New Year’s Eve always caused a conflict in my house when the kids were younger. We wanted them to go to bed at a decent hour (because we knew they’d still wake up at the crack of dawn, regardless of when they went to bed), while they wanted to stay up late and celebrate.
Netflix has come up with a solution to make everyone happy–search “Countdowns” in Netflix to bring up a list of 3-minute mini episodes of Word Party, Puffin Rock, Luna Petunia, Beat Bugs, All Hail King Julien, Skylanders Academy, Trollhunters, Project MC2, Fuller House, and Chasing Cameron. Each has a short in front of the ten-second countdown to tie things together (otherwise they’d be rather abrupt) and maybe even give your kids one last educational tip before 2016 ends (the Project MC2 clip has a quick lesson about Pi). Wait until it gets dark, coast thirty minutes or so past bedtime, and when you see the first yawn, queue up whichever show works best in your house. You all get to celebrate together, and the kids won’t be zombies the next day.
But what about the next morning? The kids might get to bed on time, but the same can’t be said for you. Netflix has a solution for that too. They’ve compiled a list of the 15 most bingeable kid-friendly shows on the service, the ones that kids routinely watch back-to-back (including quite a few GeekDad and GeekMom favorites):
- Ask the StoryBots
- Best Friends Whenever
- Dragons: Race to the Edge
- Ever After High
- LEGO Friends: The Power of Friendship
- Mako Mermaids
- My Babysitter’s a Vampire
- Pokemon: Indigo League
- Project Mc2
- Skylanders Academy
- The Adventures of Puss in Boots
- The Batman
- The Deep
- Voltron: Legendary Defender
Find a favorite show in the list, add it to your Watchlist (or even better, queue up an episode before you go to bed), and tell the kids they’re clear to watch their shows in the morning.
Netflix even created a door hanger that you can employ to deflect the inevitable 6 AM wake up shake as your kids ask whether or not they can watch a show (even if the answer is always, always “Yes”). Write in how many eps your little ones can watch, hang it somewhere they’ll see it, and catch an extra bit of shut-eye on New Year’s Day (I do wish they had included more shows on the hangar, but that’s what Photoshop is for). Think of it as the Netflix Fairy.
Some might scoff and dismiss this all as “parenting by TV” and maybe there is an element of that, but the result is happier kids and happier parents. Isn’t that how you want to start 2017?
Happy New Year!