ABC ME (formerly ABC 3) is the ABC TV channel that shows local and international programming for school-aged children that kids and adults will both enjoy.
Here I have listed the best children’s programming on ABC ME which you can watch on television as well as the ABC ME iview app. Some of them are old ABC 23 shows but are still available on ABC iview. You can also read more about these shows on the on the ABC me website.
If you have any favourite ABC ME TV shows please drop a comment below!
Note when I say ‘ABC’ I’m referring to ABC Australia, not ABC channel in other countries.
Best ABC Me Shows
ABC TV Education is the suite of ABC Me school shows that is shown during the school term normally 10am–12pm weekdays. You can access every school show on ABC for free, even if you’re not at school or an educator.
You can find the ABC TV Education schedule for each week on the main page.
ABC learning shows range from art, civics, English, Geography, history, languages, maths, health and physical education, science and technology. Each ABC Learning TV show is suitable for primary and/or secondary years.
Remember watching Behind the News when you were in primary school? It’s still on air! It breaks down the news into an accessible format for children and is one of the best Australian kids TV shows for current affairs information.
There is also a vast collection of ABC school TV show content available on-demand on ABC iview.
Some of the ABC ME shows that I have listed below are part of ABC Education‘s collection.
The school journey is a very special experience shared by millions of children in different ways all over the world. In these short 5 minute episodes, we can share the school journey with kids in Jordan, Germany, Peru, South Africa, Iraq and more. Many of the episodes have English subtitles so it’s best for kids who can read fluently and independently.
Watching this with my kids really made us appreciate the easy 1km walk they have to and from school and the privileged life we lead in a first-world country.
Bushwhacked! Bugs is hosted by the personable young Wiradjuri actor Kamil Ellis and features ten kids who love bugs. Together they show us the hidden world that’s right under our noses.
Younger kids will also enjoy the animated series Minibeast Heroes which also looks at six different Australian bugs and explores how they save the world.
This clever show takes kids’ imaginative questions and answers them in short, sometimes zany 5 minute episodes.
Questions include: What if you could teleport? What if everything you touched turned to gold? What if you took all the water out of the sea?
The series explores world history through several key dates with French historian Patrick Boucheron, from ancient history such as the death of Alexander the Great, to modern history such as the bombing of Hiroshima.
The episodes bring history alive through imagery, expert interviews and video footage. It’s classified PG so parental guidance for children under 15 years.
Ecomaths offers a new perspective on the way maths can be used in the real world to create a more sustainable world.
Presenter Stefan Gates talks about topics such as food waste, recycling, biofuels and biodiversity, and highlights how maths is a crucial tool to managing our environment. It’s really eye-opening and will inspire conversations next time you go shopping, cooking or eating your food.
7. Fierce Earth
Fierce Earth is not for the faint-hearted or for kids who are easily scared and might experience nightmares from what they’re watching!
The UK series covers natural disasters and weather phenomena such as avalanches, ice storms and landslides in an exciting and dynamic way.
In the original series, an Australian family goes on a time-travelling adventure to discover how the food we eat has transformed the way we live, the fabric of the nation and defined family roles over the past 60 years, starting with the 1950s. Further Back in Time for Dinner covers the period from Federation to the 1940s.
There are also two spin-off shorts Further Back in Time for Dinner: The Development Of A Nation where a family immerses themselves in key events that shaped Australia in each decade from the 1900s to 1940s and Further Back In Time For Dinner: Daily Life In The Past which explores how Australia families dressed, cooked and worked from the 1900s to 1940s.
If you were an avid Enid Blyton fan (or your kids are), the name Malory Towers will likely be a familiar one.
Join Darrell for her first term at Malory Towers, full of lacrosse, midnight feasts, picnics and even a ghost story – her dreams of adventures come true!
The series focuses on textiles in the 21st century from a range of different angles, from design and printing to manufacture and environmental impacts.
It’s a really interesting deep dive into a topic that relates to every person’s life but which we probably don’t usually give too much thought.
11. Cartoon It Up
Drawing guru Jazza teaches the art of cartooning, including how to highlight the characteristics you want in your drawing. The relatively short episodes offer plenty of inspiration!
Horrible Histories is a very, very funny introduction to all the gory bits of history, based on the bestselling book series by Terry Dreary.
We also own the Blood-Curdling Box of Horrible Histories books (available on Amazon) which means that Lady AB has a better knowledge of (mostly British) history than most 10 year olds!
13. Operation Ouch!
I’m not normally a fan of ‘zany’ but I really like how British doctors Dr Chris and Dr Xand talk about science and human biology in big, exciting ways on Operation Ouch. It is probably our favourite ABC kids science show.
But which twin is which??
The Wow That’s Amazing cast of kids (led by two presenters, Jayla and Jayden) conducts fascinating experiments, solve mind-bending puzzles and perform magic tricks.
Even better, some of the experiments you can do at home!
Different Australian families share what it takes for them to make a meal – whether it comes from the paddock or the supermarket. Full of fun, culture and tradition, it might inspire kids to make dinner for their parents.
Annabel Crabb takes school students on a 4-part series through “The House” – the Australian Federal Parliament House.
Related: Things to do in Canberra with kids
17. Kids of Courage
Kids of Courage is a very well executed, but very confronting dramatisation of World War 2 as seen from the perspective of different children around Europe – Germans, Jews, Russians, French. The actors speak in the original languages so there are subtitles.
The characters are fictional but they are based on stories that are all too real. I find it heartbreaking to watch, but these lessons are important for the younger generation to learn right now with the rise of extremist views all over the world.
Parental guidance is definitely advised for this series because the subject matter is complicated – you will want to absorb it and then have a further discussion about what you’ve seen on screen. I recommend it for middle to upper secondary school-age children.
Small Hands in a Big War is similar series that covers World War I.
In short 3-minute bursts, ‘Mathemagician’ Eric shares secrets from the not-so-hidden world of math, such as measuring the height of a tree using your thumb! But make no mistake, it’s not magic, it’s maths!
19. My Life
Nothing teaches kids empathy by showing them how different people live and have different perspectives on life.
My Life is a UK-made series that follows the highs and lows of children across the world, each with a unique story to tell. It’s a really life-affirming show while reminding viewers that everyone has their own battles and never to judge harshly.
You’ll meet kids who have emigrated halfway across the world, kids who are transgender, disabled, who live in refugee camps and who have Downs Syndrome.
An Australian version is What It’s Like. What It’s Like to have separated parents, What It’s Like to be queer, What It’s Like to represent Australia and more.
20. First Day
It’s Hannah’s first day at high school. She navigates the challenges of starting high school, as well as living her most authentic life as a 12 year old transgender girl.
20. Teenage Boss
Our favourite mathematician Eddie Woo hosts this show about financial management and budgeting.
The premise is that in each episode, a teenager take over the family finances and has to be responsible for the family budget for a month.
Do you reckon the teenagers can do it? Without exception, the teenagers realise how difficult it is to actually manage a budget!
Mikey and his family have recently moved from New Zealand to Australia. He discovers handball, and makes friends with Salwa and Jerry. The work towards making Mikey Western Sydney’s handball champ.
Be guided on a (hilarious) creative journey with junior hosts as they’ll teach you how to do stuff … good.
Episodes are full of tricks, ideas, pranks and hacks. Check out Stress Busting Hacks!
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