7 Alternatives to Cocomelon Featuring Black Kids and Characters

Here are a few shows that center Black characters and are just as addictive as Cocomelon, a favorite of toddlers everywhere.

Father and toddler son watch a tablet on the couch
Photo: Getty Images

If you know who JJ is and can sing, "Yes, yes, yes! I want to brush my teeth," without context then you are probably the mom of a toddler or preschooler. The CoComelon craze is strong and, if your kids are into YouTube, they somehow, someway, always find the CoComelon family. As a mom of three beautiful brown-skinned babies, I also have to work hard to make sure that they see the beauty of themselves represented in what they watch.

Representation in the media affects children as young as those who are elementary school-aged. A study about the effects of television exposure on the self-esteem of elementary-aged children showed that TV exposure was related to lower self-esteem for Black girls and boys and white girls, but was actually connected to higher self-esteem for white boys. So though my kids admittedly do love CoComelon, it's been fun and important to find channels that feature a diversity of characters, too.

If you're looking for diverse TV shows for your young children to watch, these are my favorites:

Cody from Cocomeloj

It's Cody Time

Though the Green family made their debut on CoComelon, its spinoff show is already thriving! It's Cody Time features Cody, his soon-to-be baby sister, and their parents. The story arc focuses on pregnancy, becoming a big brother, the joys of family, and aims to help children learn through relatable situations, preparing them for big sibling responsibilities and expectations. Following the classic CoComelon format, It's Cody Time is sure to be a big hit with its younger viewers. It'll be nice to have some new songs stuck in your head!

Screenshot from youtube show Gracie's Corner
Gracie's Corner

Gracie's Corner

Created in 2020, Gracie's Corner creates fun songs that emphasize learning. Father-daughter duo Javoris and Graceyn create all the content for the channel which features popular videos like "I Love My Hair," and remixes to some nursery rhyme classics.

Screenshot from youtube show Circle Time with Ms. Monica
Circle Time With Ms. Monica

Circle Time With Ms. Monica

When remote learning and homeschooling became the only option in 2020, Ms. Monica took to YouTube to give parents relief. Circle Time With Ms. Monica was born! As an early childhood educator for over 18 years, Circle Time With Ms. Monica features learning content for toddlers and preschoolers that is fun, engaging, and takes the guilt out of screen time. Ms. Monica's channel helps children explore, grow, and learn preschool basics like shapes, numbers, and letters.

Screenshot from youtube show Bino and Fino
Bino & Fino

Bino and Fino

Bino and Fino is a cartoon series about a brother and sister named Bino and Fino who live with their family in Nigeria. Bino and Fino have many adventures where, with the help of their friend Zeena the Magic Butterfly, they discover and learn about Africa and the rest of the world.

Four Jools TV characters stand next to each other.
Jools Tv

Jools TV

An animation series "for the kids, and for the culture," Jools TV's three-minute episodes teach all kinds of life lessons, often guided by guardian angel J.J. The channel was created by parents and features the animated adventures of the "J" brothers: J.J., Jaxon, Jett, and Jhy.

Super Sema characters
Super Sema/Kukua

Super Sema

Super Sema is the first African kid-superhero animated series about an ordinary young girl on an extraordinary mission to protect her African village from a heartless villain and his army of pesky robots. The series empowers and inspires the next generation of children to change the world through curiosity, creativity, and STEAM.

Martin Luther King Jr. cartoon and others on 'Goose Goose Duck."
Goose Goose Duck

Goose Goose Duck

It's never too early to learn about history and Goose Goose Duck makes sure children know just that. The channel features Black history for toddlers and pre-k and kindergarten-aged children, expressed through nursery rhymes, educational songs, preschool games, and kids' bedtime stories shared in full color for home, school, and lifelong learning.

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