Archives for category: Netflix Stream Team

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fan of Netflix, mainly due to their view-on-demand format, their collection of programming I’ve never seen before and the award-winning drama from their own productions – I really liked House of Cards.

I tried another Netflix series called Lilyhammer – not very good. I liked the Swedish setting, but the Italian mafia clichés were a bit too much. Then a friend recommended another Netflix production – Orange is the New Black. I read the blurb and wasn’t that interested. I thought it sounded like the aftermath an older programme called Weeds, which I enjoyed it, but never got past series two.

However, one sleepless night I decided to give ‘Orange…’ a try. I was in bed and could watch it on my smart phone – comparable to other local television station apps, this was easy. The dialogue between the characters is great. I decided to get out of bed and watched a few more on the tv. Brilliant scripts – funny, political, emotional characters. There are flashbacks to the characters previous life, giving the viewer a better understanding of the key players in the series. I couldn’t stop watching.

So, in order to feed my new ‘addiction’, I had to create a distraction for the kids when I wanted to escape to watch another episode. Thankfully, our Netflix subscription allows me to watch ‘Orange…’ and the kids can still access their favourite Netflix programmes as well. I watch on a mobile device in the kitchen (while tidying up after dinner & washing the dishes) and they get to watch cartoons on the television. Their favourite programmes at the moment are Word Girl, The Magic Roundabout, Wild Kratts, Pokemon, and Total Drama. Education and entertainment for all of us!

Before anyone thinks we are constantly watching tv, let me share that we also spend a lot of time outdoors. This summer has brought plenty of sunshine so we had many days on the beach, meeting friends in parks and playgrounds – we even sheltered from the sun in shaded forests because the sun was so warm. We went camping in the back garden, joined a group of friends in a new outdoor ecological space outside the city and explored west Cork. Then our family holiday was up the west coast to Galway and Mayo.

Driving from Cork, the trip can be a few hours so road trip entertainment for the kids is essential. We have a few games we play on these trips, but we also listen and sing along to music. My wife is great for making up compilations that entertain the kids, which, admittedly, I struggle through some of the time. The latest cd (remember them?!) in the car involves a lot of pop music – Katie Perry, 1 Direction, Beyoncé, and thankfully Rodrigo y Gabriela (this is not pop music!).

The Katie Perry stuff is a bit more manageable to listen to, because I heard she is very involved in the song and music writing – saw this on her documentary [available on Netflix]. Whereas, the 1 Direction stuff is annoying when an intro to one of their songs is very similar to a song by The Who – definitely a bit of ‘creativity’ by the 1D manufacturing team, rather than the band!! However, my daughter loves the 1D music and it’s great to see her sing and dance to it all. She even sang a song at a recent event – in front of approximately 100 people; so that’s impressive. Netflix have a few musical movies and programmes at the moment, so I think we have a few resources to watch over the coming months. And it will help distract me while I wait for the next season of ‘Orange is the New Black’! 🙂

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When I was growing up I was amazed at the interest my cousin had in animals. He spent most of his spare time reading about them, and he’s still the same. I didn’t have much of an interest. We didn’t have pets growing up – with the exception of a pup for three weeks! (He nipped a neighbour and was sent to a great big park somewhere!?) So, animals and pets are a new concept to me.

Now I see my children showing an interest in animals that helps me learn more about them as well. We have hens, a goldfish and a cat. Their numbers fluctuate over the years – the hens are fairly constant, the goldfish started with one, then two, then back to one. The cat likes travelling so he is like a teenager in the family – you see him when you see him. Oh, and we used to have a hamster or some small furry animal thing. It was more of a nocturnal creature so we rarely saw it during the day. I suppose it was also like a teenager.

Anyway, thankfully the interest we have in animals is easily fed when you look online. We have a few animal books in the house, but everyone has to agree the attraction of moving pictures is often more appealing to children (and some adults). Our main source of tv programming is through Netflix, so over the years my daughter has moved through the various age appropriate animated shows. There is a wide collection of shows that use animals or anthropomorphic characters telling a tale or sharing information. It’s a great source of learning.

Television shows are very informative nowadays, and many do a great job in making it entertaining and appealing to children and adults. While growing up, I learnt a lot from watching tv, and complimented this with reading; so I’m not the kind of parent that thinks tv is bad. Therefore, watching a selection of shows is a tool for learning used in this house.

I’m not a fan of Peppa Pig (earlier shows are very sexist), but the kids love it. However, the selection of other shows on Netflix is a great distraction. I’ve enjoyed, and continue to watch with my youngest, the talented works of Maurice Sendak’s Little Bear, Clifford the Dog, and more recently Wild Kratts. The latter is great and the information on animals is fascinating. Other shows that are watched here are Bubble Guppies (which has a great ‘rap’ for going outside) Animal Mechanicals (pre-engineering course), Busytown Mysteries (problem solving), and then for entertainment (very important part of all ages of growing up) we have watched Babar, Snow Dogs, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, and Open Season.

It’s great to have days outdoors, with (possible) sunshine, nature and fresh air. But if you happen to have a day indoors, I’d definitely recommend watching some of these shows with your child. You can switch off from adulthood and learn or be entertained with your child. Enjoy!

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Note: this post is part of the Netflix Stream Team promotion. As usual, all words and thoughts are my own.