In the wake of a pandemic virus spreading throughout the world, many cities and states have issued social distancing measures & self-quarantine advice. For some, a complete lockdown is now in order to flatten the curve of COVID-19 and to keep their communities safe.
Many online services have begun offering free subscriptions or video streaming for people to stay connected, social, & active. Schools around the country have implemented e-learning procedures in the hopes of keeping kids on track with their current academic year despite not being in school for what is starting to look like months.
Meanwhile, parents like myself are scrambling for ways to keep our always stimulated, never quiet, never without something to “do,” kids happy during times of isolation.
Netflix’s Chrome extension allows users to invite friends and family to join an online “movie party”, allowing everyone to sync up to the same movie at the same time.
Netflix Party has become a staple in our house as a way to keep my kids entertained AND feeling social without leaving the house or painting my couches with watercolors.
It’s almost like actually going to a movie theater… except the popcorn isn’t as good, and there isn’t an annoying jerk talking on their phone throughout the entire movie (well, that might still be happening. Truth be told, I’M that jerk right now).
What’s great about this extension is that it allows kids to stay connected by chatting with friends online, and to create fun usernames & avatars.
Kids can communicate in a comment thread while likely not paying any attention to the movie at all, but that’s fine because: THEY. ARE. ENTERTAINED.
Best of all, it’s free! While many of us are out of work right now, let’s take ALL the free entertainment options we can get, amirite?
Here’s everything you need to know in order to host your own Netflix online “party”:
- Most importantly, you have to have a Netflix account in order to run them together or to join someone else’s party. If you don’t have a subscription, there’s no better time than now to get one!
- Netflix Party is a Google Chrome extension, so it only works on Google Chrome browsers. You need to install the extension before trying to create any “parties”. It;s located in the Google Chrome Web Store.
- You or your kids can then send an invite to friends to join you. Once they do, you will all be synced up and able to watch the movie/show of your choice as it streams for every “party” member at the same time.
- There is a chat option, but it’s only open to those in the group that you’ve created; you can also opt to not show the chat screen at all when you start the party.
PARENT PRO TIP: If you hand your kids some headphones, it makes this activity SUPER quiet. (WIN!)
We all need to be creative in staying connected to our family & friends while in the midst of social distancing. It’s not easy- our kids miss having playdates, hanging out at the mall, and seeing their peers in school.
Netflix’s cool new Party Extension option is a fun way for people to still enjoy a “movie night” with friends, so be sure to check it out!