If you are a parent who lets their kids use the iPad for road trip entertainment, I’m sure you’ve encountered this very scenario: You are just about to drive-off on your road trip adventure, so you strap your child into their carseat, hand them an iPad and finish loading in your last minute items into your vehicle. Your child is so eager to start watching a show that they immediately turn on Netflix and fire up one of their favorite shows. About five minutes later, when you start pulling out of the driveway to start on your journey, your kid starts freaking out! “MOM! DAD! My show isn’t working!! Somethings wrong!” And for the 100th time you must explain that Netflix ONLY works when you are on wifi IN the house, not in the car. Cue the crying and gnashing of teeth (no? just my kids?) and they will have to find something else on the iPad to entertain them for the drive.
Well, I’m hear to tell you, that you can now spare your kids waterworks because Netflix downloads is finally here!
Ok, well, it’s been here for a few months, but if you haven’t discovered it yet, let me tell you a little bit about how it works and why I think it’s magical!
Recently, we packed up our three kids (aged six and under) and made the 21+ hour trek from Toronto to Orlando Florida. I grew up driving to Florida (from Ottawa) as we have family that live down there, so this is a drive that I am very used to. This is probably why I enjoy roadtrips so much!
But when we were kids, we had next to NOTHING to keep us entertained while driving. I can remember when I finally got a walkman and was THRILLED to listen to my OWN music for the drive. Then came the era of discman’s and I can remember cradling it just right in my hands to try and avoid the CD skipping with every bump in the road.
But iPads, DVD players and media stations were totally unheard of back then. Truly, it’s a wonder how we ever survived! HA!
Fast forward to the present, I cannot imagine travelling these kind of distances with three young kids, and NO media! I have NEVER been more grateful for iPads!
But two years ago when we did the same trek to Florida, I can remember desperately trying to figure out how to download some of the kids shows so that they would have access to something to watch during the drive. It was complicated for us to figure out and took up an enormous amount of space on the hard drive.
This time around, however, was completely different thanks to Netflix downloads! With Netflix, each of our kids have their own profile under our account. This keeps track of the show preferences that each child has and makes its easier for them to find what they love. Along with that, you can now download your child’s favorite shows, under each individual profile, for them to watch OFFLINE! This is PERFECT for kids who travel or even for those dicy moments in a restaurant where you will do just about anything for them to calm down (come on, we’ve all been there!)
These downloads are available worldwide to Netflix users and cost no additional charge.
Now, there are two important things to note with the downloads. First, not everything is available for download. From my understanding, Netflix switches up with is available and what is not on a regular basis. So there are some limitations (although we never had any issue finding loads of options for our kids). Secondly, the downloads expire. This totally makes sense because you don’t own the shows or videos you are watching, so naturally, like with a video rental, there will be a “return” date. So if you’ve downloaded shows for the kids one time, don’t assume that the next time you go out, it will still be there. Double check so that if it’s expired, you can re-download it.
You can find ‘My Downloads’ under each individual profile. Click on the three lines in the top left corner and a side menu will appear. You will see a section that says ‘My Downloads’ and that is where they will be stored. You can also find in there what is available for download as well!
To all the parents out there who travel, I say, “You’re welcome!”