The best kids’ shows to stream during school holidays

17 June 2022

The best kids’ shows to stream during school holidays

Showmax has got you covered these school holidays. There’s something for everyone in the extensive kids’ catalogue – from the littlies to the teens and everyone in between. 

Once Upon A Sesame Street Christmas | Stream now | All ages

There’s no place more magical than Sesame Street – especially during the holidays! Join Elmo, Grover, Big Bird and their friends for the magical, musical 50-minute special Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas, in whichElmo’s father tells him a bedtime story about the time, way back, when joy, kindness and caring first came to Sesame Street. 
The show won an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Programme and has 4/5 stars on Common Sense Media, where they recommend it for ages 4+, calling it “a sweet story about holiday spirit and… an excellent reminder of the value of even the smallest acts of kindness. Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas is lively, spirited holiday entertainment that’s great for families to enjoy together…. While Christmas gets the biggest billing in the story, many characters make references to other timely holidays like Kwanzaa and Hanukkah and the traditions that go along with them.” 

Special guests include Emmy, Tony and Grammy winner Audra McDonald (The Good Fight), Emmy-winning comedian Jim Gaffigan (Hotel Transylvania 3), and Zosia Mamet (The Flight Attendant). 

There’s also loads more multi-award-winning Muppet magic on Showmax with the latest seasons of Sesame Street, the debut season of Elmo’s Not So Late Show, and fun-filled specials like Elmo the Musical, When You Wish Upon a Pickle, and The Magical Wand Chase, along with Season 6 of SA’s very own Takalani Sesame


If you’re looking for a Christmas movie the whole family will enjoy, catch the Oscar-nominated animated classic The Polar Express, starring Tom Hanks, or for the little ones – who just cannot, cannot wait for Christmas day – there’s Timmy Time: Christmas Surprise and the Peppa Pig: Christmas Party Special.

Paw Patrol S6, Jet to the Rescue and Ready, Race, Rescue! | Stream now | All ages 

paw patrol on showmax
Image: Nickelodeon

Hey, pup-fans! Ryder and his playful rescue dogs are back on duty in the seaside town of Adventure Bay. That’s right – the brand-new season of kids’ mega-favourite show Paw Patrol is now on Showmax (along with season 1-5), and it’s set to have little ones barking for joy! 

Paw Patrol has a 4/5-star rating on Common Sense Media. It’s been nominated at the Emmys and the Annie Awards, and won multiple Joey Awards, but the biggest praise comes from the toughest critics – just ask any kid!

Plus, catch these awesome kid-sized Paw Patrol movies: 

Take off on a high-flying adventure with the pups in Jet to the Rescue, hit the track in Ready, Race, Rescue! and see what happens when our favourite four-footed friends gain special powers in the Paw Patrol Mighty Pups Special

Mia’s Magic Playground S1 | First on Showmax | Stream now | All ages

Join Mia, Tilde, and Oskar on their animated adventures in Mia’s Magic Playground, the colourful show that’s heaps of fun for little ones, and teaches creative problem-solving and social-emotional skills along the way.

The series has 4/5 stars on Common Sense Media, where they say, “This vibrantly animated series is inspired by preschoolers’ sense of imagination, and it’s all kinds of fun to see how the characters’ creativity comes to life in the magical world they visit.”

The Croods: A New Age | Stream now | PGV, recommended for ages 8+

The #10 biggest movie of 2020, with a worldwide gross of $215 million, DreamWorks Animation’s “Croodaceous” adventure The Croods: A New Age follows the prehistoric Croods pack as they try keep up with their new neighbours, the Bettermans – emphasis on “better”… more evolved. 

Nominated for a 2021 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture, six Annie Awards and two Kids’ Choice Awards, The Croods: A New Age is recommended for ages 8+ by Common Sense Media, with Empire Magazine praising its “vibrant animation and a wackadoodle sense of humour,” and Times (UK) calling it a “raucous, nakedly commercial but also wickedly funny sequel.”

Oscar winners Nicolas Cage (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Teen Titans GO! to the Movies, Leaving Las Vegas), Emma Stone (Cruella, La La Land), legend Cloris Leachman (Phineas and Ferb, Young Frankenstein), Oscar nominee Catherine Keener (Where the Wild Things Are, Being John Malkovich), MTV Movie Award winner Ryan Reynolds (Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Deadpool), and Screen Actors Guild Award nominee Clark Duke (Veronica Mars, The Office) reprise their voice roles from the first film, while Teen Choice nominees Leslie Mann (Rio, Knocked Up) and Kelly Marie Tran (Raya, Star Wars: The Last Jedi), and four-time Emmy winner Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, The Angry Birds Movie) join the voice cast as the Bettermans.

Also catch the Oscar-nominated original film The Croods on Showmax.

Endlings S1 | Binge now | Only on Showmax | PG, recommended for ages 8+

Endlings on Showmax

Set 20 years in the future, this heartwarming family sci-fi drama series follows a foster family on their missions to protect the extraterrestrial beings and endangered creatures the four teens discover.

The show won a 2021 Emmy for ​​Outstanding Art Direction, and was nominated for a further three Emmy Awards. The cast includes Michela Luci (Agent Orchid from Odd Squad, and the voice of Dana in Dino Dana and True in True and the Rainbow Kingdom) and Oyin Oladejo (Star Trek: Discovery’s Lt. Joann Owosekun).

Endlings is recommended for ages 8+, and has already been renewed for Season 2.

Roald Dahl’s The Witches | Stream now | 7-9PGV, recommended for ages 10+

Oscar winners Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer star in this delightfully dastardly reimagining of the Roald Dahl classic about a young mouse boy and his grandmother who go up against a coven of witches. 

The 9th-biggest straight-to-streaming movie of 2020, it has a 4/5 star rating on Common Sense Media and earned Hathaway a 2021 Kids’ Choice Award nomination as the dreadful Grand High Witch.

The 9th-biggest straight-to-streaming movie of 2020, it stars Oscar winners Anne Hathaway (Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Dark Knight Rises, Les Misérables) and Octavia Spencer (Thunder Force, Hidden Figures, The Help), and Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci (Big Night, The Devil Wears Prada, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters), with four-time Emmy winner Chris Rock (Madagascar, Fargo, Everybody Hates Chris) narrating, and newcomer Jahzir Kadeem (The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two) as the mouse child hero of the tale.

Common Sense Media gave it a 4/5 star rating, recommending the film for ages 10+. “This campy, creepy, fun Dahl adaptation will entertain fans of the author’s quirkily dark tales about kids in peril who get away from terrible adults,” they say, adding, “Zemeckis has conjured old-school magic that should be a sweet, spooky treat for families,” and praising the film’s fantastic soundtrack as well as a brilliantly vile performance from Anne Hathaway, who “chews the scenery as the over-the-top Grand High Witch” in a 2021 Kids’ Choice Award-nominated role.

Wonder Woman 1984 | Recommended for ages 12+  

With director Patty Jenkins back at the helm and Teen Choice Award winner Gal Gadot returning in the title role, Wonder Woman 1984 fast forwards to the 1980s as the DC superhero faces two all-new foes: Max Lord (Critics Choice nominee Pedro Pascal from The Mandalorian) and The Cheetah (Oscar nominee Kristen Wiig from Bridesmaids).
The 13th biggest box office hit of 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 also stars Emmy nominees Natasha Rothwell (The White Lotus, Insecure), Robin Wright (House of Cards) and Chris Pine (Star Trek), and was named Favourite Movie at the 2021 Kids Choice Awards.

Alex Rider S1-2 | Binge now | 13VL

With both seasons now streaming on Showmax, this is the perfect time to join the teens on the couch for the debut season of the show The Guardian calls “The teen James Bond”. 

The family action series is adapted from Foyle’s War creator Anthony Horowitz’s beloved teen spy novels, which have sold over 20 million copies in 30 countries, and stars Otto Farrant (War & Peace, The White Queen), Brenock O’Connor (Game of Thrones’ Olly), Ronke Adekoluejo (Christopher Robin), Emmy nominee and BAFTA winner Stephen Dillane (Game of Thrones’ Stannis Baratheon), and BAFTA winner Vicky McClure (Line of Duty, Broadchurch) 

The eight-episode first season holds an 85% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Daily Telegraph saying it’s, “A junior version of the Bourne franchise… that can also keep adults entertained,” and The Times UK calling it, “Doctor Who-level family stuff”. 

Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan | Stream now | PG10-12

Nominated for a 2021 Kids’ Choice Award, Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan follows aspiring hip-hop artist Dylan, whose grandmother decides to send him to live indefinitely with her wealthy son’s family. The Wilson family household is soon turned upside-down as lifestyles clash between the aspiring hip-hop star and his straight-laced cousins.

The series stars child rapping sensation Dylan Gilmer (America’s Got Talent, The Ellen DeGeneres Show) aka Young Dylan, alongside co-stars Aloma Wright (Scrubs, Suits, Private Practice), and Image Award nominee Carl Anthony Payne II (Zulu Wedding, Martin), along with Celina Smith, whose performance earned her the 2021 Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Series.

Common Sense Media recommends the show for ages 9+, calling it, “a positive, family-themed comedy series aimed towards tweens,” and comparing it to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Young Dylan has also already been renewed for a third season.

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