Kids will watch just about any glowing screen, often for astounding lengths of time. We parents have the noble duty of wielding the power of that “screen time.” Ideally, then, the kids should be watching things that are enriching, maybe a smidge educational, and hopefully high-quality.
What is Happy Kids TV
Happy Kids TV, also known as HappyKids.TV, is a streaming app that advertises what seems like a lot of those good options – and for free, to boot. Even the commercials are limited, with none at all seemingly on the mobile app. However, if there’s no such thing as a free lunch, there’s no such thing as a free source of first-rate online entertainment.
There is a Little Bait and Switch
Take the movies, for instance. Yes, you can find “Cinderella,” “Hercules,” and “Snow White,” but not the Disney versions. That’s forgivable, after all, Disney shouldn’t have a monopoly on every version of those classics stories.
More dubious is the misleading advertising of major shows. The web site for the app claims that it includes such excellent, sought-after shows as “Shaun the Sheep,” “Paw Patrol,” and “My Little Pony”. Are they available? Sort of. Search “Shaun the Sheep,” for instance, and all you’ll get is a YouTube-style video of how to make the sheep from clay. If you search “Paw Patrol,” you’ll find clips of plastic toys based on the shows, not the actual TV show.
For some other shows, like “Miraculous Ladybug,” you will find actual animated content from the show. However, you only get a few clips of a couple of minutes each.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you won’t find actual kids’ shows. The adorable “Molang” bunny is there with full episodes. And although it doesn’t have the “Wallace and Gromit” full-length episodes that are generally known, they do have a series of shorts called “Cracking Contraptions.”
You can also find family-themed movies like “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” actual “Pokemon” episodes, classic Looney Tunes, and a variety of Christian cartoons.
HappyKids.TV also features some original programming that is different and even a little charming. There are several series based on personalities that might prove to be short, reasonably wholesome entertainment. For instance, a guy named Blippi dressed in orange glasses runs enthusiastically around an aquarium, goes up in a bucket truck, and generally provides little slices of life.
There are also a few gems if you do a little digging. I am particularly fond of the animated version of “The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs, and there it is, in its full glory. It’s currently on YouTube as well, but you don’t necessarily want your child to find it there on his or her own.
Is Happy Kids TV Worth Trying
In the end, HappyKids.TV is probably an app worth having in your line-up. There is a somewhat troubling bait-and-switch aspect to the list of options that could leave kids frustrated. They will also end up seeing a lot of toy feature ads and reviews. Plus, you have to stomach the division on the home page of options for “boys” and for “girls,” a notion that is a tad out of date.
That said, if you are looking for a place for the kids to go wild with the remote with fewer (although not necessarily no) questionable options than YouTube, this could be the place. The app is available for mobile and a variety of platforms, including Apple TV, Roku, fireTV, Google Play, Microsoft, and Sony. If you can find the show you like, and you can get it for free, then this app may indeed provide not only happy kids but happy adults as well.