TV Show Rating Guide from Tech-Wise Littles

To rate shows, we use a 5-star scale based on 6 categories. We look at pacing, the conversation connection of the show (this is what actually makes a show educational!), the social/emotional skills the show promotes, language, diversity, and intensity. In each category, a show can earn 0-5 points! You can use this same scale to preview ANY show your child watches by simply going through the list below.

5 Stars Extraordinary 25-30

4 Stars Excellent 20--24

3 Stars Very Good 15-19

2 Stars Fair 10-15

1 Star Poor 5-9

0 Stars Not Recommended 0-5 

Pacing: (0-5 points) We want shows that mirror the pace of real life. That means:

  • Slow scene changes (at least 4 seconds)
  • Minimal flashing lights
  • Developmentally-appropriate soundtrack
  • Uses natural color palette
  • Mimics real life and easily transferable to the real world
  • Developmentally appropriate show length

Conversation Connection:  (0-5 points) Talking with your child about their show is what makes the show truly educational! Does the show have...

  • Easy conversation starters
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Conversation-worthy moral
  • Adult-friendly (you won’t be bored watching it with your little)
  • Developmentally-appropriate educational content

Social/Emotional Skills:  (0-5 points) Does the show promote...

  • Positive message/moral
  • Characters worth emulating
  • Highlights grit, bravery, kindness, creativity
  • Shows problem-solving skills; conflicts move toward resolution
  • Characters take developmentally appropriate risks

Language:  (0-5 points) 

  • Uses child-friendly language
  • Vocabulary enhancing
  • Good use of repetition
  • Slower-paced dialogue
  • Avoids slurs/negative language

Diversity:  (0-5 points) 

  • Multicultural characters
  • Multicultural exposure/content
  • Bilingual content
  • Defies gender or racial stereotypes
  • Shows different family configurations

Intensity  (0-5 points) 

  • Developmentally appropriate evoking of emotion
  • Void of scary content
  • Non-violent
  • Appropriate use of conflict with resolution
  • Non-sexual content

NO show will check every box, but if most boxes can be checked, you can feel good about your child watching the show!


Jennifer and Kay