If you have been momming your way through school closures, camp shutdowns and a playdate-free summer, and you haven’t relaxed your screen time limits, well you are a better COVID-19 mom than I. But for the rest of us mere mortals, it seems screen time is a reality of this global pandemic. Finding quality programming in an overwhelming mess of options can be difficult.
The below three series have proven to be not only entertaining screen time, but cherished together time for my family:
Little House on the Prairie
Growing up, we appointment watched Little House in pajamas and “mukluks” (Wisconsinite for slippers). I suppose this is why I was so excited to find that all three seasons of “Little House” are now available on Prime TV.
Time: Episodes are approximately 45 minutes
Cost: $20 per season (24 episodes)
Why You Should Watch: Little House has sparked a lot of conversation in our household, and an incredible amount of curiosity about the “old days.” We have researched how much a dollar was in those days and what eventually happened to the real life characters. I have been unable to resist the opportunity to point out how diligent the Ingalls girls are about chores, how polite they are to their parents, and how grateful they are for the smallest gift. Add to that, there isn’t a bit of swearing, scandal or anything short of a gosh-darn, old-fashioned moral in each episode.
Imaginative and entertaining for both kids and adults, Raising Dion is a fun, suspenseful and G-rated bit of excitement. Who doesn’t need a little excitement in quarantine?
Time: Episodes are 40-50 minutes
Cost: Free with Netflix
Why you should watch: Mixed in to the sci-fi suspense of the episodes (which star an 8-year-old superhero, by the way), are side plots about friendships and loyalty, dealing with grief and loss, and even a little bit of innocent romance to keep the characters relatable. Also, Ja’Siah Young, as Dion, is ridiculously cute and pretty funny.
The Healing Powers of Dude
You wouldn’t expect a show with a talking dog to tackle issues around mental health, but you’d be wrong. Dude features a middle school kid with extreme social anxiety who tackles his fears with the help of – you guessed it – a poorly trained emotional support animal.
Time: 23-28 minutes (perfect for just before bedtime!)
Cost: Free with Netflix
Why you should watch it: Dude is pretty real when it comes to the unavoidable awkwardness that comes with teen years. In addition, it has a diverse cast, addresses bullying and overprotective parenting, and has a lot of good clean humor.