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Seven German TV shows and movies that are great to watch with your kids

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Seven German TV shows and movies that are great to watch with your kids
A young girl watching TV in Brandenburg, Photo DPA
15:18 CET+01:00
If you want your children to learn German (and maybe pick up a bit more yourself), these movies and series are both educating and fun for the whole family.
Die Sendung der Maus

The mouse and the elephant in one of the short clips. Photo: DPA.

This is one of the most successful German children series of all time due to being an informative and fun show for children and adults of all ages.

Every Sunday from 11:30-12 a.m you can watch it on German TV channel KIKA, which is perfect for a lazy Sunday.

The focus of the series is on “Lach- und Sachgeschichten” (Funny and factual stories).

The topics presented by “Die Sendung mit der Maus” are always very widespread, ranging from the history of the potato to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

If the story features a process, it usually begins with the first steps of the production and ends with the final result, only revealing at the end what the finished product actually is.

This leaves a lot to the imagination and encourages creative thinking.

In my opinion, this is the best series for families to watch together. It is not only informative but also humorous, with great animations, music and ideas. 

Shows for younger children

Unser Sandmännchen

The Sandman with his "Schlafsand". Photo: DPA.

This is a classic German “before bedtime” show for young children, which you can watch every evening on KIKA from 6:50-7 pm.

“Der Sandmann” was originally a puppet film, but the modern episodes are animated. He is a small man with red clothing and a white beard who always visits someone (for example the animals living in the woods).

He then shows them a short clip (such as of the puppets “Pittiplatsch” and “Schnatterinchen”) and in the end gently blows “Schlafsand” (sleeping sand) in their eyes to make them fall asleep.

This show was a regular for me as a child. Its soothing music and gentle animations are great for children before hitting the hay.

Lauras Stern

Laura's first encounter with the star, Photo DPA

This series originates from the novel “Lauras Stern” (1996) by Klaus Baumgart and since then has evolved film and television series that is regularly shown on KIKA.

“Laura” undergoes many adventures with the injured star that she found and took into her home.

This show is mainly for girls and younger children, and ideal for young German learners.

Shows for younger and middle-aged children

Urmel 

"Urmel aus dem Eis" the movie. Photo: DPA.

“Urmel” is the main character of a series of children’s novels from Max Kruse, “Urmel aus dem Eis” (Urmel from the ice) being the first one.

Urmel is a mix between a mammal and a dinosaur, and presumably the last of his kind. The stories revolve around the adventures and dangers he faces with his friends.

The characters are iconic, and the animation and plot fun for younger and middle aged children (and of course for parents too).

Urmel’s stories have also been turned into into films and audio books. Personally, I enjoy the audio books the most because the voices of the characters are whimsical and unique.

Der kleine Rabe Socke

"Der kleine Rabe Socke" teaching his friend. Photo: DPA.

“Der kleine Rabe Socke” (The small crow sock) also started as a series of children’s novels, and expanded into television series, films and also short films in “Das Sandmännchen”.

“Der kleine Rabe Socke” is a crow with one red and white striped sock who lives in a community in the forest.

Throughout his adventures, he embodies important values and norms such as friendship, and teaches children that learning is fun.

His stories primarily target younger children, and are a fun way for children to learn.

Series great for older children ages 10 and up

Rico, Oskar und die Tieferschatten

Rico (right) meeting Oskar (left) for the first time. Photo: DPA.

This story was written in 2008 by Andreas Steinhöfel and made into a memorable movie in 2014.

Rico is “Hochbegabt” (meaning highly gifted), as he calls himself, which in this sense does not mean that he is not intelligent, but he thinks and perceives things differently.

He befriends Oskar, who is “normal”, and this turns into a wonderful friendship with extraordinary adventures.

This story is deeply touching, humorous and a must-see for middle aged children and everyone who enjoys a good laugh.

Bibi und Tina

Official poster of one of the movies of "Bibi and Tina". Photo: DPA.

“Bibi und Tina” originally began as an audio drama but soon turned into a television series and movie mainly about teenagers, their adventures, friendship, and horses. Personally, this is not my favourite, but the story is loved by many middle aged girls who adore horses.

The movies and series from these novels are great, but I would often recommend the audio books, because children can listen to them while drawing in their colouring book or playing a game.

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