Vacation TV

The best new kids shows of 2017

Four magic words make kids extremely happy. The same four words make their parents just a little bit anxious. What are they? School’s. Out. For. Summer.

Well, guess what. School’s out for summer. So what now?

Options abound. Of course kids should take advantage of their freedom and the summer sun to run through sprinklers, swim in lakes, ride bikes, and have other kid adventures. At various points during the summer, kids will want to watch TV. We all know this.

So! Be assured there are all kinds of innovative and excellent programs out there for kids of all ages. Dozens of kids shows have come out just this year. You can find them on the channels you’d expect, like PBS. Others are on Cartoon Network and Disney. These channels come with DISH packages like America’s Top 200 and America’s Top 250. Restrict any channels and program types you want with DISH’s parental controls.

Still other shows have come out on Netflix and even YouTube. And your kids can watch them without rearranging all the wires in your entertainment system. They can access Netflix and YouTube right from the Hopper 3. Here, with age ratings from Common Sense Media, are the ones we’ve had our eye on.

Ages 3-6

Disney Jr

Delightful three-minute episodes about Molang, a bubbly bunny, and his friend Piu Piu, a chick. They speak in gibberish about their pastel colored world.

Little Dottie Chicken

Little Dottie started as a YouTube star and is now on Netflix. Short videos teach kids numbers and colors with cute and wacky characters.

Ages 6-10

Puss in Book: Trapped In An Epic Tale

The beloved Puss in Boots is on Netflix in a first-of-its-kind interactive TV show. Kids get to choose what happens. (They will love that.) Another interactive episode, of Buddy Thunderstruck, is coming to Netflix in July.

Fruit Ninja Frenzy Force

Inspired by a popular video game, YouTube episodes feature colorful martial artists chopping and hacking away at hapless fruit items.

Ben 10
Cartoon Network

This reboot of Cartoon Network’s very popular show features Ben Tennyson, who can morph into ten different alien creatures. In those forms, he takes on various megalomaniacal villains.


A group of girls creates a website called Miss O and Friends to offer advice to their peers. Cast members include pop music group L2M.


Kal Penn hosts this competition show that tests ordinary people with extraordinary abilities like memory and smell.

Age 10 and over

Victorian Slum House

Following on their success with 1900 House and Frontier House, PBS gives us Victorian Slum House, a chronicle of people living in extremely cramped quarters like those that were common in the early 1800s. Kids will be shocked to learn that children as young as 7 were made to work instead of go to school.

Bill Nye Saves the World

Unlike previous Bill Nye projects, the lovable scientist takes aim at myths, misconceptions, false information, and the people who propagate them. The show presumes some background knowledge and maturity.

Steve Harvey’s Funderdome

Entrepreneurs vie for funding for products and services they want to bring to market. It’s like Shark Tank, except no one takes themselves quite so seriously.

Andi Mack
Disney Channel

Sort of a soap-style family drama centering on teenaged Andi. Andi navigates friends, school, and family with lots of positive encouragement. From the creators of Lizzy McGuire.

It’s a long summer. DISH is here for your kids and you. Subscribe here.