Get your remote on!
There’s still a few weeks to go before schools reopen, so hang in there, mamas! Managing school (home)work, your own job and running the household can be exhausting and we don’t blame you if you just want to switch on the TV and switch off your brain for a bit. We have got plenty of family Netflix picks, some for when you want something educational for the kids (have to keep up the home learning after all!) and for those occasions when everyone just needs some mindless entertainment.
Netflix For Younger Kids
If the kids have had an overdose of home studying, let them enjoy a bit of easy viewing. Light, entertaining and with simple lessons thrown in, these picks are well worth taking a break for.
Sugar Rush: A fun reality TV show about everything…sugar! Delight in all the amazing colour-filled desserts and sweets imagined by contestants who need to impress the judges in order to win $10,000 (USD). You can even try to recreate all the desserts in your own kitchen with the kids and make up your own baking competition. It’s a great indoor activity and guaranteed to win you brownie points – pun intended!
Matilda: This 90’s classic is sure to entertain the little (and not so little) ones! A young genius girl unappreciated by her parents learns to use telekinetic powers to help her favourite teacher (and classmates) get rid of the bullying principal at school. A light and fun comedy based on Roald Dahl’s book.
Space Jam: Michael Jordan, The Looney Tunes and an ultimate basketball game to defeat mean alien monsters – what more could your kids possibly want? You may enjoy watching this with your children as you will recognise many big NBA and Hollywood names. The younger ones will be entertained by Buggs and the gang as they learn to never give up, even in the face of adversity!
Peter Pan: An all-time classic, this Disney animated feature has had its share of live-action adaptations through the years. This version is sure to delight parents and young ones alike, with its action-filled adventures in Neverland with Peter Pan and his pack of Lost Boys as they try to defeat the mean Captain Hook!
Netflix For Older Kids
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before: PS I Still Love You: Your daughters will love this one (the boys will watch it too and hope to be like Noah Centineo). This movie is all about that complex web of teenage romances, friendships and heartbreaks. We have to admit that we’ve watched it too and relived all our firsts (kiss, date, Valentine’s Day) through this sweet rom-com.
Argo: A historical drama produced by Ben Affleck and George Clooney and starring a series of A-list actors, this will certainly keep your hard-to-please teens on the edge of their seats! Set in 1979 in the midst of the Iran revolution, the CIA sets up a rather unconventional rescue mission to safely retrieve six embassy employees. Funny and full of suspense, this movie can initiate conversations about history, political wars and more with the older kids (if in doubt, read reviews and ratings advice before showing it to your children).
The Beginning of Life: The Series: Based on new research and findings in the field of neuroscience, this six-part series tackles how a child’s environment shapes their cognitive, social and emotional development. Supported by UNICEF, it does a great job of exploring the small things around us that can impact a baby’s first days, months and years. It is informative and will appeal to the child looking for something more than just entertainment.
Older kids fall into that awkward age when they believe they are old enough to watch everything that their parents do, even if their mamas don’t quite agree! Look at our suggestions for adults and decide if they are mature enough. If not, you can consider our picks for the whole family below.
Netflix For The Whole Family
Our Planet: A beautiful ode to Earth, but with an important message about the environmental effect humans can have on animals, plants and the entire ecosystem, all around the world. Sometimes sad, but always very impactful, this series is sure to get the whole family thinking. While your little ones will be fascinated by the beautiful creatures (and the spectacular cinematography), older kids will understand a lot about how their choices as consumers can have a big effect on ecology. At this time of school closures and general unease about health, hygiene and human consumption, it’ll be an extremely useful home learning exercise.
Lost In Space: Follow the adventures of this space-age Robinson family with your own. Suitable for tweens and up (check out this ratings advice if needed), you will admire the intelligence and courage of the parents, the bravery and resilience of their children, the loyalty of the beloved Robot and even the mischief and manipulation of Dr Smith. Be warned – once you and the kids get hooked on this series, binge-watching is guaranteed!
Modern Family: Think gay couple with an adopted daughter and a father who marries a woman the same age as his children. Sounds like a lot? But it’s just what we call a modern family! A fun-filled and hilarious show with anecdotes to please both kids and parents alike.
Looking for more suggestions? Atypical follows the life of an autistic teenager and Kim’s Convenience is about a Korean immigrant family in Canada – both teach diversity and inclusion in the most light-hearted way.
Netflix For When The Kids Are Asleep
Babies: Filmed over three years, this documentary follows the lives of 15 newborns and their families from around the globe, as scientists use the latest technology to understand how infants learn and adapt to the world around them. This is sure to make you realise that your little ones are shaped and influenced by their environment, even more than you might think.
Weed The People: This documentary (as you will have guessed by the title) exposes some controversial opinions on the use of medical marijuana to treat cancer, especially in young children. As this new form of treatment is gaining ground around the world, follow families trying to fight for research and development to better understand the effects of medical marijuana to ultimately have a chance to save their kids.
Workin’ Moms: A hilarious series that is unapologetic and honest. Any new mother who has had to go back to work shortly after giving birth will identify with this one, as it exposes the struggles and the joys of family life, friendship and career.
Blue Jasmine: Jasmine finds her life collapsing around her as her marriage ends with the arrest of her husband for financial fraud. Now in debt and having suffered from a nervous breakdown, she flees New York for San Francisco, to seek refuge with her sister. A dark comedy by Woody Allen, it’s the story of a woman who must do what it takes to survive and adapt, although she will soon realise there are some secrets you can’t run away from.
Still not found something you fancy? Not to worry as Netflix has an abundance of options. Try Rumor Has It, a fun film where Jennifer Anniston realises that the 1967 movie, The Graduate, may be based on her own life (the protagonist, her mum and grandmum all sleep with the same man – this one is best enjoyed with a glass of wine, rather than with the little ones!). Another oldie but goldie that’s available is Lost in Translation and, although it’s set in Tokyo, you might find some similarities to life here in Hong Kong.