I love spending time with my kids, it’s the number one reason I’m at home in the first place. But giving them 100% of my attention 100% of the time simply isn’t feasible. I get burnt out, I get grumpy, and I’m no fun to be around. As a Stay at Home Mom who is slipping more into the Work at Home Mom category due to the number of hours I find myself putting into my blog, finding ways to keep my children happily occupied throughout the day is a challenge that is constantly on my mind. Colouring books, crafts, and the occasional silly “make work” project (sort all of the Playmobil out of your Lego bin and then mommy will come play with you), help get us through our days. But I’m going to let you in on a secret, my number one ace in the hole trick up my sleeve keep the kids happily occupied for 30-60 minutes as needed secret– it’s the Netflix Just For Kids section.
I adore Netflix. We don’t have cable or satellite TV in our house, and we don’t need it. For a mere $7.99 a month I am set. And while hubby and I do enjoy curling up to the occasional movie or TV series in the evenings (our current addictions include Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and Star Trek: The Next Generation), where Netflix really shines is in the kids department.
I’m picky about what my kids watch. First it’s got to be something mama can stand, because 9 times out of 10 I’m watching it with them (ok, I’m folding laundry or mucking about on the tablet, but I’m in the room… so Barney is just not happening). Secondly, I prefer no commercials, as I dislike marketing targeted at my kids. Thirdly, it needs to have some educational value.
Prior to getting Netflix my kids watched DVDs. Trying to hunt down their favourite shows at decent prices was a chore. For example I had the devil of a time tracking down Zoboomafoo DVDs, since they’re out of print. Plus then there’s the whole overflowing bookcase full of kids DVDs. And also the repetition thing, while my children seem to have no problem with watching the same three episodes of Blue’s Clues over and over, my brain starts to bleed out my ears on the third or fourth go.
So when we discovered Netflix, well over a year ago now, I immediately fell in love with the kid’s selection. Dora, Diego, Caillou, Blues Clues, Zoboomafoo, all of our favourites, plus documentaries like Walking With Dinosaurs and nature shows like Blue Planet or Big Cat Diaries; commercial free and on demand, ready to play whenever we want to watch. It is well worth the $7.99 a month right there. Far less then what I used to spend on DVDs, even taking into account that I was mostly picking them up second hand.
To be honest when they first came out with the Just For Kids section I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Same kids line up I already loved, with a new interface. Meh. Who cares? However, since the five year old has figured out how to use the xBox controller to pick her favourite shows, I now see just how awesome the Just For Kids section is. I can let her have the freedom to browse without having to worry about her picking something non-kid-friendly by mistake.
I also love that I can use Netflix on multiple platforms. We can stream content to the TV in the basement via the xBox, or watch shows upstairs on the desktop computer, or from anywhere on the tablet, all with just the one account.
I seriously think that if you have children a subscription to Netflix is a must, it’s a total no brainer. For those of you who want to give it a try, they even offer a free one month trial subscription.
Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Netflix. As always my words and opinions are my own.