Let's face it, sometimes every parent has to resort to entertaining the kids with a bit of TV, and now with Netflix you can access dozens of great children's shows with a quick tap of the remote. Problem is navigating them all can be a bit bewildering so we've done the hard work for you and come up with the best of what Netflix has to offer for kids of all ages. You never know, you might even enjoy some of them yourself!
Prince William recently admitted son George is a fan of Fireman Sam and his heroic antics in Ponty Pandy. And it's easy to see why. As well as favourite Sam, the popular show features endearing characters like "Naughty Norman Price" and the fire station clown Elvis. Children will love watching the team save the day in these bite-sized episodes but, behind the fun and games, they will also learn important messages about fire safety, which is always a good thing.
Love it or hate it, Peppa Pig is a phenomenon that just won't go away and, much to the relief of parents everywhere, Netflix has just added several new episodes. Aimed at ages one to four, kids will learn about the world through Peppa's eyes as she and baby brother George navigate their way through a multitude of new experiences. Whether it's camping, a picnic or a trip to the seaside, somewhere along the way, it usually involves splashing about in muddy puddles.
Long before Frozen turned the traditional fairytale on its head, there was Shrek, and Netflix currently has all four of the franchise's movies, plus its spin-off Puss In Boots. This grumpy green ogre smells, breaks wind and eats insects, all of which makes him an instant hit with kids. Plus, with some adult jokes thrown in there and an unbeatable soundtrack, this is bound to become a favourite with grown-ups too.
Baby Bum Nursery Rhythms
Baby Bum brings nursery rhythms to life with bright animations and energetic backing music, encouraging younger children to engage with these traditional songs. Classics including Ten Little Monkeys, The Wheels On The Bus and Pat-A-Cake are given a modern makeover helping children learn more about numbers, shapes and colours. Plus, parents can join in the singing.
Kenneth Branagh directed this live-action version of Disney's famous animation and it is magical in every sense of the word. The stars, which include Lily James as Cinderella, Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother and Cate Blanchett as the Stepmother, are almost upstaged by the special effects – most impressive of which are the pumpkin's transformation into a coach and Cinderella's dreamy ballgown.
Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom
Meet Ben, an elf, and his best friend, fairy princess Holly. They live in a tiny land where grass grows sky-high and everyone flies round on the backs of ladybirds. Magic rules the day here and fairies can create a delicious banquet or conjure up a rainstorm with the flick of their wand. But, more often than not, their magic doesn't go entirely to plan – and kids will love the hilarious results.
Fantastic Mr Fox
Roald Dahl's unforgettable tale of the suave Mr Fox, who delights in nightly raids on the nearby chicken coups, has been brought to life in this brilliant stop-animation movie. George Clooney and Meryl Streep voice the leads, while director and screenwriter Wes Anderson ensures the plot is as funny as the original book. And if this gives you a taste of Roald Dahl's unique brand of quirkiness, film adaptations of Matilda and James & The Giant Peach are also currently on Netflix.
Steven Spielberg's 1991 fantasy Hook tells the story of the adult Peter Pan (Robin Williams), now Peter Banning, who's forgotten all about his childhood adventures and become a workaholic corporate lawyer. However, when Captain Hook kidnaps his two children, Peter is forced to return to Neverland. The exciting consequences of this make for a film that all the family can sit down and enjoy.
This sitcom follows the trials and tribulations of aspiring singer Tori Vega (Victoria Justice) as she negotiates her way through a performing arts school. While it's obviously aimed at young teens, don't dismiss this show too quickly – the music is catchy, it's been nominated for four Emmys and launched the career of a certain Ariana Grande. You might even find yourself glued.
Chicken Run, Aardman Animation's first feature-length movie, has all the charm of Wallace & Gromit but with stop-animation that's much more advanced. The plot centres on the owners of a Yorkshire poultry farm, who decide to switch from selling eggs to chicken pot pies. Can a Rhode Island Red called Rocky save the day? Watch with the kids and find out.