Keeping your toddler entertained with Netflix

Chaplin cartoon on Netflix

The babysitter’s back. The little black box with the apple on it and the welcoming neon red that is NETFLIX.

It all came about because Mammy has been a little bit under the weather lately and she made the very pleasing and very practical discovery that she could move the Apple TV up to the bedroom and watch back to back boxsets on it, undisturbed. Thank you morning sickness for something.

This Mammy move came with the bonus of toddler taming each and every morning. Instead of getting up and going downstairs like a normal mother and daughter would, we have for the past number of weeks not been getting up at all, but doing a shuffle from the toddler’s cot back to Mammy’s bed and saying morning to the babysitter. The black box apple babysitter. The childminder that is Netflix.

Parent of the year? Nope. Is the toddler happy? Yep.

While Mammy just about manages to fetch a boppy and some breakfast for us (biscuits or you know if we’re doing really well… toast – all over the bed, only on Daddy’s side though, haha), she has been busy staring at all the Netflix characters that come up in batches on the screen.

Using the power of the word ‘NJEH’ we have trialled and watched the following programmes to the approval of the child. We can now recommend the following, having lasted more than four minutes on each of them. (That’s the toddler test).

Paw Patrol

paw patrol gang

Now much as I can’t stand Ryder and his pup pup boogie, (read all about the Paw Patrol hate here), the small one LOVES it. There have been days when we’ve gone through every character on the screen but something about those pill popping pups appearing has her squealing in her nappy. I’d love to know what it is, because then I too could makes millions and keep all the children in the world happy. But I’ve no idea. I only know that this programme is beloved of children and detested by parents. And if it keeps them quiet, well that’s parenting in a nutshell, isn’t it? If you really don’t know what to put on, choose this, every time. Netlix have recently added a ton of new episodes. (Be still my joyous heart).

Angry Birds Toons

angry birds toons

August is just about to turn two so she’s at a level where she likes quite simplistic cartoons where there’s lots of movement and colour. (Anything with too much dialogue turns her off). Angry Birds, in a simliar vein to Teletubbies, use sounds as opposed to language so she loves it. If you’re familiar with the game you’ll know that the music is addictive, so you’ll find that here. The cartoons are short and turn over quickly, something she also enjoys. A bonus find for us.



While we’re keeping with simplistic theme, we’ve watched quite a few Pocoyo. This cartoon is narrated by Stephen Fry and is set on a white background – so the movement really appeals to her. I’m not quite sure what it’s about – it involves the character Pocoyo fannying about with his pink elephant for most of the time, but you could listen to Stephen Fry all day, so, grand.


Timmy Time

timmy time

Oh Timmy. We LOVE Timmy. It’s a pity there’s only two long episodes available but we’ve watched them on repeat. One is where Timmy the sheep goes to the beach and the other is the Christmas special. So very seasonal. Timmy Time is an expert at using sounds instead of words – it’s all vocals with no language at all, but it’s filled with movement and storyline. I’m not sure if there’s a relationship between Wallace and Gromit’s Shaun the Sheep and Timmy Time (they look identical) but the long episodes really work for us.

Shrek Stories

shrek stories

Shrek is the business. Packed with clever script for the parents, filled with just the right appeal for the childers. Shrek Stories are four shorts which you watch together or separately – together they make up about an hour and twenty minutes. She has watched them all and while it probably isn’t her favourite,  as she prefers really bright colours, she still keeps quiet and watches without getting up and walking away. (Winning).


chaplin cartoon

I’ve noticed that the toddler head is really drawn to programmes with good music, particularly orchestral music. It was the hubby who discovered that she loves Chaplin and I feel most of that’s down to the score. This French made cartoon depicts a cartoon version of the silent character we all know and love –  Charlie Chaplin – and it’s really worth a watch. Ooh la la. I’ve been teaching her that.

So that’s our roundup for the past few weeks. We’ve also been watching some of our TV favourites like Curious George and Masha and the Bear. Movie wise, since Frozen disappeared (sob!) we turned to Gnomeo and Juliet and if she’s in the mood for it, she will sit through it almost to the end. gnomeo and julietShe very rarely watches a whole movie without getting up at some point and moving off and that’s fine as she’s still young and I like to see her play and occupy herself rather than staring at the screen all day. (Says the mother of the year! Ha).

Just so social services don’t turn up the doorstep, I would like to point out that I also read her stories and play with jigsaws and shit. The babysitting service has only been heavily employed lately due to the ongoing illness as discussed above.

What have you been watching on Netflix lately? Anything similar to us? And what appeals to your toddler? I’d love to hear your own (Shrek) tales. Geddit?*

*May actually have gone mad due to ongoing illness.

I’m a member of the Netflix Stream Team and receive complimentary Netflix streaming for review purposes. All views my own.

December Girl is now available on Audio. Visit Amazon or Audible or click on the cover below to download.

December Girl audiobook
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