The Ultimate Guide to Wholesome Media Choices for Children

There’s such a wide spectrum of family values when it comes to screens and devices in our children’s lives. 

As you may know, I’m here to support you with Waldorf-inspired homeschooling. But homeschooling and parenting and lifestyle all overlap. So today, I wanted to bring you some options for gentle wholesome media in this Ultimate Guide to Wholesome Media Choices for Children.

Why, you may be asking? Isn’t the Waldorf life screen-free?

Well, I’m all about practicality. Of course I still take a stand for simplicity – plenty of time in nature, experiencing the lively arts, and quality time with family and friends

And at the same time, I embrace the reality that many if not most conscious, loving families in the 21st century are watching movies and shows…

My Family’s Experience

When I was raising my three children (they’re all adults now), we took a minimal-screens approach. We created the tradition of Pizza Movie Night on Saturdays. We didn’t have any TV-watching at our house while the boys were under around age 9 or so. But all their friends had TV time…so this was our solution! Plus we had a new baby in the house…

Find What Works for You!

If you’re a no-screens family, I support you 100%. Stay with what works and makes sense for you!

And if you do allow screen-time for your family, then great. I hope I can help you consider the content your children view, and give you some ideas and options to keep your children from feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or burdened by what they are consuming.

Waldorf-Inspired Families & Media…

My team and I have been doing research on what other Waldorf-inspired families are consuming for media in their homes, and we’re bringing that to you along with top picks from our three families. We brought together some of the best stuff out there, though probably we’ve missed a few good options…so, please leave any recommendations in the comments section!

Read Reviews

There’s a great website called Common Sense Media where you can read reviews from other parents on almost all the media options listed below. Definitely check that out and bookmark it for future reference.

Alright, without further ado and not in any particular order, here are 79 movies, shows, podcasts, audio stories, and wholesome media choices for children that your family might enjoy!

 

The Ultimate Guide to Wholesome Media Choices for Children

Family Movie Night

  1. Parent Trap (1961 with Hayley Mills)
  2. Heidi (1937 with Shirley Temple)
  3. Herbie the Love Bug (1968)
  4. Fly Away Home (1996)
  5. The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)
  6. Ring of Bright Water (1969)
  7. We Bought a Zoo (2011)
  8.  Dr. Doolittle (the old one – 1967)
  9.  The Music Man (1962)
  10.  Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
  11.  E.T.
  12.  Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
  13.  Free Willy
  14.  Babe
  15.  Winnie the Pooh movies
  16.  Mary Poppins (the old one with Julie Andrews!)
  17.  The Snowman (1982)
  18. Milo and Otis (1986)
  19. The Little Polar Bear movies
  20. The Incredible Journey (1963)
  21. My Neighbor Totoro and other films by Miyazaki
  22. Little House On The Prairie 
  23. The Secret Garden 
  24. The Red Balloon 
  25. Nanny McPhee

Time with Your Teen

It can be so meaningful for teens and tweens (5th grade and up) to watch a film adaptation of a book you have read and discussed together. Valuable historical and cultural connections are built this way!

  1. Movies made from Shakespeare plays
  2. The Agony & the Ecstasy (1965)
  3. A Man For All Seasons (1966)
  4. A Tale Two Cities (1935)
  5. The Miracle Worker (1962)
  6. Breaking Away (1979)
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  8. The Glass Menagerie (1967 or 1973)
  9. A Raisin in the Sun (multiple versions)
  10. Gandhi (1982)
  11. Chariots of Fire (1981)
  12. The Princess Bride (1987)

Shows, Series, & Shorter Films

  1. Mr. Rogers Neighborhood
  2. Little Bear
  3. Kipper
  4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  5. Tinga Tinga Tales
  6. Curious George 
  7. Little Bear 
  8. Tumble Leaf 
  9. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
  10. Puffin Rock
  11. Guess How Much I Love You 
  12. Kipper
  13. Room On The Broom
  14. Gruffalo
  15. The Gruffalo’s Child
  16. The Enchanted World Of Brambly Hedge
  17. Snowy Day 
  18. Planet Earth I And II
  19. The Olympics (when it’s happening!)
  20. The Swiss Family Robinson Anime 
  21. Disneynature documentaries
  22. Be Calm on Ahway Island
  23. The Beatrix Potter Collection
  24. The Tomten
  25. Ronja the Robber’s Daughter 
  26. Storytime in the Schoolhouse

Audio

  1. Sparkle Stories
  2. Story Nory
  3. The Tales of Beatrix Potter
  4. Cozy Corner
  5. Little Stories for Tiny People
  6. April Eight Songs and Stories Podcast
  7. Book Club for Kids
  8. Book Power for Kids
  9. Buttons and Figs
  10. Brains On
  11. Tumble
  12. But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids 
  13. The Past and the Curious 
  14. Winnie the Pooh Audiobook
  15. Frog and Toad Audiobook
  16. The Wind in the Willows Audiobook

Additional Resources

Common Sense Media

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

Screen-Free Resources

Teach with Movies

How Much Media?

It’s important to find a healthy balance of how much video and audio media to provide to your children…

Factors to consider include:

  • Age
  • Developmental stage
  • Family situation, i.e. siblings and number of parents/caregivers in the home
  • How busy your family’s schedule is
  • How your children are behaving with video in their lives
  • If life is particularly challenging

Balance is Key!

Only you can tune in to find that balance! And I trust you know what’s right for your family. 💕

Hope we’ve supported you, and do comment below if you have anything to add to the conversation!

Love,
Jean 

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About Jean

Hi, I'm Jean. And I'm here to help you overcome the overwhelm!

5 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Wholesome Media Choices for Children

  1. So these are the only three Disney movies our family has ever enjoyed, we’re just not into most of their movies: The Absent Minded Professor, The Sword in the Stone, and Robin Hood. Quite a few Ghibli movies have been good, they just don’t have the same kind of suspense as most other ‘kid-friendly’ movies, which is a good thing. Cartoons we’ve enjoyed are LIttle Bear, My Friend Rabbit, Peep and the Big Wide World, Mouse and Mole, The Berenstein Bears, and a few others.

  2. Shaun the sheep is a great funny show with no dialogue. The podcast Circle Round from NPR has some great tales from around the world.

  3. How funny Jean! Just as I was creating movie lists for our movie night I see this post. Some that I would add that I think can be universally loved are: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), The Sound of Music (1965), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), Togo (2019), Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959) (this one is old and has a banshee at the end), The King’s Speech (2010), Pollyanna (1960), Old Yeller (1957), Anne of Green Gables (1985 with Meagan Follows), and Jim Henson’s The Storyteller which tells some Grimms fairytales (1987). And I agree with another post; The Sword and the Stone and Robin Hood are two of our favorite Disney films among others. Big thumbs up for Tumble Leaf and other musicals listed!

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