Little House on the Prairie

Common Sense Media says

Classic pioneer drama is one for the books.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Episodes stress the importance and collective power of family, community, and the Christian faith. Some storylines also deal with serious matters, including death, illness, loss, and addiction.

Positive role models

Members of the Ingalls family model mutual respect and affection toward each other; the adult role models are patient, loving, and hard-working and inspire their kids to be the same. One regular character is African American, and the town residents never show a hint of prejudice toward her (perhaps a bit anachronistic, but a great example to follow). Native Americans are usually portrayed as peaceful, although some white characters use derogatory terms for them. Roles tend to be gender-based, but this accurately reflects the time period.

Violence & scariness

At least one gun usually is prominent and accessible in each home, and the men use them for hunting or -- more rarely -- self-defense. Physical punishment is the norm in some households, and children who break the rules often face their father's belt.

Sexy stuff

Budding romances sometimes are mixed into the plot, but, as was customary during the time in which the series is set, there's very little outright flirting and nearly no physical contact.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The main adult male character smokes a pipe. When alcoholism or drug use is portrayed, the consequences are always severe. Heavy drinking is usually limited to men in saloons.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this drama is set on the American frontier in the late 19th century, so aspects of daily life may seem foreign to younger viewers who lack historical understanding. The Ingalls family is a model of mutual respect and affection. Some storylines deal with serious matters like the plague and other epidemics, infant mortality, the death of a parent, and the threat of neighboring Native Americans. Parents may find themselves answering questions about American history and geography, which is just one great reason to watch this epic series.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE is set in the late 19th century and centers on the Ingalls family, who live in the growing pioneer town of Walnut Grove, Minnesota. Hardworking farmer Charles Ingalls (Michael Landon) and his wife, Caroline (Karen Grassle), rely on their devotion to each other and their family to see them through the daily trials of early settlement life. Cooperation and generosity are essential to everyone's survival in such a small, isolated town. Together the residents endure harsh weather, plagues, and droughts that threaten their livelihood.

Is it any good?


Based on Laura Ingalls Wilder's autobiographical books, Little House on the Prairie originally ran on NBC from 1974 to 1983, and now, decades later, it continues to provide quality family entertainment thanks to syndication and DVD. Little House on the Prairie is an ageless TV classic that ought to be on every family's watch list. On sheer entertainment value, the show sets the standard with rich characters, intuitive acting, and interesting storylines. But its truest merit lies in making historical TV so enriching and entertaining to watch.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about American pioneers. What challenges did they face? Could you have persevered the way they did? How were their lives different from ours today? How were they the same? Families can also compare the series to Laura Ingalls Wilder's original books: What do the books and the show have in common? How are they different?

This review of Little House on the Prairie 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.

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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, okay 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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Adult Written byTrekkifulshay April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
Teen, 13 years old Written byKelandryOfTortall April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Realllly good!

I love little house (and most other older shows). The episodes are really good, especially the newer ones, which seem to have more interesting plots. Must watch, especially for vintage-intolerant eleven-year-olds. :)))) xoxo KEL
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written byF-250 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Great series for kids!

I love sitting with my two daughters and watching this. Never have to worry about objectionable content.


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