Wow! Thursday was my biggest day ever thanks to all the people searching for information about TV-Turnoff Week. I actually had to upgrade my account in order to avoid exceeding my bandwidth! I only went from “Baby” to “Hatchling” … so I am really not THAT big time, but it was certainly a huge surprise for me.
Today I had planned a post with some alternative ideas to TV, so with this kind of an audience, I guess I had better come up with a few!
Since we are TV-free all the time, I can tell you what my kids like to do:
- Do art projects
- Play outside
- Play imaginary games with each other, or by themselves
- Build with Legos, Knex, or blocks (especially my son) and then create imaginary games
- Dress-up (also leads to imaginary games)
- Play board games either with each other or with me
- Do puzzles
- Write stories (my 2nd grade daughter)
- Play with the cats and dogs
Here are some suggestions and elaborations that might inspire you and your children. If anyone has any other ideas, then please comment!
- We are fortunate to have a great backyard and a swingset…plus a big forested area next door. If you are less well-endowed in the yard department or live in an apartment, then there is always a visit to the park, or playing at a friend’s house, or having a friend over.
- Be tourists for a day. How about a trip to local attractions such as zoos, aquariums, parks, or playgrounds that you might not have been to yet. Think about tourist attractions that you and your children might enjoy. I don’t know about you, but when I live someplace, I tend not to visit all the attractions for which that location is famous.
- Art Projects: you can always search the old Unplugged Projects (the category is: “Unplugged Project” of course!)
- Bring out some board games and have a family game night. My advice for preserving your sanity: try to pick a game that your children like, but that is not deadly boring for the adult participants. (ie. stay away from Candyland – that one sends me into an immediate coma)
- Turn on some music and dance (again: pick something you like too or you’ll go crazy!)
- Try a Kids Cook Night. Pick a recipe that your kids might not ordinarily like. I find that if my kids do the the cooking themselves (with supervision of course), they are more likely to enjoy the meal.
- Volunteer with your kids (especially if they are older). Habitat for Humanity, your local animal shelter, nursing home, or soup kitchen would probably love to have you help out for a day…plus you’d give your children a bit of perspective and teach them the good feeling that comes from helping others.
- Wash the dog, or teach him tricks.
- Take a walk around your neighborhood, or be adventurous and go on a real “nature hike!” Check out these sites for more outdoors/nature-related ideas: Backyard Nature, National Wildlife Federation
- Teach your kids to knit, crochet, embroider, or french knit…or learn one of these skills together.
- When all else fails…bring out the Mommy I’m Bored Box.