I may not have children of my own, but I imagine that many parents around the world are going crazy trying to keep their kids entertained while they’re home from school. Well, have no fear — okay, maybe a little bit of fear is healthy — as Amazon Prime Video has come to the rescue. The streaming behemoth is making a slew of kids shows available for free, so don’t worry if you’re not a Prime member, because all you need is a free Amazon.com account.
Amazon has lifted its paywall on shows such as Arthur and Pete the Cat, as well as If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Costume Quest, and the PBS Kids series Caillou. Other available titles include Just Add Magic, Odd Squad, Wild Kratts and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Meanwhile, those in Europe will be able to enjoy third-party content such as Peppa Pig and Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom. Amazon has set up a landing page for its free children’s programming right here.
Fans of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood will surely recognize Daniel Tiger, just as anyone with a young child is no doubt familiar with Peppa Pig, but I’ll take this opportunity to advocate for my boy Arthur the aardvark, who taught me many valuable life lessons over the course of my childhood. If your kids have never experienced the joys of Arthur, now’s the time to pick a season and let auto-play do its thing.
Lifting the Prime paywall is a smart move on Amazon’s part, seeing as how millions of children are confined to their homes with little to do besides watch TV and play video games. I mean, if I had kids of my own, now might be the time to introduce them to the Harry Potter series of books — yes, I said books — or perhaps teach them to play a new instrument. But I get it… those are lofty goals. TV has been a great babysitter for decades, and compared to everything else going on in the world these days, what’s the harm in a little extra screen time?
Amazon is hardly the only company who sees this current moment as an opportunity, as Disney already released Frozen II on its own streaming platform, Disney+, with Pixar’s Onward set to follow soon. Meanwhile, Universal will release the animated sequel Trolls World Tour on VOD and digital platforms, much to the chagrin of theater owners, who would prefer it be postponed altogether.
As for Amazon’s chief streaming rival, we put together a handy list of feel-good movies on Netflix to help you get your family through this difficult time. And if you’re ever in a pinch, you can tweet me @TheInSneider and I’ll do my best to come up with a worthwhile recommendation for you. We don’t all have nine lives like Pete the Cat, so stay safe out there, folks!