Own an Xbox 360, Playstation 3, or Nintendo Wii? Get Netflix.

If you have children, than you know that one of the hardest things to do is to keep them entertained. Unlike adults, children seem to need constant mental stimulus and can not “just sit there” like you and I could. They always need something to do. Some of us have children who can’t just go outside on their own because they are too young to venture out without adult supervision and because some of us adults also lead busy lives, we can’t always accompany them so we must find alternative means of keeping them occupied.

That is where Netflix comes in. If you own an Xbox 360, Sony Playstation 3, or a Nintendo Wii, I highly recommend that all parents subscribe to the Netflix service. For as little as $9/month, you will be able to rent 1 DVD at a time from Netflix’s vast library of movies. However, the major advantage to Netflix over something like Blockbuster is that Netflix offers a giant library of movies available for streaming over the internet. That is where the above 3 game consoles come into play. Each are able to stream movies directly from the Netflix server straight to your TV. The Xbox 360 does it right out of the box while the PS3 and Wii require a disc to be used that you can order free from Netflix.

Netflix has a huge library of educational children’s programming from sources like Nick Jr, PBS, and others. There are shows on there like Thomas the Tank Engine, Blue’s Clues, Dora the Explorer, Diego, Bob the Builder, and many others. Much of this stuff you can watch already if you have cable or satellite but with Netflix, your child can choose what to watch when they want. There is so much content for children on Netflix that it is possible for them to watch something new every day instead of watching reruns on TV all the time. Netflix even has popular children’s movies for streaming such as Monsters Inc or Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.

For me personally, Netflix has been a huge lifesaver. There are times when I need to do work at home and I just don’t have the time to spend with my son like I would like. Since I have all 3 gaming systems, he can watch Netflix pretty much in any room of the house and since I choose what he watches, I know that it will be something educational and not some mindless cartoon with no real educational benefit. Netflix has also saved me loads of money since I no longer need to buy much of these DVD’s as I have access to them anytime I want as long as I keep my Netflix subscription.

On a side note, please don’t use Netflix as a replacement to spending time with your child. Netflix and TV in general are great for short term distractions if you need some time to yourself to get some work done but please don’t just leave your child plopped in front of a TV screen for hours and hours. Spend physical time with your children as well whether it be something outdoors or just playing with LEGOs. Remember, kids grow up fast and the older they get, the more you will appreciate the time you spent with them when they were younger and actually wanted to spend time with you.

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