Barney & Friends

Common Sense Media says

Love him or hate him, Barney is a hit with preschoolers.





What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will learn important social lessos about topics like working together and understanding each other. They'll probably pick up some song lyrics, too.

Positive messages

The show promotes strong positive messages about teamwork, cultural appreciation, and problem solving. It also emphasizes active play.

Positive role models

Barney is upbeat, friendly, and inclusive, and his music and songs help encourage kids to be active.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

Lots of tie-in products out there.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this long-running, very kid-friendly program promotes creative problem solving, civic participation, group cooperation, and active play. Music encourages children to join the characters in song and dance. Preschoolers will benefit from its pro-social themes and emphasis on active play.

Parents say

What's the story?

BARNEY & FRIENDS is a well-loved veteran in children's television. In fact, you'd probably be hard-pressed to find a child who doesn't know the Barney theme song. Barney's world is set in a community playground where he and his friends dance, play, and learn about helping others in their neighborhood. While the show's set and cast of children have changed over the years, the core themes of the series remain.

Is it any good?


Younger children will love Barney's colorful musical world. Every episode is filled with song and dance, and Barney really encourages little ones to get up and boogie along. Barney and his friends also love crafting and will likely inspire your child's creative side. Among all the fun, each episode is based on a pro-social theme such as respect, teamwork, and courtesy for others.

While Barney & Friends does offer quality entertainment for kids, parents should know that the show's songs have been criticized for being overly infectious and may wind up stuck in your head. And while preschoolers will love watching Barney's adventures, older kids may find the program's happy, sappy style a little too much. Nonetheless, Barney & Friends is a well-loved classic and will likely continue to delight preschoolers for years to come.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the importance of empathizing with others' needs in order to encourage children to play and cooperate with others and to appreciate others' differences.

  • Certain episodes (such as one about a missing cat) can help promote discussion about individual responsibility, coping with loss, and the importance of community service.

TV details

Cast:David Joyner
Topics:Dinosaurs, Friendship, Music and sing-along
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD

This review of Barney & Friends was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Written byAnonymous February 20, 2015

Why is this show on Sprout and not on something like Adult Swim? Under 15 needs 100% strict parental/big-sibling guidance.

This is worse than iCarly and SpongeBob combined. According to the reviewers on IMDb, Barney instructs children to cheat, lie, steal, and talk to strangers as friends. He also curses at his students like they are punished. Not to mention he touches kids inappropriately, sings "I Love You" to them and calls each other "best friends" (when in reality they're just the dinosaur's acquaintances or normal friends). I have seen this one when I was little and it affects tons of kids. Instead of TV-Y it should be rated TV-14; the uncut version shoud be a high TV-14 or low TV-MA.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 4 year old Written byLoving_Parent762 December 3, 2009

Keep your kids away from this show.

This show teaches kids to always be followers and never to be sad. If there is a problem, you can solve it with magic and singing etc. Barney has no educational value and dozen't even try to teach. All the show is are bright colors and loud sounds to keep kids watching. The show also promotes kids to constantly eat cookies, cake and ice cream to be happy. The show also presents no reality such as no conflict or bullying, because of this, kids won't know how to deal with real world issues. Do your kid a favor and don't allow them to watch Barney, all they will want are Barney tapes and toys.
Parent of a 2 year old Written bysnack January 18, 2009

Talks down to the kiddies

Kid's are smart. So, why do we allow them to watch dumb shows like Barney? They love it, but they also love cookies and ice cream - doesn't mean it's good for them! This is the "junk food" of educational kid's shows. Sesame Sreet showed that you can teach kids without talking down to them - which is all that Barney does. Should you keep your kid's away from it - no! But, at least let them see other quality shows, like Sesame Street for education and The Upside Down Show for REAL imagination.
Kid, 9 years old July 2, 2011

Barney is AWESOME!

Barney is an awesome show. People who say it has smoking or violence in it are liars. Barney is an educationaI TV show that everyone can enjoy. I still watch it and I think it's meant for kids 1- adult. Adults can still enjoy it because it doesn't matter how old you are watch what you want!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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