Top 9 Hottest Shows for Tweens

Person in Spongebob costume at Princess Grace Awards.
Greg Doherty / Getty Images

Today's tweens have more options for viewing beyond cable television, so it is becoming harder and harder to pinpoint those big hits. A few remain, however, particularly for the younger kids who are just switching to 'big kid' shows.

While Disney and Nickelodeon continue to produce live-action comedies geared to the tween age group, many of these are becoming mundane, even to the kids themselves. In fact, some of the 'best' primetime shows get the worst critiques from the kids they were written for. 

What is extremely hot are cartoons. These animated shows seem to resonate more with the 9 to 14 year-olds than shows with live actors and there are some good quality cartoons out there.

No matter what your kids are watching on various devices, you should take the time to learn about the shows. Many have meaningful life lessons that you can discuss and bring into the real world. You can even watch quite a few of these together and enjoy the family time with a few laughs mixed in.

of 09

The Loud House

The Loud House is a Nickelodeon cartoon that has a very chaotic family. It's hilarious and a show that kids of all ages love. The story centers around Lincoln Loud, an 11-year-old boy who shares his home with 10 sisters.

Kids will pick up a lot from this funny animated show. Sure, there's some sibling rivalry, a bit of drama, and a little bit of name-calling, but it's nothing serious. You will notice that there is a moral to every episode and between his many sisters and best friend, Clyde, Lincoln never gives up despite the issue of the day.

This is a funny and heartwarming cartoon that your entire family will enjoy, especially the middle child who will relate to Lincoln's 'suffering.'

of 09

Raven's Home

Kids of the 2000s will probably remember the Disney Channel sitcom That's So Raven, about a psychic teenager and the chaos that ensues when she tries to prevent her visions from coming true (or, sometimes, ensure they do). Following in the footsteps of shows like Fuller House and Girl Meets World, Raven's Home is a next-generation sequel to the popular comedy.

This time, Raven is a divorced mother of two tweens, living with her BFF Chelsea and Chelsea's son. Things get wacky when they realize that Raven's son has inherited his mom's psychic abilities.

Like the original series, Raven's Home is mostly a goofy sitcom for all ages that occasionally does touch on important and complicated topics. It's a great show to watch with the whole family to laugh together and sometimes open up great conversations.

of 09

SpongeBob SquarePants

SpongeBob SquarePants
Photo credit: Nickelodeon

Originally created for kids ages 6 to 11, the cartoon "SpongeBob SquarePants" became a pop culture phenomenon. According to Nickelodeon, the show has been the number-one animated kids' show on television for over six years. Millions of viewers in every age category, including adults, tune in to watch the cartoon regularly. 

Tweens love SpongeBob and his underwater neighbors in the deep-sea town of Bikini Bottom. SpongeBob's house looks like a giant pineapple, and his closest acquaintances include his best friend Patrick the Starfish, Sandy Cheeks the squirrel (who lives in an underwater air bubble), and his co-worker Squidward. SpongeBob works as a fry cook at a fast-food joint called the Krusty Krab. 

This show is filled with good humor, fun scenes, and it's a modern classic in the cartoon world that is sure to offer hours of entertainment.

of 09


 A spin-off on Disney's hit "Jessie," this live-action comedy follows three of the Ross kids to camp. It's filled with a silliness that borders on being excessive--the typical made-for-tweens comedy that Disney has pumped out in recent years. This can make it hard to watch and some kids recognize it, too. However, those who enjoy the show really love it.

What you will find in "Bunk'd" is light-hearted and well-meaning humor caused by exaggerated pranks and chaos found at summer camp. The antagonist of the story is an overly jealous adult who cannot seem to get over the childhood crush she had on the Ross' father when they were teens. Why she takes that out on the kids is a good and unanswerable question, though it makes for a decent story.

Though you may question the quality of the acting and scripting of the show, it's a relatively harmless one for tweens. Just look at it through the eyes of an 11-year-old and everything will be good.

of 09

Henry Danger

There is very little to learn from the superhero show called "Henry Danger" and parents may have a hard time watching it because it's filled with cheesy comedy. Still, tweens (especially boys) seem to dig this Nickelodeon show enough to keep it on air.

This sitcom features the title character who gets a job as a superhero sidekick to Captain Man. The show is absurd in many ways, including the whiny supporting characters, the fact that Captain Man looks to a teenager to help him, and the odd reality that Henry's parents remain oblivious to their son's extracurricular activities.

Cheesy is the best word to describe "Henry Danger" though younger kids enjoy the entertainment. You can rest assured that it is so ridiculous that it might not keep their attention for too long and the violence (stage fighting) is too unrealistic to be repeated in real life.

of 09

The Baby-Sitters Club

Netflix's reboot of the classic series is every bit as sweet and heartfelt as you could hope for, with a modern sensibility. A group of middle school best friends decide to start their own babysitting business, helping each other and their clients through all sorts of funny and heartfelt situations.

It's something of a throwback to old-school family sitcoms. There's no sci-fi premise or attention-grabbing twist, just good, old-fashioned stories about the real things that kids and tweens deal with. The show manages to avoid being heavy-handed or saccharine, but it doesn't shy away from depicting just how tough being a kid can be.

Charming enough to keep older kids and parents engaged, yet light enough for younger kids, it's a great choice for family viewing. Plus, the show's honest tone makes it perfect to open up conversations with your own family.

of 09

Raising Dion

While many current superhero shows are aimed at teens and adults, Raising Dion is a solid choice for more of a PG-rated hero's tale. Dion, a young boy, begins exhibiting superpowers after his father's mysterious death, baffling his hardworking mother.

The story focuses almost equally on Dion's coming-of-age and discovery of his powers, and his mother Nicole's more adult story as she struggles to protect her son from a world that would put him in danger. It's a sweet metaphor for parenthood in general, and it's the kind of adventure show that families can watch together without concerns about horror or violence that might upset younger kids.

of 09

The Healing Powers of Dude

Goofy comedy with a dog as a main focus - what's not to like? The Healing Powers of Dude uses it cute premise as a youth-appropriate way to address issues of mental health: a middle schooler with an anxiety disorder finds comfort in Dude, his scruffy and silly emotional support dog.

The young age of the protagonist and the heartwarming "dog" plotline mean that the show definitely skews younger, but it's the kind of show that doesn't use its youthfulness as an excuse to be shallow. For families ready to introduce these topics in age-appropriate ways, it's a sweet way to get the conversations going.

of 09


Documentaries aren't just for grown-ups! Science journalist Latif Nasser heads up this all-ages science docuseries that uses accessible language and concepts to explore how everything and everyone is connected - even in weird ways.

For kids (or, honestly, even adults!) who don't quite have the attention span or interest for serious, formal documentaries, this is the perfect show to share information while being fun. It touches on serious topics like historical disasters and politics, but also goofy things like selfies and even a little bathroom humor.