Turn Off The TV: 5 Alternatives to Tube Time
Turn off the boob tube and go for one of these five alternatives that will encourage fun and engaging play for the whole family.
1. Read a book
Let the little kids choose a book and read it. Then read another of your choice and of course if the kidlet is like mine, they'll often want you to read their fave story again and again, but this is wonderful, as repetition is how children learn.
And for your older readers, or for those who have a comprehension level beyond their years and reading level, go for a classic. We've been reading aloud chapter books to my 5 year old and she loves it. We read Harry Potter all summer and now have moved on to The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. What fun!
2. Family Game Night
Bring out those board games. Candyland is perfect to start for kids 3+. Chutes and Ladders, Pretty Pretty Princess and Uno Moo are all great for the young kids. As they get older the games can be more complicated and of course more fun for the entire family - think Clue and Monopoly. Yes, Nintendo Wii is an option - but remember this is all about TURNING THE TV OFF and having some good old fashioned fun. Make a batch of popcorn and just keep on playing!
3. Browse Through Old Photo Albums Together
We love to show the kids our old wedding albums and honeymoon photos from our life before them. It's fun for us to reminisce and for the kids to learn more about their parents. Likewise, the kids love browsing their baby books, our online photo albums via Google Picasa, and checking out all the family videos we've captured of them over the years.
4. Make Seasonal Crafts
Whatever the season, crafts are glorious to do as a family. This time of year, we like to bring the outdoors in with pinecone crafts and fall leaf placemats. During the spring we collect flowers and leaves to build fairy houses. And of course on a cold winter's day, just plain paint and construction paper is a world of fun for the whole family.
5. Take a Hike
Put on your shoes and get out the door. Keep it simple by taking a quick walk around the block if you are short on time during the week. If it's a weekend, be ambitious about the outdoor adventure. Pack a snack and head to a local park, running trail, or the woods behind your house for a real family hike. The kids will love the exploration and getting close to nature and you'll be sure to create many memories together from the highs and lows that come with an outdoor adventure. In the winter, we even pack the kids hot chocolate in a thermos for our cold walks together - this ia huge hit for everyone and such a wonderful family memory we've all made together compared to the "nothing" memory we would have created had we only stayed indoors watching television!