Five on Friday

I haven’t done a quickie Friday post in ages, but I kept thinking of things I wanted to recommend and writing them down on Post-Its and in random iPhone notes — so let’s spit some of ’em out, blog-like!

This week I’m sharing five of our family’s favourite screen-time joys, from TV shows to video games and even a new way to read digitally.

1. Workin’ Moms

I discovered Workin’ Moms late — like three weeks ago in the depths of a never-ending fever/chills/body aches flu — and was instantly OBSESSED. It’s so damn good!

I don’t watch a lot of TV anymore so it’s rare for me to fall so hard over a show. I zoomed through Season 1 and Season 2 while I was sick, and now I’m permanently stalking the CBC website waiting for each new episode of Season 3.

The writing is amazing — dry and witty — and I just can’t say enough about it. MUST WATCH.

2. Prodigy

Our son’s Grade 3 teacher hooked his class up with Prodigy a couple of days ago, and he is over-the-top obsessed with it. It’s basically a Harry Potter rip-off merged with a Zelda rip-off, I’m pretty sure. But it’s a MATH GAME!

The kids have to answer a ton of math questions in order to win coins and dragon eggs and golden fireballs or something — I don’t know, he only calls me over when he needs help figuring out a math question. I’m ALL for a math game, and it’s really boosted his confidence in math.

It’s free to play, and parents can get a special log-in so we can see how they’re doing. Love it!

3. Victorious

C and D started watching this one a few weeks ago, and they both LOVE it. And you know what? So do I — seriously! It’s pretty entertaining as far as kids’ shows go, and the music is fun.

We’ve started listening to the tracks on our Echo Dot through Amazon Music — this one is our collective favourite — and I find myself singing to them even when the kids aren’t around. Plus: Ariana Grande using her really annoying “Cat voice.”

4. A (new) free online library

I used to love this old ’80s series called The Girls of Canby Hall, but I only own four or five of the paperbacks. They aren’t available in our local library system, and I started thinking I’d try to track down copies online — I’m all about reading for nostalgia!

I wound up finding almost ALL of them — FOR FREE — on a site called Internet Archive. It’s basically a free library where you take out loans and flip through them right there in your browser. The books are scanned so it’s much better than reading a digital version — you get the “real book” feeling of the old-school fonts and yellowing pages.

I’ve plowed through more than 20 of these novels in the last couple of weeks because it’s SO EASY to just pick up my phone, open my browser, and find the tab with the book patiently waiting where I left off.

5. The most boring PS4 game ever

I couldn’t leave out Darling Husband, so his pick-of-the-week would probably be Farm Simulator 2019 a.k.a. the most boring PS4 game ever made. He also had Farm Simulator 2017 and logged a ridiculous amount of hours playing it. This is the slightly newer version but it looks identical to me, except I think there are new tractor options?

He loves this game, despite the fact that it literally puts him to sleep most times he plays it. He says it’s soothing to sit there and drive tractors and threshers through endless fields, but it makes me wonder if real-life farmers maybe suffer from narcolepsy?

I like that he plays this (very, very dull) game because it puts him in a relaxed state, unlike the shoot-’em-up video games he ALSO plays — Destiny and Call of Duty — that make him angry whenever some stranger kills his character over and over.

BONUS: Old-school DOS games

Crap! This should have made the list so I’m making it a bonus entry. When I was sick, I also discovered that I could play my favourite old Jeopardy game online. We’re talking DOS! Remember DOS??? It was pre-Windows.

On my very first computer — a hulking black laptop that my eight-year-old self could barely carry around — I used to play this game constantly. For old time’s sake, I played a few rounds using my standard character names and avatars: me, my dog, Bandit, and my favourite babysitter, Vikki.

Poor Vikki was very patient to play Jeopardy with me when she babysat. I played this damn game so much that I memorized a lot of the answers — back then, games didn’t have the capacity to store many options I guess — and that couldn’t have been fun. Thank you, Vikki!

***

Well, I’m off to work, but I hope I’ve inspired you to either watch one of these shows or play one of these games over the weekend. Or, you know, just download Farm Simulator and make your spouse play it when they need to relax?

2 Comments on “Five on Friday

  1. Love this! Workin’ Moms is my favorite show – even my hubby will watch it with me! My oldest also loves prodigy and any other game that is secretly (or not so secretly) educational because he thinks he is somehow getting around my “no video games on school days” rule. Little does he know he’s learning!

    • Haha mine feels the same way — I let him play Prodigy way longer than Minecraft because he’s learning something!

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