Many people believe that children spend too much time on digital devices these days. But if you set aside the time to watch television shows and movies with your children, it can be a great way to bond with them and discover how they see the world.
Winter is the ideal time to start a tradition of family movie, television and game nights. So snuggle up under a blanket and get set to enjoy this special time with your children.
In South Africa, there are several streaming services, but the two major ones are Netflix and Showmax. Netflix is a North American company with an extensive international catalogue plus a growing number of local originals. Showmax is a South African firm offering plenty of local titles as well as an international catalogue.
Other streaming services include the lesser-known Amazon Prime Video with a limited catalogue in South Africa and the relatively new Apple TV+ with shows that are getting more and more attention.
Netflix package prices range from R49 a month for Mobile - which only allows watching on either your phone or tablet - to R199 for the Premium package. If you plan to watch on a smart TV or bigger screen, the Standard or Premium package are the best options. Netflix does not offer free trials, but you can change your plan or cancel online anytime. There are no contracts, no cancellation fees and no commitments.
Showmax packages in SA at the moment are the Standard, Mobile, Pro and Pro Mobile. The mobile packages will give you one stream in SD, so you can stream Showmax on either your smartphone or tablet. The Standard and Pro packages offer two simultaneous HD streams, and the app works on smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and media players, as well as web browsers. Prices range from R39 to R449 a month.
Both Netflix and Showmax have data management tools to help you use data more efficiently. You can also download episodes of your favourite shows or movies while on wi-fi to watch offline later.
Movies just aren’t the same without popcorn, so before settling down to watch your favourite shows get the family involved in making some tasty snacks.
Making your own popcorn at home allows you to control the amount of salt and oil used, making it much healthier than the snacks you may buy. It’s worth buying a popcorn maker so that everyone in the family can make their own. Don't add oil - most popcorn makers use hot air to produce perfectly popped corn.
Other useful kitchen gadgets include:
- Safeway Cupcake Maker (R429 from Clicks), which makes seven cupcakes in 10 minutes. The non-stick cooking plates are ideal for easy lifting and cleaning.
- Safeway Waffle Maker (R249 from Clicks) enables you to prepare waffles in no time.
- If fizzy drinks are popular with your family, a SodaStream or another brand of carbonated drink maker is usually cheaper than buying bottled cooldrinks.
Taking time out of your busy week to watch movies or participate in other activities with your family is one of the best stress relievers there is. Make the most of these precious times; they pass by all too quickly.
Writer : Sarah-Jane Meyer