As a member of the Netflix Stream Team, each month I share a reason why I love Netflix. This month that reason is documentaries.
As a work outside the home mom, every summer I have to decide where my kids can stay so that they will supervised, safe, happy, and (somewhat) entertained. For the last several years that has been daycare. The transition from after school care to summer was pretty easy. This summer, however, they made it very clear that they wanted to stay at home so I hired a sitter, even though I was a little worried it was the best option.
For one, daycare did a pretty good job of keeping the kids entertained. They had friends to play (and fight) with, and the daycare took them on at least one field trip a week (which I had to pay extra for). I was also worried about them being home and doing nothing but watching TV or playing video games all day. I didn’t want them to turn into couch potatoes over the summer.
I put together a loose schedule for the sitter to follow during the day. All electronics are supposed to be turned off in the morning. They play games with each other, go to the library, play outside, do chores each day, and practice school work to keep them from losing ground over the summer. I have also tried to plan some field trip activities for them. They have been to the movies, the water park, and even on a short hike at our local state park. So far it has been great. I can tell that they are a lot happier being at home.
Another option (that we haven’t explored yet, but will) is what I like to call “edutainment” in the form of documentaries. Kids love to learn in ways that don’t feel like learning, and documentaries are great for that. They get to watch TV while learning about something other than how to build a portal to the slay the Ender Dragon in Minecraft.
Netflix makes it easy with tons of documentaries that can be streamed right into your home. Have a kid interested in dinosaurs? Space? The ocean? They are sure to find something that connects with their interests. To search for something they enjoy you can look at different subgenres like biographical, military, sports, music, travel and adventure, science, and cultural.
Need more suggestions. Check out these titles for big kids:
Want even more brain-boosting titles? Our friends at Common Sense Media shared 12 age-appropriate documentaries that encourage kids to explore worlds they may not normally encounter, all currently streaming on Netflix – check out the list here.
For educational programming for the younger kids, check out these titles:
What are some of favorite documentaries that you or your kids have enjoyed on Netflix?