Arthur & 14 Other PBS Shows 90s Kids Still Love (& Where To Stream Them)
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Arthur & 14 Other PBS Shows 90s Kids Still Love (& Where To Stream Them)


  • PBS Kids’ shows in the 90s were full of educational entertainment options that benefited the whole child.
  • Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network may dominate nostalgia conversations, but PBS had a memorable suite of shows.
  • Shows like
    Arthur, Dragon Tales
    , and
    Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
    offered valuable lessons and memorable experiences for kids.



Thanks to the PBS Kids’ shows in the 90s, there was no shortage of excellent educational entertainment options. Kids’ television during this time transformed into a medium that benefited the whole child; reading and counting, music, object lessons, and social skills were more frequently included in various shows. PBS was a true leader in the arena of holistic children’s programming. There are so many memorable shows from the 1990s, some of which premiered decades before and others that debuted in that decade.

There’s no shortage of nostalgia for children’s television of the 1990s. However, shows like SpongeBob SquarePants cause the conversation to center around Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. Though meant to target very young children, PBS offered an undeniably memorable suite of shows throughout the decade. The educational and developmental PBS Kids’ shows in the 90s are just as memorable as other titles of the era, especially for those who grew up in that decade or raised their kids during that era.


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15 Arthur



Steven Crowder

Release Date
October 7, 1996


Steven Crowder , Alan Cumming

Kathy Waugh

Stream now on Prime Video

Arthur is one of the most beloved PBS shows of the 90s, and lasted for 25 years, before finally ending in 2022. Marc Brown’s children’s books led to the animated series starring Arthur, D.W., and all of Arthur’s other mammal friends. While the series was canceled, it will still have new content show up on PBS Kids and the video app.

Arthur remains notable to this day for its discussions of asthma, cancer, diabetes, and autism, and it strongly encourages relationships between families and friends.

Arthur’s Ziggy Marley theme song reminds viewers to “learn to work and play, and get along with each other.” The show’s inclusive stories and practical lessons stay with fans forever. Arthur remains notable to this day for its discussions of asthma, cancer, diabetes, and autism, and it strongly encourages relationships between families and friends.

14 Sesame Street


The characters from PBS' Sesame Street.

Stream now on Max

One of the longest-running kid’s shows of all time, Sesame Street debuted in 1969 and has been teaching kids how to spell, count, color, and be kind to others ever since. With its legendary puppeteers and human castmates, the series has always promoted diversity and celebrated many cultures. From Bert and Ernie to Big Bird and Elmo, these lovable puppets and their human friends are the past, the present, and the future of great children’s television. Max ensured its survival when it picked it up in 2016.

13 Reading Rainbow


The logo for Reading Rainbow

Stream now on Prime VideoTake a look, it’s in a book. A reading rainbow!” This important series was hosted by actor and director LeVar Burton. Burton’s gentle voice brought the pages of different children’s books to life, and his award-winning series also used footage of children and adults in many environments. The live-action scenes corresponded with the reading material of each episode. Reading Rainbow shaped children of several generations for the better. This PBS Kids show of the 90s won 26 Emmy Awards.


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12 The Adventures Of Dudley The Dragon


A promotional image for the PBS television series The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon.

Stream now on Prime VideoThe Adventures of Dudley the Dragon was a Canadian children’s series that aired on PBS in the United States from 1993 to 1997. Focusing primarily on the titular character of Dudley, the series is comparable to Sesame Street, as it features a cast of puppeteered creatures. A singalong affair that laid the groundwork for many PBS-affiliated children’s shows to come, The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon makes for an interesting watch today thanks to its main character and his weirdly sarcastic attitude.

11 Dragon Tales


The cast of characters from PBS' Dragon Tales series.

Stream now on Prime VideoWhen siblings Emmy and Max encounter a dragon scale in their new home, they are transported to a wonderful realm of whimsical dragons, whom they befriend. From the kindly Cassie and the cowardly Ord to the timid Zak and outgoing Wheezie, the show featured a cast of memorable characters, and it remained relevant through the early 2000s until its eventual cancelation in 2005.

Dragon Tales picked up three Emmy nominations during its run.

Boasting an iconic theme song and just over one hundred episodes, Dragon Tales was a classic PBS Kids show of the 90s, in which turn-of-the-century toddlers likely harbor fond memories. The show was created by Wesley Eure, who played Will Marshall in Land of the Lost, and Dragon Tales picked up three Emmy nominations during its run.

10 Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood


Stream now on Prime Video

Fred Rogers is the angel of children’s television, running his show from 1968 to 2001. Mr. Rogers broke the fourth wall, loved his neighbor, used creative puppetry, and was not afraid to treat children like the real people they were. He carefully introduced difficult topics some days while still including basic lessons for everyday child development. It’s no wonder that so many recent projects have sought to share more about his life and career.

Not only was he a teacher in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, but he was an advocate for kids and for PBS and public access television in general. In 1969, Rogers testified to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Communications about the importance of PBS and ensured that kids for future decades would get the same learning experiences as those in the 1960s. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood told this story beautifully.


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9 Between The Lions


A still from the PBS children's series Between the Lions.

A sequel of sorts to the massive success that was Sesame Street, Between the Lions featured a cast of anthropomorphic puppeteered lions who ran a library and focused primarily on children’s literacy. Introducing kids to famous literary works and common narrative tropes, the show was something of a more intellectually advanced version of its spiritual predecessor.

Between the Lions won nine Daytime Emmy Awards over its run.

Though it technically debuted in 2000, Between the Lions was in development throughout most of the ’90s, and it occasionally guest-starred actors from other PBS series like Zoom and Sesame Street.

8 Barney & Friends


Barney, BJ and Baby Bop sing The ABC song in Barney and Friends

Stream now on Prime VideoBarney was born out of a mother’s desire to give her young son an entertaining television option. That mom was Sheryl Leach, and she helped bring Barney to life with the character’s first video in the late 1980s, Barney & the Backyard Gang. The big purple dinosaur made it to PBS in 1992, and Barney & Friends did not end until 2010. With songs like “Clean Up,” “I Love You,” and “If All the Raindrops,” Barney engaged every part of the young viewer’s brain.

Barney & Friends remains a beloved PBS Kids’ show from the 90s that taught many kids the meaning of friendship.

The television series extended to live shows, books, and cuddly miniature Barneys. While the show eventually became parodied in cruel ways over the years, Barney & Friends remains a beloved PBS Kids’ show from the 90s that taught many kids the meaning of friendship. The show won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2001. A Barney movie is supposed to be coming as well, although it will be geared towards adults.

7 The Magic School Bus


Stream now on NetflixThe music, the animation, and the unbelievable stories truly took fans of The Magic School Bus on a journey. From the moment Little Richard started singing that theme song, kids knew they were about to have a good time. Elementary science teachers loved to take a break by propping the kids up in front of an episode of this show, and students didn’t seem to mind. With Ms. Frizzle (Lily Tomlin) and The Producer (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), there was always something to learn and somewhere new to go.


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6 Lamb Chop’s Play-Along


Lamb Chop and Sheri Lewis on Lamb Chop's Play-Along.

Starring puppeteer Shari Lewis and her sock-puppet partner Lamb Chop, Lamb Chop’s Play-Along was a children’s variety show that debuted in 1992 and ran on PBS until 1997. Lamb Chop’s Play-Along emphasized participation and interactivity as opposed to passive observance. The show was based on videos Lewis made in the 1980s, and it ran for four seasons and 84 episodes.

Lewis intimated that contemporary children’s shows of the time failed because they refused to challenge young audiences, stating in a 1994 interview with Star News:

I don’t care if you tack on a prosocial message at the end of the show. You have not done a quality show.”

5 Zoom


The kids from Zoom

Zoom was one of PBS’s educational offerings in the 1970s, and it was remade as a series from 1999 to 2005. The show was full of creative science experiments, games, skits, crafts, and songs like “Fannee Doolee.” The motto was simple: “If you like what you see, turn off the TV, and do it.

While the show is very hard to find and YouTube clips aren’t the best quality, fans can go to the “Zoom into Action” YouTube playlist to see their favorite cast members teaching kids in 2021 how to make fun and useful crafts. PBS still shares the show’s applicable object lessons for classroom teachers, too.

4 The Big Comfy Couch


Loonette on the couch with a puppet in Big Comfy Couch

Stream now on Prime Video

The Big Comfy Couch aired from 1992 to 2002 and had a brief revival in the 2000s. The Canadian series found incredible popularity in the United States thanks to Loonette the Clown and her doll, Molly. Loonette taught kids how to get up off the couch and stretch, dance, play, and think. With the help of Granny Garbanzo and Major Bedhead, Loonette always had something to do. The PBS kids show even resulted in a live theatrical tour with Loonette and her friends performing for kids of all ages.


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After 25 years, PBS’ Arthur finally came to an end. From Arthur to D.W. to Buster, how do the characters’ first and last lines convey their journeys?

3 Wishbone


WIshbone dressed like Sherlock Holmes.

Who could forget the Jack Russell Terrier with a passion for adventure? Wishbone, which may have a new movie in the works, taught children about literature during the ’90s. Wishbone found his way into Greek epics, British novels and plays, American classics, an African folk tale, and more. Wishbone also liked to dress up as his favorite characters, including Sherlock Holmes. This PBS Kids show from the 90s only ran for two seasons, although it featured 50 total episodes. It won four Emmys during its run.

2 Teletubbies


Stream now on Prime VideoTeletubbies are perhaps the strangest cultural phenomenon to come from the ’90s; a British series that originally premiered in 1997, the show follows four titular creatures who live in a dome that rests in a grassy field. The four often get into misadventures with their vacuum cleaner or watch cut-away segments through the televisions on their stomachs. It’s odd, to say the least.

The Teletubbies theme song even hit number one in the U.K. in 1997

That said, Teletubbies was a massive success. The original series ran for 365 episodes and there was even a revival that had 120 more episodes. It won several BAFTA Awards and was nominated for two Emmys. The Teletubbies theme song even hit number one in the U.K. in 1997 and was in the top 75 for 32 weeks (via Official Charts).

1 Zoboomafoo


The cast of Zoboomafoo.

Stream now on Prime VideoBefore they created Wild Kratts, Chris and Martin Kratt hosted Zoboomafoo on PBS from 1999 to 2001. Kids loved learning about animals with the Kratts and the lemur, Zoboomafoo, who was played by the late lemur Jovian and puppeteered by Gord Robertson (Fraggle Rock). There is no question that this wildlife show was a valuable part of the ideal educational lineup back in the day. More often than not, PBS Kids shows in the 90s were just as informative as they were fun.

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