s TV shows are too boring for them to watch, but Disney’s Bolt is something that’ll change your mind! Nominated for Oscar and Golden Globe awards, Bolt is the story of a little dog who’s out to find his missing owner and makes some unlikely friends in the process. While the film touches on some complex topics like self confidence, younger children will enjoy the antics of the main characters. They’ll also be able to understand the values of loyalty and how true friends can help you achieve your dreams.
Since the movie talks about many topics, it helps to follow it up with a Bolt book about the movie.
14. Art Attack
Kids who have even a slight inclination towards arts and crafts will love this classic show. Art Attack features many DIY projects that kids can do with items found around the home. With kids being at home a lot, this show is an excellent way to ensure they also spend a lot of their time creatively and away from a screen.
A great accompaniment to the show is the Amazing Art Attack Stuff book that is a collection of over 80 DIY projects.
15. Phineas and Ferb
This is a time when kids miss being with their friends and having adventures outdoors, but Phineas and Ferb should bring back some fun memories of the days they used to do these! The show is super funny and is a great watch for the whole family. There are all kinds of characters kids encounter in their lives, loving parents, annoying older siblings, bullies, crushes – plus a platypus which is a rather unique character!
Phineas and Ferb never seem bored, and they’ll ensure you don’t either, with this Boredom Busting Book!
16. Kim Possible
A regular person by day and a superhero by night – it’s not a brand new plot, but the treatment of this same story in Kim Possible is what gives the show it’s edge. A regular high school girl who saves the world in her free time makes for entertaining viewing for pre-teens and tweens, especially since there’s a lot of intelligent humor. The show breaks many gender stereotypes, and focuses on girl power.
Learn more about Kim Possible and the other characters by reading The Kim Possible Files.
17. Weird but True
This award winning show is a great way to get kids interested in science without being too preachy. The show uses kids’ natural curiosity to investigate by trying out projects and visiting places. The result of all the investigation are facts that are weird – but most certainly true!
A great way to get your school-age kids organized while also building their scientific spirit is with the help of the National Geographic Weird but True Daily Planner for kids.
18. Mira Royal Detective
Mira, the Royal Detective is the very first South Asian protagonist in a Disney show, and it’s a matter of pride that she’s Indian! The fact that she’s brown and female is a great leap for Disney lead characters, and is a welcome change. The show focuses a lot on Mira’s relationships and attempts to capture the beauty of Indian culture on a bright and colorful canvas.
If Mira is new to your family, get the kids familiar with her backstory with the help of the book, The New Royal Detective.
The movie Tangled received several awards for its technical brilliance and music, and the spinoff television series continues to have these plus points, making it a great pick for kids. The series focuses on more adventures of the main characters and is a another lovely female-led Disney series.
The highlight of Tangled is definitely Rapunzel’s hair, and this Rapunzel doll makes use of this where kids can decorate the doll’s hair with the various accessories provided.
One of the ways to introduce kids to different cultures is through movies and TV shows, and Rio plays this role perfectly. Set in the city of the same name in Brazil, it is colorful and bright, and features some of the native animals and also exhibits some of the culture.
Take your child’s exploration of Brazil a step further with this beautiful figurine of Christ the Redeemer.
21. Hannah Montana
It’s pretty impossible to not have heard of Hannah Montana – she is world famous! Even though the show is several years old and Miley Cyrus is no longer the same person, the show still holds appeal among tweens and pre-teens. The show is mainly of entertainment value in terms of humor and how Hannah manages to live a double life.
Hannah Montana’s life is all about secrets, so it’s only apt to have your very own Hannah Montana’s book of secrets!
22. The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
Imagine living in a swanky hotel where your mother works, and getting to hang out with all the people that work there. Sounds like a dream for school going kids, and that is why this show has been so popular! Having fun also means getting into trouble, and watching the boys get out of their scrapes is the main USP of this show.
There are many books based on this show, and reading The Suite Life of Zack and Cody after watching is double the fun!
23. Shop Class
Reality TV generally has a bad rap, and while that’s true about shows targeted towards adults, Disney’s Shop Class is different. The show features teenagers who are challenged with building a project within a specified time. Kids who love working with tools and building stuff will enjoy this show thoroughly.
If your kids are inspired by the show and would like to try out some DIY of their own, check out this Weekend Woodworking for Kids book.
24. Short Circuit
Unlike what the name sounds like, this isn’t a show about electrical circuits. It’s a show based on people’s ideas turned into short movies and is a great watch for creative children. They get to see how a seed of an idea grows into a full fledged project and how that idea gets modified in the process.
Let kids get an avenue to express themselves with the help of this Creative Writing Book that’ll encourage them to open up their imagination.
25. Be Our Chef
They say that a family that eats together stays together, but this show proves that cooking together also achieves the purpose! Families compete with each other in cooking Disney-inspired dishes. The perfect reality show for a hardcore Disney fan who also loves food!
To get your kids more interested in the kitchen, get them this cutechef apron and hat set!