Beat Bugs (Netflix)

Even parents will enjoy this sweet show inspired by the enduring magic of Beatles' songs. With messages of friendship and teamwork, there are a lot of great takeaways (and, of course, it's never too early to turn your kids onto good music). Check out the TV movie musical spin-off Beat Bugs: All Together Now for more Beatles-inspired fun.

By Angela Zimmerman, Common Sense Media

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Turning your toddler onto TV for the first time can feel like a big, scary step. Once you introduce screens, is your kid ever going to want to go back to reading books? Are you going to hear nothing but the whiny whimsical voices and grating music of young kids’ cartoons for the next few years? How will commercialsgender stereotypes, characters’ bratty behavior, and the lure of a candy-colored on-screen world affect such impressionable young minds?

Yes, TV feels like a slippery slope. But if you’re thoughtful about your choices and balance TV time with other activities, there’s no reason not to allow your toddler to enjoy some quality entertainment.

Start out slow with toddler-targeted shows that are gentle, brief, and full of age-appropriate content. Make an effort to find well-made programs that truly engage your toddler (if she’s singing the songs to her stuffed animals, it’s probably a good one!).

Use the shows’ subjects as starting points for pretend games and conversation. Co-view when you can, or follow up with questions about the shows when they’re over. And take heart in the fact that kids can actually learn both preschool skills such as letters and numbers and social-emotional skills from well-chosen viewing.

When you’re ready to turn on the TV for your tot, check out our reviews for quality and age-appropriateness before firing up the remote, and watch with your kid as much and as often as you can. Get started with a few of our faves right here.