17 Kids' TV Shows With Diverse Casts — That You Can Stream Right Now
As a parent, you're mindful about the TV shows you allow your kids to watch, so you've probably noticed many lack diverse casts. This certainly isn't a new problem, but Hollywood is slowly starting to catch on to the vital importance of telling stories that represent everyone.
Children need to see characters on television who look and sound like their own families. Being able to relate to the television shows they watch allows them to feel seen and helps them understand they're capable of achieving anything. Watching shows with diverse casts also teaches kids to be open-minded and accepting of others who are different from them. If you're looking to add more diversity to your kids' television lineup, here are some great options on Netflix and Hulu.
Ashley Garcia: Genius in Love (also known as The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia)
Featuring a culturally diverse cast, this Latinx series follows 15-year-old genius Ashley Garcia, the youngest person ever to earn a Ph.D. She scores a job in robotics across the country but also has to learn to navigate other aspects of teen life she hasn't yet explored, like having crushes and just being a kid.
Basketball or Nothing
Watch the Chinle High basketball team from Arizona's Navajo Nation pursue a state championship title. This docuseries takes a look at the somewhat unknown aspect of life on a Native American reservation and how sports bring families together.
Mama K's Team 4
The first original Netflix animated series from South Africa follows four teenage girls living in the neo-futuristic city of Lusaka, Zambia. After being recruited by a retired secret agent, they embark on a quest to save the world.
A spinoff of the Disney Channel series Jessie, this sitcom follows the Ross siblings as they spend the summer in Maine at Camp Kikiwaka, where their parents first met. Featuring a crew of silly characters, the siblings make new friends and try to adjust to life outside New York City.
Degrassi: Next Class
The Degrassi franchise has never shied away from diversity, and this latest series seeks to educate by featuring a genderqueer main character, a bisexual student, and a feminist, Muslim activist — just to name a few. Humorous, heartwarming, and touching, this show highlights many differences and similarities teens face while navigating high school.
Watching two teenage game-store employees hunt video-game monsters who've escaped into the real world is entertaining. However, what's most heartwarming is the diverse cast — including Muslim, Indian-American, and British people of color — who defy stereotypes and work together to save the world.
In this Jim Henson Company show, Julie Andrews is a performing-arts teacher with a class full of diverse pupils — in puppet form. Students include Hank, who uses a wheelchair, and Riley, who uses gender-neutral pronouns.
Legend Quest (also known as Las Leyendas)
Centered on a trilogy of popular Mexican animated films, this groundbreaking series is the first Netflix animated foreign-language show produced in Latin America. A gifted teen with the ability to talk to ghosts uses his powers to explore legends unique to Mexican culture.
Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices
Hosted and executive produced by 15-year-old activist and author Marley Dias, this limited series features renowned Black celebrities reading children's books written by Black authors. The stories are designed to initiate much-needed conversations that will help kids become more empathetic, feel comfortable in their own skin, and understand antiracism behavior.
Mighty Little Bheem
Developed in India, this animated series follows Bheem, a curious toddler who crawls all over his small town in search of adventure. Originally developed for Indian audiences, the show has become a hit worldwide, due to cross-cultural themes that strike a chord with families from all backgrounds.
This animated series introduces the magic of Motown to a new generation. Told through the eyes of Ben, a boy with a big imagination who brings street art to life, this show's soundtrack features your favorite Motown hits.
A prequel to The Good Night Show — originally aired on the PBS Kids Sprout network — this animated series stars Nina, a Mexican-American girl who lives in a multicultural neighborhood with her family. Watch as the imaginative 6-year-old and her best friend Star embark on daily excursions, having fun and learning more about their community.
Designed to empower young women, brilliant teenage spy McKeyla and three other smart girls from diverse backgrounds team up to become secret agents. Their sharp science and tech skills always save the day, showing girls can do anything.
More than just letters and numbers, this timeless kids' show centers on diversity and kindness. Among other key life lessons, episodes focus on teaching little ones to embrace the differences that make each person unique.
The winner of the 2019 GLAAD Award for Outstanding Kids and Family Programming, this animated series stars Steven, a teenage boy whose bellybutton has magical powers that can save the world. The show quietly normalizes a variety of gender identities, relationships, and sexual orientations, celebrating the importance of feeling comfortable in your own skin.
An airplane named Jett delivers packages to children around the world, but on every delivery, he encounters a problem that he and his friends must solve. Cultural diversity is an important aspect of the show, as the characters learn how to adjust to the dozens of countries visited during their travels.
The Bravest Knight
As a young pumpkin farmer, Cedric strived to become the greatest knight ever. Now grown and married to his dream man — an actual prince — he shares his fairy-tale adventures with his adopted daughter, Nia.