What do you do when your kids are extra-sensitive to high-energy TV shows? Shows with loud noises, intense music, and jarring sound effects can stress some kids out or cause them to emulate any wild behavior they see on-screen. If fast-paced shows aren’t your preschooler’s style, here are a handful of alternatives that — while still entertaining — have a softer, quieter vibe. After a few episodes and a few deep breaths, both you and your kids can just … chill.
Clangers, 3+, Sprout
There’s no dialogue here, save for William Shatner’s calming narration as he gives voice to what the Clangers, a pink alien family living on their own little planet, are up to in each episode. The stop-motion animation and pleasant soundtrack are very easy on the senses, and this space-set series is almost entrancing as it tells simple, sweet stories.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, 3+, PBS
This peaceful series is a well-rounded choice for little ones who are learning how to deal with emotions. Daniel (the son of the original Daniel Striped Tiger from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood) and his family treat each other with kindness and respect. Parents who have fond memories of Mister Rogers will enjoy revisiting his messages, too.
Kipper, 3+, Sprout
Kipper is a sweet British pup who spends his days exploring with his animal buddies Tiger and Pig. Together they work through conflicts that help preschoolers learn right from wrong and what true friendship is all about.
Lily’s Driftwood Bay, 3+, Sprout
Lily and her laid-back, loving dad live in a little hut on the beach, where she explores her cute paper-cutout world and adventures with friends both real and imaginary. This imaginative Irish series can inspire your kids to explore their own worlds with curiosity.
Puffin Rock, 3+, Netflix
Irish actor Chris O’Dowd warmly narrates this delightful show about kindhearted, curious puffin Oona and her family. Kids will learn all about their island environment while following Oona’s sweet, never shrill adventures (gorgeously animated by the folks behind Song of the Sea and The Secret of Kells).
Tumble Leaf, 3+, Amazon Prime
Vibrant animation and colorful characters, such as little blue bear Fig and his animal friends, will draw preschoolers to this gently paced series, where sweet animal characters make exciting discoveries about nature and the world around them.
Molang, 3+, Disney Junior
Adorable animation? Dialogue-free? Preschool parents should say yes, please to the simple, pastel-colored adventures of Molang, a little white bunny, and his friend Piu-Piu, a tiny chick. They do things like go to the beach, enjoy flowers atop a mountain, and try to entertain a goldfish, and the short episodes are easy and fun to watch for the whole family.