Summertime sanity: new Netflix features that will make your life easier

This post was sponsored by Netflix. You can check out some of the new family features at Netlfix.com/families.

It seems like most of the country has already started summer, but my kids have school for the rest of the week. I’m equally excited and panicked about them getting out of school. I’m looking forward to some fun and some lazy summer days, but I’m also a little concerned how I will continue to get my work done with all of them home all day. I’m trying to come up with some structure for our day . . . a loose schedule of activities that the kids will rotate through. It will likely involve educational computer games, outside play, music practice, board games, quiet time, and then some Netflix time as a reward if their behavior has been good.

I’m all about reducing screen time, but I’m also not afraid to say that I rely on the video babysitter from time to time. Moderation is key. We’ve been Netflix members forever (something that I enjoy even more now that it no longer involves me losing those red envelopes.) My kids are equally enthusiastic about Netflix, and some recent changes I learned about in my visit to Netflix headquarters last month are going to make it even easier to use for families.

If you have Netflix and children, your profile likely looks a lot like mine:

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It seems like regardless of what I watch, the recommendations Netflix gives us are all kids programming.  They are rolling out a new feature which will allow families to create profiles for different members.

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Another feature I really love is that you can set controls for each profile, so that kids won’t see movie recommendations above the rating that you have pre-selected for them. When a child logs in, it will populate with only recommendations based on what they have watched, and it will keep them in the kid’s section. Also, they will stay logged in on the device until you change it manually.

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I opted to create separate profiles for my girls and boys, since they have really different tastes.  Now, the recommendation I get when I log in are much more appropriate for me:

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I love all of these shows. It’s like Netflix can read my mind. They’ve also got some kind of magical matrix that determines what kind of obscure genres you prefer. I love that this is one of mine:

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And then, when the boys log in, the recommendations look like what they want to watch as well:

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And then there’s the girls:

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I’ve also been queuing up some educational programming, so that it’s not all princesses and superheroes. Netflix has some great learning shows. First, they have a catalog of Leap Frog shows. (I credit this show for teaching India to read at age 4.)

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They’ve also got some fun educational shows with a science bent.

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Our whole family is a sucker for nature documentaries. Most of our family movie nights are spent watching these kinds of shows.

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I don’t know that Netflix will solve my summer panic, but I do think it can give me an hour or two each day to myself, while my kids brush up on spelling and science. Win-win.

Do you have Netflix? What do your kids like to watch? And what are you watching after they go to sleep? We just finished binging on House of Cards.


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