What should we watch on Netflix? A Family-friendly Reality Show Edition

I don't know about you, but I see many Facebook posts asking, "What should we watch next on Netflix?"

This month I thought I would save you the ask and share some of our favourite reality shows to watch as a family.

These are the shows that we watch when I don't want to watch any more Naruto or Dicky, Ricky, Nicky and Dawn (or whatever order their names go in), Victorious, and Richie Rich.

These reality shows are a good compromise for us because there isn't too much adult content for the kids, but still interesting enough that the adults don't want to immediately leave the room. :)

Note: My kids are almost 9 and 11 so some of these shows might not be appropriate for younger kids.

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Reality TV Shows We Love

We've watched a lot of cooking shows lately and there are some really fun ones:

Zumbo's Just Desserts makes us all think we can become incredible pastry chefs, and we love the drama of the "mean guy" - because there's always a mean guy in a reality show with eliminations right? :)

The Big Family Cooking Showdown - Teams of three people, all family members, come together to compete against another family to create a meal for under $10, family favourites (made in their own kitchens) in under 90 minutes, and a meal to 'impress the neighbours' in an hour and 15 minutes. They may be good cooks, but are they good cooks under pressure and on a timeline?! Is Gramma helpful or just bossy? Was bringing the teenager to help you a good idea or should you have brought your cousin instead?!

Skin Wars - While there is a bit of nudity in this show, it is all very tasteful and the artistry is FANTASTIC. My only concern with the show is that the kids wanted to see RuPaul's other reality show, and RuPaul's Drag Race is not appropriate for my kids yet (though I watched it after Skin Wars and admit, it is totally fantastic).

Beastmaster - This is kind of like American Ninja Warrior. We love watching the competitors from different countries try to make it through this race that we couldn't make it through the first four feet of!

Are there any other family-friendly reality TV shows on Netflix that you watch that we should add to our list? Have you watched any of our favourites?

Disclosure: We are part of the Netflix Stream team and receive perks (like Netflix giveaways!), but all opinions are our own.

Our favourite Netflix shows for kids (because it's too cold to go outside!)

There's something decadent about lying on the couch watching tv, snuggled up in a cozy blanket while it's freezing outside.

This holiday season it has been especially freezing here in Ottawa (thanks Polar Vortex!) and I've been happy to intersperse some Netflix between the lego building and all the socializing (seriously, the Holidays can be a bit overwhelming for an introvert, especially if you have a lot of family in town.)

So we've been especially thankful for Netflix and I thought I'd share some favourite shows from our household. But, because my kids are a bit older, I also asked our community to share some of their favourite shows.

I struggled to categorize these so know that my 8 year olds watch shows from all these categories so I'm just generalizing and guessing here ;) Happy watching!

Younger Kids (3-7 ish)

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Full House / Fuller House - ( Editor's note: my kids have watched ALL of the old show and love the new show just as much. There's a lot of nostalgia when they're watching this (though I can't handle more than an episode or two at a time ;

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Annie (the new one, though the classic movie is there too :) )

Nicky Ricky Dicky and Dawn

The Croods

Troll Hunters

Teen Titans Go

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King Julien

Larva

Spirit

Skylanders Academy

 

Tweens (9/10-14ish)

Naruto

Cheer Squad

Project Mc2

Lost and Found Music Studios - (Editor's note: now that we're getting into these types of shows I find them harder to just tune out like the little kid shows and find myself watching these even though I also think they're a total waste of my time. Just a bit of a warning ;)

Victorious

Would you add any others to the list? Leave a comment and let us know!

disclosure: We are part of the Netflix Stream team and receive perks (like Netflix giveaways!), all opinions are our own.

Entertainment Essentials when travelling with kids

Whether you are heading out on a road trip or flying on an airplane, travelling with kids can be tricky. It can be difficult to find things to keep them busy, to keep them entertained and to keep them from fighting. I remember road trips when I was a kid – I was lucky enough to be able to read in a moving vehicle, but my brother was not, which meant he spent most of his time figuring out ways to get me in trouble. Because of this, I am not surprised that 1 in 5 Canadian parents say one of their main concerns when travelling is keeping their kids entertained.

Whether you have one child or six kids, it is inevitable you will hear, "ARE WE THERE YET?" at least a dozen times during any given trip. On a recent family trip to New York City, my husband and I heard it at least 100 times from my daughter when our plane got delayed by a couple of hours and we were already on the other side of security and customs.

Nowadays kids are lucky to have technology to keep them busy, including tablets and iPads filled with games, educational apps, and of course, Netflix. Netflix is great for keeping kids busy at the airport, but what about when there isn’t WiFi? Luckily, Netflix now has downloadable TV shows and movies – for young kids, tweens, and teens (and adults, too).

While I consider myself tech-savvy, downloading e-books from the library can be somewhat of a challenge for me, but downloading TV shows and movies from Netflix is easy-peasy. Just remember that although you will be able to watch downloaded TV shows and movies without an internet connection, you will need an internet connection to download content with the Netflix app. 

I was so happy we decided to download a bunch of television shows and movies from Netflix onto our family iPad. Even though most airports say they have free WiFi - it's not always reliable (or free). My daughter was able to plug in her headset and watch a new downloaded movie from her Netflix app and keep herself entertained during our delay - and forgot all about wondering if we were there yet. ;)

So, if you’re travelling with kids this holiday season and are looking for movies and TV shows that will keep everyone entertained here are some tried and true downloadable titles: 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (PG)

This classic Christmas movie needs no introduction. A perfect film for Dr. Suess fans and for the holiday season!

The Christmas Bunny (PG)  

The Christmas Bunny follows the unfortunate story of a foster child who finds an injured rabbit on Christmas Eve. She takes the rabbit to a lonely woman that runs an animal shelter on her farm, who helps her nurse it back to health. The two become quick-friends and the story is nothing short of Chrismas magic.

Elf (PG)

The story of Buddy the Elf, who is raised by elves at the North Pole, but quickly realizes he is more human than an elf. The search for his real dad results in hilarious and heartwarming comedy that will have viewers of all ages laughing. This movie is a household classic and we watch it at least a dozen times during the holiday season.

Netflix travel essentials

Arthur Christmas (PG)

An animated movie that tells the story of how Santa's clumsy son Arthur gets put on a mission with St. Nick's father to give out a present they misplaced to a young girl.

Full House

A 1990s classic sitcom that is entertaining for kids and adults alike. A widowed father enlists the help of his brother-in-law and his best friend to help him raise his three daughters. This television show is funny and also has some good life lessons for kids. It's good-hearted fun for kids 7 and up.

The Little Rascals movie (PG)

A 1990s humourous remake of the 1930s classic TV shows with Spanky, Alfalfa, Darla and the rest of the gang. Through mischief and mayhem, tricks, ingenuity (and some potty humour), the rascals will learn the value of true friendship. 

Matilda (PG)

Based on the novel by Roald Dahl this is the heartwarming story of a wonderful little girl, who happens to be a genius.

The Cat in the Hat (PG)

Fun for kids who are fans of Dr. Suess - but intended for an audience of about 8+ due to some crude humour. The movie version sees two bored children have their lives turned upside down when a talking cat comes to visit, but with some added humour and chaos.

HOP (PG)

E.B., the Easter Bunny's teenage son, heads to Hollywood to become a drummer in a rock 'n' roll band, when he gets into abit of mischeif thanks to a slcaker named Fred.

To find a show or movie you may want to download for your family, check out the Available for Download’ menu on the Netflix app on your mobile or tablet device and browse all of the titles available to take with you whenever and wherever you want.

What are your picks for TV shows and movies to download from Netflix Canada before travelling? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment. 

Disclosure: KITC is part of the Netflix Stream team and receive perks (like Netflix giveaways!), all opinions are our own - and in the case, my daughter's who has watched all of these downloads on our road trips to Sudbury, ON to visit family.

TV for kids : Netflix

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by Lara

Although I don't like to admit how much we rely on tv when things get crazy, we do. Sometimes you just need an episode of Backyardigans or Barney to get you through until dinnertime.

If you had asked me a year ago if I would ever consider getting rid of cable you would have heard a resounding NO! The main reason? Because I couldn't do without the children's programming.

We still have basic cable but I'm leaning closer and closer to getting rid of it altogether now that we've found Netflix.

Netflix is a company that offers streaming video via the internet (they will also mail dvds and bluray to your house although I'm not sure that service is available in Canada.  If it's something you're interested in, zip.ca does offer it here).

What does that mean? You can watch what you want when you want to.

The content on Netflix is limited to a certain extent, but the kids' content is really great! They have all the seasons of Backyardigans, they have tons of Barney, Blue's Clues, Sesame Street and other fun things like Pingu and Pink Panther (+much more!). My kids can always find something they would love to watch.

You can stream netflix through your tv by using your wii or xbox, or by getting a device like Apple TV. You can also log in from your mobile devices or from anyone else's wifi (although you'll be eating up their bandwidth).  The best part is it only costs $7.99 a month (and they do a month free trial)! Try it out and let me know what you think!

This is not an ad or in any way paid for by Netflix - I just really like the service. :)

Lara Wellman is mom to 4 year old Kiernan and 2 year old twins Quinn and Juliette. You can read her personal blog at Gliding Through Motherhood, about her weight loss journey at Losing it in Ottawa, and her social media blog at Larawellman.com

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