Unlike most toddlers, my son enjoys sitting down and watching a full length movie. There are very few TV shows that grab his attention, but I will mention two here that he loves! He doesn’t want 15 minute clips, he wants a one-and-a-half-hour feature film; the whole enchilada (clearly I’m craving Mexican food #pregnancy)!
Like most American households, we love and utilize Netflix on a daily basis. My two-year-old can navigate through the app on his IPad better than I can on the TV. He has his select movies and Netflix original series that he defaults to watching every single day. I’m not exaggerating when I say EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I could probably act out every one of these movies and each episode of the shows word for word. Good thing he has good taste in his digital selections.
* Yes! My two-year-old son has an IPad and I’m OK with that. He uses it for much more than watching movies and shows. He plays educational games about shapes, colors, sizes, letters, numbers, and spelling. I’ve witnessed the benefits of using the IPad at a young age. *
Here are my son’s top 5 Netflix movies and shows:
This movie was one of the first movies my son watched all the way through. There are certain parts *SPOILER* such as Judy being scratched in the face by Gideon or when Nick goes back in time to relive his saddening experience with the boy scouts, that he is not a fan of. He is very empathetic child, and when he sees his favorite characters go through a hard time, it breaks him down.
When the opening credits start and he sees young Judy enter the screen, he squeals in delight, laughs, jumps up and down, and screams “JUDY!!!” When he’s not feeling well or when he just wants to sit down and relax, this is the movie he goes for.
I will say, as a parent, I enjoy watching this movie. There are plenty of jokes only understood by adults and the storyline is something I can get behind. I want my son to believe that he can do anything he puts his mind to, just like Judy who became the first bunny cop in Zootopia history. As his biggest advocate, I know he can!
Justin Time Go!:
This Netflix original series is great for your little explorer. It follows a young boy named Justin and his two imaginary friends, Olive and Squidgy, who go back in history and travel the world. He goes to Alaska, Germany, the Polynesian Islands, and other far off destinations.
Each episode focuses on a particular lesson that kids face on day-to-day basis. For example, the importance of going to bed and getting a good nights sleep or facing your fears. If you have an older child, this is a great show for them to not only learn about the world, but to become more self-aware as they continue to develop and grow.
I think my son has a crush on the character Olive, because he often stops dead in his tracks when she comes on the screen. She is the voice of reason for Justin and it appears for my son as well. I often catch him mimicking Olive’s statements, i.e. “cuckoo clock”, “let’s go!”, or “be patient.” I love that this show encourages my son to step outside of his current vocabulary and phrase words together.
Dreamwork’s Troll Hunters:
“JIM!!!!” is currently being screamed into my ear by my two-year-old. This Netflix original series created by Guillermo del Toro, is quite possibly my son’s favorite show to watch. It’s the story of a young boy, Jim and his friends, both troll and human, as they try to save two worlds from destruction.
You think “trolls? Geeze that must scare your son, right?” Well, you are wrong! My son often acts out the role of troll hunter, pointing his toy sword, a stick, light saber, whatever he can get his hands on, taking on the “baaaadddd guuuuuuuuyssss!” as he likes to put it. He can easily differentiate between the “good” trolls and the “bad” trolls.
We have watched this series as a family, because it’s great, about 7 or 8 times all the way through. I often catch jokes that I missed the time before as we re-watch and re-watch the series over and over again. This show gets two thumbs up from my entire clan.
Hotel Transylvania 2:
Adam Sandler’s second installment of the Hotel Transylvania movie series is frequently observed in my household. Both Hotel Transylvania movies are cute and family-friendly. Even though it is rated PG for action, rude humor, and “scary” images, I don’t think it’s inappropriate for my son to watch.
As Dracula works towards bringing out the vampire in his grandson, who is half human and half monster, he learns the lesson of accepting his grandson for who he is. The movie really focuses on the importance of being true to yourself as well as the love of family.
My son often points at Dennis, the young boy, and says “you, you, you!” Which is my son’s terms, “you” is how he refers to himself. Dennis has curly red hair just like my son, so essentially in my toddler’s eyes they are the same person.
Pixar’s Finding Dory:
The pitter patter of small feet runs across the house as my son runs to his room to collect his stuffed Dory. He embraces the plush fish in both arms and gazes lovingly at the screen as the Pixar logo appears. His eyes light right up!
We are currently learning all of our animals, in particular sea life, so my son loves to watch all of the sea critters interact and come together at the aquarium within the movie. The beluga whale, played by Ty Burrell, cracks my son up! His little giggles echo throughout the house. It’s one of my favorite sounds in the world!
Even though my son is young, Finding Dory has encouraged us to talk to my son about holding our hands, staying close, and not running away. I mentioned earlier that he is extremely empathetic, so when Dory is separated from her family, his little heart breaks into a million pieces, but by the end of the movie he is whole again. We explain the sadness he is experiencing along with Dory, is what happens when we run away from mommy and daddy. So, when we ask if he is going to stay close to us and always hold our hand, he wildly shakes his head yes and says “Okay!” We just love Finding Dory and all that it offers our little one.
These are just 5 of the many wonderful selections Netflix has to offer in terms of show and movies for toddlers. My son likes what he likes and he always go right back to these 5 selections time after time.