As you moms know, we are on call 24 hours a day, and if we are awake, that means we are on duty.
We are everything to our kids: caterers, psychologists, nurses, maids, teachers, cops, judges, and most importantly, entertainers — especially when there is no school. If our kids have nothing to do, we will know about it: either by the little shadow following us everywhere demanding our undivided attention, by World War III erupting by the toy bin, or by the eerie silence meaning there is something fishy going on that doesn’t bode well for us — or them. Unfortunately, desperate moms sometimes must resort to the media babysitter.
So here are a few clean and engaging media activities for each of your devices, to keep up our sleeves so we can actually get some work done, and they can keep from getting into trouble!
1) Free Internet Video: “Daily Bumps”:
Take out your computer for a YouTube vlog Daily Bumps. It consists of the daily chronicling of the life of musician Bryan Lanning, who’s married to YouTube vlogger Missy Lanning. They take part in wacky weird events, dress up in costumes, pull pranks, and make life as goofy and fun as possible. Their first vlog, which took place in 2013, simply consisted of a trip to the video arcade, Missy pregnant with baby #1. Three years later, they have a two-year old, Oliver; a six-month-old, Finn; and a dog named Karma, Missy has posed for J.C. Penney; Bryan beat singer, Adele, in the charts with his #1 EP “Like a Lion”, they traveled around the world to Cambodia, and have 1 million subscribers.
It appeals to the entire family. Interestingly, my seven-year old girl discovered it due to her love of babies, and pretty soon I got hooked as well. The teens will love the goofy, adventurous Lanning family, and there are a ton of ideas for parents who are looking to generate activities and make the mundane daily grind of the family more interesting. Concerned about content? No need. Missy and Bryan are Christians and, though they never show themselves going to church, they do pray before their kids’ births and make the occasional reference to God.
2) Paid Internet Video: “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic”:
Up for a binge watch with your sick kids? “My Little Pony” has something for the entire family, even the boys! What is great about this new version of the series is that magic takes on a sacramental nature, in that the magic of friendship, like grace, is transformative and redemptive. By learning to use their elements of harmony, the ponies become stronger, better versions of themselves, and defeat evil time and time again.
The magic of friendship redeems the penitent evil characters, like Nightmare Moon, who becomes Princess Luna; Discord (the incarnation of chaos), who is reformed by the ponies from an enemy, to a not-so-reliable ally. And, in the “Equestria Girls” feature, Sunset Shimmer repents of her jealousy towards Twilight Sparkle, and becomes a friend in the end. My favorite episodes are the Canterlot wedding episodes, where the magic of the love between Princess Cadance, and Shining Armour defeats the evil that is trying to destroy Canterlot. Available on Netflix.
3) App: “ABC Mouse”:
The best educational app that makes learning fun for kids is hands down “ABC Mouse.” It is for kids two to seven years old, and has the ability to keep them engaged and enjoy learning. Whether they want to learn with singing, coloring, puzzles, or exercises, the kids will love it. The best thing about this app is the fact that kids from the most difficult age, preschool, are engaged in something productive that allows them to have fun and learn at the same time. Available for download on iTunes.
4) Television: “MasterChef Junior”:
Fox’s “MasterChef Junior” shows young kids eight-13 years of age, competing for the title of MasterChef Junior, the MasterChef Trophy, and $250,000.00. Kids see their peers create veritable culinary works of art, and get to experience cultures from around the world. Also they get the thrill of the competition aspect, under the watchful threatening, supportive eye of a more gentle version of chef Gordon Ramsey. Also available on Google Play, and Amazon Prime Video.
5) Film: “The Peanuts Movie”:
A great film to view at home is “The Peanuts Movie”. It’s everything you loved about the comics and the cartoon when you were a kid, and more. All the satisfying payoffs you always hoped the characters you loved would receive get dashed and granted in the most unpredictable ways. Charlie Brown is as relatable as ever, and all his friends as loveable and true to the spirit of Charles Schwarz, containing great lessons for your kids to learn, and many funny and tender moments for the whole family, and a great way to introduce one of Generation X’s most lovable characters childhood down to the next generations. A must have for your family DVD/Blu-Ray/iTunes collection.
Image: Courtesy Fox