There are lots of ways that you can bring German language media into your home thanks to the wonders of the internet, although geoblocking means that some media requires either a VPN or a bit of searching to find it available from a different source. Here, thanks to our wonderful committee president, is a comprehensive list of some of the media available. We encourage you to update us with any new shows or media that you have been able to find.
- KIKA: The Kinder Kanal (KiKa) brings together the children’s shows from ARD and ZDF and is the German version of ABC Kids. (The website kika.de appears to geoblock more than in the Kika App, especially for English language shows translated into German.) The app also has games and similar. KiKa also has a YouTube channel which has lots of videos available in Australia.
- ARD / ZDF Mediathek: The parent organisations for KiKa, there are lots of videos for adults but also some childrens’ shows and family movies available as well. In particular, WDR is the host for Die Sendung mit der Maus / Die Sendung mit dem Elefanten and so has many of the same videos available as in Kika (especially WDR Seite mit dem Elefanten), but doesn’t seem to block quite as many videos as kika.de.
- YouTube will have both official and unofficial versions of lots of shows, although do be careful with parodies of shows, intended for adults (note that YouTube Kids does provide better protections but also isn’t perfect).
- Spotify: lots of children’s music and stories, including older albums.
- Video streaming services offer some children’s shows in German but geoblocking often means that they are only available on the German versions of these services.
- OnlineTVRecorder offers the ability to record German TV shows directly from the TV channel and save it for later use. de.wikipedia.org/wiki/OnlineTVRecorder (German only)
Shows: 10 minutes and less
- Bobo Siebenschläfer: Bobo is a 2-year-old dormouse (Siebenschläfer) who has a distinct habit of falling asleep though by the end of each episode! Bobo Siebenschläfer is based on books by Markus Osterwalder, some of which are available in the Spielwelt Library. You can watch Bobo on WDR Seite mit dem Elefanten or YouTube also has some episodes from WDR as well.
- Unser Sandmännchen: Unser Sandmännchen is the longest running animated TV show in the world. There are also accompanying books that are available in the Spielwelt Library. You can watch Unser Sandmännchen on Kika and sandmann.de.
- Kikaninchen: short 3-minute videos targeted at children aged 3-6 about a rabbit and its (human) friends. Available on Kika and YouTube.
- Die Biene Maja: Die Biene Maja (Maya the Bee) is based on a series of books by Waldemar Bonsels that has since been adapted into a number of films and TV shows. It is available on YouTube.
- Ein Fall für die Erdmännchen: Jan and Henry are Erdmännchen (Meerkats) who are very good detectives too. You can watch Jan and Henry on Kika and YouTube.
- Buchstaben: short videos for each letter of the alphabet available on WDR Sendung mit dem Elefanten
- Many German language versions of English cartoons are available online but are more likely to be blocked due to geoblocking. Youtube is usually the best way to view some of your favourites including Peppa Wutz (Peppa Pig), Feuerwehrmann Sam (Fireman Sam), Blinky Bill, Charlie und Lola, Shaun das Schaf (Shaun the Sheep), Timmy das Schäfchen (Timmy Time), Hey Duggee (note: links only provided for official YouTube channels).
Shows: 30 minutes and less
- Die Sendung mit der Maus: an absolute classic for kids, targeted at children aged 4-8 years old. Each episode includes Lachgeschichten (some of which are mentioned above), Sachgeschichten to teach and of course Maus-Spots where the Maus interacts with its friends. You can watch the whole episode on WDR Seite mit der Maus but you may find that it is unavailable due to geoblocking of the Lachgeschichten, but you can watch the Sachgeschichten and Maus-Spots on the WDR website and the official YouTube channel.
- Die Sendung mit dem Elefanten: similar to Die Sendung mit der Maus, but targeted at children aged 3-7 years old. Each episode has Lachgeschichten (including Bobo Siebenschläfer, Charlie und Lola), Sachgeschichten segments, and Elefantenkino where the Elefant (Elephant) and Hase (Hare) play together. You can watch the whole episode and also individual segments on Kika App, on WDR Seite mit dem Elefanten and also on YouTube. Elefantastisch! is another spin-off from Die Sendung mit dem Elefanten available on YouTube.
- Weisst du eigentlich, wie lieb ich dich hab?: The German version of Guess How Much I Love You, based on the books by Sam McBratney. You can watch the series on Kika.
Children’s books read online
- Dizzel liest: YouTube
Internet radio stations
- Radio Teddy: An internet radio station with music and radio segments but also advertising, also available through the Radio Teddy App and as podcasts.
- Radio Regenbogen Kinderlieder: an ad-free music-only internet radio station with lots of German language songs from Disney movies, Simone Sommerland/Karsten Glück as well as many more. Unfortunately they play Schlaflieder (lullabies) during the German night (i.e. until the early afternoon in Canberra), so best to listen in the afternoon (unless you are trying to put your little ones to sleep).
- KiRaKa: Kinder Radio Kanal (Childen’s Radio Channel) is targeted at children aged 5 to 16. See kinder.wdr.de/radio/kiraka/.
- Die Sendung mit der Maus zum Hören: wdrmaus.de/hoeren/index.php5
Albums and other audio
- Eule findet den Beat: part children’s album, part story, the Eule (owl) learns about music genres, European countries and feelings and is available on Spotify.
- Simone Sommerland, Karsten Glück und die Kita-Frösche are incredibly prolific children’s performers available on Spotify. Each album features the 30 Best German language songs based on different themes: from songs regularly sung in Spiel und Spass, to Schlaflieder (lullabies), to Weihnachtslieder (Christmas songs) and other seasons, to traditional songs.
- Rolf Zuckowski is another prolific children’s music writer, see Spotify.
- Fredrik Vahle has written lots of songs with accompanying books that are available in the Spielwelt library. See Spotify.
- Spiel und Spass Playlist: for all your favourite Spiel und Spass songs, check out the Spiel und Spass Lieder playlist on Spotify.