Here’s What America Is Streaming to Survive Being Stuck At Home With Kids

“Frozen II” is our new virtual babysitter.

Yvan Cohen/Getty

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With schools shut down and residents under some kind of stay-at-home order in most states, millions of people are working from home, often with children lurking, bickering, and screaming in the background. Yet when Zoom calls are too important to ignore or we need to get through a few hours of work, we can always call upon a cheap babysitter who can endlessly enthrall our kids: streaming video.

Data from Reelgood, an app that lets users to track everything they’ve watched on streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, appears to confirm that more parents are relying on screens to keep homebound kids occupied. In March, its users suddenly started streaming a lot more movies and shows aimed at kids.

Reelgood’s data also shows that people are spending slightly more time on streaming services during office hours. This could be because parents are letting their kids watch TV during the day, or they could be mixing remote business with pleasure.

And who’s been virtually babysitting kids while parents let screen-time limits go and head into the unknown world of endless WFH? Some things never change: Between March 16 and 22, the top streamed kids movie was Frozen II.

This list is making me want to watch all my favorite animated movies again. (But not until I get off work.)

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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