Parenting

Current Kid Obsessions That I Actually Enjoy

January 11, 2022

1- The Thundermans. Is it slightly embarrassing to admit that I actually kind of like watching this show (from Nickelodeon, but currently available on Netflix)? Perhaps. But whatever, it’s a big deal. This show keeps the attention of all 3 of the kids AND I don’t hate it. It’s somewhat ridiculous and I am definitely not the target audience, and yet I had no problem watching 3 episodes in a row this past weekend.

2- Encanto. We watched it when it came out, and now we are watching it again. I initially felt like there was too much packed in (like . . . too frenetic?), but it has grown on me, and so has the soundtrack. “Surface Pressure” might even make a running playlist.

If applicable, what are your kids into that you also genuinely enjoy? I feel like it’s a narrow category of things but starting to widen in our household as everyone gets a little older . . .

50 Comments

  • Reply Coree January 11, 2022 at 6:19 am

    I can tolerate Octonauts on the basis that the song is catchy and I learn some fun animal facts. The new Magic School Bus is also very good.

  • Reply Liz January 11, 2022 at 6:24 am

    I hate to admit this, but Pokémon. I got Pokémon Go on my phone and an old phone we have for my now 8-year old (that only works like a tablet) when the pandemic first shut down schools 2 years ago, and it has kept us outdoors, walking, and exploring away from people. And since then he and I have both gotten into the movies and now he’s teaching me to play the card game.

  • Reply Carrie Quill January 11, 2022 at 6:50 am

    Ooh, the Netflix series Lemony Snicket is outstanding. I would definitely advocate reading the books first (at least w the older kiddos) but the show is outstanding.

    • Reply Amy January 11, 2022 at 11:55 am

      Yes! We watched that a few years ago with our then-8 and 5-year olds. So good!

  • Reply reallifeinutopia January 11, 2022 at 6:54 am

    My kids love Thunderman’s too! I don’t love it but it’s much better than Youtube.

    • Reply reallifeinutopia January 11, 2022 at 6:55 am

      Sorry pressed comment to quickly. We also recently watched Ron’s Gone Wrong on Disney+ and we liked it better than Encanto, and will speak to any kid or parent struggling with social media. Highly recommended!

  • Reply lawandcreative January 11, 2022 at 7:10 am

    I love Surface Pressure! I could totally listen to that song just for my own pleasure 🤣

  • Reply Samantha January 11, 2022 at 7:17 am

    We just tried encanto last week and it is now a favourite. An Australian tv show called Bluey is also really nice. I have watched it without the kids!

    • Reply sbc January 11, 2022 at 11:51 am

      Yes to Bluey! I think it has made me a better caretaker of kids. I also like Nailed It! and Floor is Lava in small doses and several other cooking shows.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 11, 2022 at 12:51 pm

      YES totally get the Bluey appeal!

  • Reply Rebekah M Carpenter January 11, 2022 at 7:23 am

    Bluey. And I don’t even have kids, I just work with them. The episodes are 8 minutes long and almost always crack me up. There’s an episode called Sticky Gecko that’s just 8 minutes of the mom trying to get the two kids out the door on time. Those Australian pups get me.

    • Reply Jen January 11, 2022 at 7:35 am

      Bluey is super adorable. Even though it’s a dog family I find it very poignant – sounds weird but I do enjoy.

      We just watched Encanto last night and I really enjoyed it. I kept waiting for a bigger adventure but it was still good. I felt like it was kind of like Up with the recall on the abuela’s life and I definitely cried. I think I might watch it on my own to catch more.

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 11, 2022 at 12:51 pm

        I love Bluey (and esp the theme song)

        • Reply Amy January 15, 2022 at 12:52 am

          Bluey is set in the city where I live! Brisbane, Australia. We all love it here too!

    • Reply Sophie January 11, 2022 at 11:56 pm

      I also love Bluey, and sometimes watch it even without my kids haha. One of the smartest, sweetest kids shows on TV I reckon. But I’m Aussie so i might be biased!

    • Reply Ashley G. January 12, 2022 at 4:31 pm

      Agreed, Rebekah! I also don’t have kids, but my niece loves Bluey and I’ve caught myself watching an episode when I miss her.

  • Reply CZ January 11, 2022 at 7:33 am

    Waffles and Mochi on Netflix. It’s a food show for kids and I love it!

  • Reply Gwinne January 11, 2022 at 7:47 am

    Tiny Boy watched all of the Thundermans recently. Now he’s doing Liv and Maddie which makes me insane. It’s the chirpy theme song mostly. All those tween shows are just…bad. if I watch something with him, it’s a rotation of The Mandilorian or Fuller House. Last year we watched both The Mighty Ducks and Big shot on Disney.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 11, 2022 at 12:51 pm

      I kind of . . . like the Thunderman’s theme song? Kind of reminds me of 90s sitcoms. TGIF? Ha!

  • Reply Grateful Kae January 11, 2022 at 7:49 am

    Ugh, we watched Encanto on Christmas Day and none of us really liked it much in my family!!! I was SO disappointed!! I love all things Disney and was so excited for another Latin inspired movie (LOVED Coco so much)… but it just didn’t seem to click with us. 🙁 It also felt rather frenetic to me, and while Lin Manuel Miranda’s music was amazing in Hamilton, I’m not sure I loved it for a Disney movie. The heavy lyric style just didn’t really work for me here. I didn’t find any of it to be particularly catchy or good to “sing along to”…and some was hard to even understand/ so fast! I don’t know! Maybe I’ll have to try it again. It just didn’t live up to the hype for me the first time, though, sadly.

  • Reply Jessica January 11, 2022 at 9:07 am

    My kids (3 and 5) are currently obsessed with all things Nintendo, even when they aren’t having their designated Switch time. My husband is a jazz loving musician. He discovered a YouTube channel called the 8-Bit Big Band – it’s a full jazz orchestra playing wild jazz covers of video game music, and many of the videos have original Nintendo-style cartoons that play over the recordings that are actually pretty clever. The kids love watching them, we get excited as a family when a new video is posted – not a screen-heavy family in general, but there is something about those videos that just makes me happy!

  • Reply Jennifer Killelea January 11, 2022 at 9:28 am

    My kids are 8 &12, so it’s nice to come into a new era of TV/films that we can watch as a family. Jungle Cruise kept as all reasonably entertained, and we really liked watching the Hawkeye series together.

  • Reply Ash January 11, 2022 at 9:56 am

    My 5YO is loving the “Rescue Princess” series, and I am enjoying it enough to have bought 10 of the books to read out loud (her school library only had the first 2). Princesses + Animals + Rescuing Animals + Magical Gemstones. It’s a wild combination that feels like the ultimate SEO combo and it totally works for my house. The 2YO will listen pretty attentively too!

    On a similar note, we are also very much enjoying “The Princess in Black” series. We’ve only read/acquired 3 of those so far but the Libby App has more of them so we may experiment with that medium (not sure how that will work with all the lovely illustrations though…)

    So maybe I am just really into enjoyable series of kids books since then we don’t need to decide what to read next.

  • Reply CNM January 11, 2022 at 10:02 am

    For slightly older kids in the 8-10 yo range, I liked Gravity Falls. It originally aired in 2012 but is now on Disney +. It’s about twins who go to Gravity Falls, OR to live with their uncle for the summer. But strange, supernatural things keep happening and the twins start to uncover a family secret involving inter-dimensional travel. It is hilarious, too, with Kristen Schaal doing one of the voices.

    • Reply Caroline Quill January 11, 2022 at 1:01 pm

      Oh yes. I second the gravity falls recommendation!

  • Reply KimMcT January 11, 2022 at 10:07 am

    My 3 kids are close in age to yours (9.5/6.5/4.5 – GGB) and they all love watching ‘The Investigstors’ on Netflix- worth checking out if you can get Aussie content. My eldest daughter had just started a new show called The PMs Daughter 🙊 and loves it!

    • Reply Elisabeth January 11, 2022 at 2:42 pm

      My kids LOVED this show, too!

  • Reply Jennie K January 11, 2022 at 10:33 am

    Same story in our house re: the Thundermans!

  • Reply Ashley January 11, 2022 at 11:33 am

    DS is obsessed with the Thundermans. I find it annoying, but it’s definitely not the worst show out there.

  • Reply Amy January 11, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    We loved listening to several of the Wings of Fire books on Audible during several long car trips last year. They are a kids’ chapter book series that are so well done. My husband and I got so sucked in he started listening to them on his own and I wouldn’t let him tell me what happened until I had caught up 😂

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 11, 2022 at 12:50 pm

      Oh Annabel was reading Wings of Fire for a while!! I love the audio idea!

  • Reply Alyssa January 11, 2022 at 12:26 pm

    Both my six year old son and I loved a short movie (half hour long) called Robin Robin on Netflix. Its beautifully done, most of the characters are felted wool which I thought were so adorable. It is sort of Christmas-y, in case that would be a deal breaker for anyone. My son is also super into nature shows like Our Planet, Puff, etc which I feel good about him watching.

  • Reply LDMN January 11, 2022 at 12:34 pm

    We’ve been enjoying “Welcome to Earth” on Disney+. My 11 yo and 7 yo both like it. It’s a nature show directed by Darren Aronofsky and “starring” Will Smith and a bunch of other cool scientists and explorers. LOVE that it includes an explorer who lost his sense of sight… and is still out doing things that would freak me out even with sight!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 11, 2022 at 12:49 pm

      that sounds awesome!

  • Reply Omdg January 11, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    I like playing video games with my daughter, or just watching her play. I also liked octonauts. She’s not so much a tv kiddo. Oh! We also both like dogs, and she has shared some of her books with me, and some are quite good!

  • Reply Anne January 11, 2022 at 2:27 pm

    Excited to check out The Thundermans! Our family also enjoys Welcome to Earth (mentioned above) on Disney+.

    However, our favorite on YouTube is Dude Perfect.

  • Reply Elisabeth January 11, 2022 at 2:45 pm

    My kids both loved The Mysterious Benedict Society on Disney+ (my daughter had read all the books, my 7-year old son had not, but he still enjoyed it).
    They also loved Encanto. I did not (and was very disappointed because I had SUCH high hopes), but I do found the soundtrack fun for the kids – they love to dance to it right now, even if it is a bit “frantic” sounding.
    Harry Potter movies have been a huge hit (I don’t love them).

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns January 11, 2022 at 4:29 pm

    We have held out on getting Disney+ but I’m tempted to get it since people rave about Bluey! And our son is getting to an age where he likes movies, although he is an extremely sensitive little guy so it’s hard to find something that isn’t too scary for him!

    But he is currently obsessed with Wild Kratts! And I really enjoy the show. I like that he learns something. He’s also very into puzzles and board games right now. It’s a good way to fill the time between when his brother goes to bed and when he goes to bed. He is not good at independent play at that time of day so it’s best for us to play games or read books but games/puzzles have won out recently. I love puzzling so hopefully he takes after me and continues to love working on puzzles!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 11, 2022 at 6:31 pm

      Aww mine used to love wild Kratts. We even saw them live and met them and got a photo w them!!!! It was thrilling. Ha!

  • Reply Erica Sparky January 11, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    G and I watched “Turner and Hooch” on Disney+ and we both really liked it. I like that we can broach some more serious topics on our shows now that he’s older (almost 10!!! where did their little baby faces go?). We watch a lot of nature documentaries on NatGeo and Disneynature via Disney+ too, and all of the David Attenborough Planet Earth series.

    • Reply Erica Sparky January 11, 2022 at 4:40 pm

      Oh I see some references to Gravity Falls – my family liked that too, I was less into it than DH but the kids really enjoyed it (even B, who is just a little older than your G)

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 11, 2022 at 6:02 pm

      We loved Turner and Hooch and saw it recently!!!

  • Reply Erika January 11, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    My kids are 7/5/2 and are all mesmerized by Shaun the Sheep. It’s hilarious and endearing and I don’t mind sitting through it. It’s just my type of humor. They’re also obsessed with Bluey.

  • Reply Kathleen January 11, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    Fun topic. For books, I highly recommend the Mercy Watson series. They say 4-8 age range. They have a good story, colorful pictures, fun characters and are easy to read.

    • Reply Alyssa January 12, 2022 at 5:17 pm

      I was just searching for early chapter books for my six year old. We will definitely check out Mercy Watson, thanks for the rec!

    • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns January 13, 2022 at 4:30 pm

      I’ve read these to my almost-4yo and he LOVES them! They are really cute. Kate DiCamillo is a gem and the picture books by the illustrator (Chris Van Dusen) are also delightful – The Circus Ship is my favorite of his works.

  • Reply Jess C. January 11, 2022 at 10:41 pm

    Great list! Love love love Bluey. My 7-year-old and I are also reading/listening to Lord of the Rings together after a looong Harry Potter kick (not that I’m complaining). We’re huge readers so audiobooks work in the many moments between pickup and dinner, during chores, vegging out without screens, etc. We also find Stories Podcast to be a good all ages listen in the car. And he can handle more intense board games. We bought No Stress Chess last year and both learned to play that way. We both loved the reboot of Lost in Space too.

  • Reply Gillian January 12, 2022 at 12:38 pm

    My favorite thing about big kids is MUCH better TV viewing. As a way to connect with our 14 my husband and I watch 30 minutes or so of TV with him most night. We have watched all of Seinfeld and 30 Rock and most of Scrubs. We also watched Ted Lasso with him and are now into Only Murders in the Building.

    My younger kiddos (11, 8, and 6) mostly use screen time to game, primarily Minecraft and some Sims 4.

  • Reply Ashley G. January 12, 2022 at 4:37 pm

    Avatar the Last Airbender (on Netflix I believe) is a phenomenal kids show. It’s good for adults too. Good overall plot, character building and great lessons. I’d highly suggest it!

  • Reply Lori C January 15, 2022 at 5:32 pm

    For whatever reason, my 6 and 4 year old have been into the old school Scooby Doo, and Pink Panther. I never liked Scooby Doo but Pink Panther is cute. I think we found both of them via cable on some obscure free channel

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