When it comes to deciding what to watch on demand, there can be such a thing as too much choice. For example, Roku offers access to over 1,700 channels on its set-top-boxes and the Streaming Stick. And with that many it's hard to find the ones that will deliver the content you most want to watch.
If you're a parent, you'll also have to choose quickly as little'uns are less understanding when it comes to trawling through hundreds of apps and channels. That's why we've come up with a curated list of our top 10 streaming channels and services that will keep kids amused. There's something here for all ages and a majority of them are free.
So the next time you are looking for something your kids will enjoy, we suggest you give any of the following a try.
Angry Birds Toons
Along with the hugely popular games, the merchandising and the soon-to-come big screen movie adventure, developer Rovio also made a selection of short cartoons featuring the popular Angry Birds characters. And they are all free to watch on the Angry Birds Toons channel.
Owned by Sky, NOW TV offers a selection of kids TV channels and movies along with its general fare, with live presentations and on demand TV shows from the likes of Nickelodeon, Nick Jnr and the Disney Channel. You will need a monthly Entertainment Pass for access to the TV content and a separate Sky Movies Pass for the films, but the offerings are very recent and are updated regularly.
A must for any Pokemon fan, the Pokemon TV channel gives on demand access to plenty of episodes of the popular cartoon series, including some from the very beginning of the show. There might also be trailers for new movies and other Pokemon content from time to time.
Absolutely swimming in kids content, Netflix might require a monthly subscription but you can set up a profile for your child and restrict it from accessing any content other than that appropriate for children. It has its own children's section, in fact. The service has recently also invested heavily in signing original content from much-loved favourites, including an all-new cartoon series featuring the Care Bears.
In the UK, Channel 5 is well known for its early morning kids programming, Milkshake, and the shows appear on the broadcaster's on demand service soon after. There are plenty of big name characters, like Fireman Sam, Thomas the Tank Engine and the Mr Men, that feature on Milkshake and they can be found in a special section dedicated to the channel's children's brand. What's more, it's all free.
Like Channel 5, the BBC is great at providing on demand programming for kids, for free. Its CBBC and Cbeebies channels are well represented on BBC iPlayer and there is hundreds of hours worth of shows for children to watch whenever they want. It caters for all ages too, not just pre-school.
Happy Kids and its sister channel Happy Kids 2 offers a stack of animated content, including nursery rhymes and sing-along-a-songs for younger children. It is free and while the production values might not be the greatest, they are all fun and friendly.
There is so much content for kids on YouTube that it can be intimidating trying to find the right ones on Roku. We advise you spend some time on a computer first, adding favourite safe channels to your profile before signing into the YouTube app on the set-top-box. That way you can ensure you have a great list of shows to watch without having to search. And as most of the major services have their own YouTube channels, you can pretty much find entire episodes of your kids' favourite programmes.
Phonics for Kids
If you have a young child who is learning to read, Phonics for Kids provides plenty of video clips that will help through repetition and song. It's free to use and is very visual, with all content animated and read aloud clearly.
Another completely free channel, Toon Googles features plenty of videos for children of all ages, with animated shows based on Om Nom, the cuddly character from the Cut the Rope series of games. There are also some live action shows and episodes of Monster High for the slightly older kid.
With a Roku streaming player you can turn any TV into a Smart TV. Stream your favourite TV show or movie from one of the 1,700+ channels including Netflix, NOW TV, Sky Store, Google Play, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4, Demand 5 and many more. With a ton of great movies and TV shows available, you can find the perfect title to match your mood. Enjoy hundreds of free channels, your favourite subscription-based services, rent or buy. You choose what to watch, where to watch it, and how much to pay for it!
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