So what are you going to do if you once you turn off the television?
First enter to win the Subway P.E.P. kit. 🙂
Go outside. There are so many things to do outside with your kids, sidewalk chalk, play catch, ride bikes, scooters, roller blade, walk, hike, explore, go to the park, look for bugs, sandbox, water table, sprinkler…
If the weather is still crummy there are many inside activities to replace television. Play a game, read a book, get out the puzzles, build with blocks or legos, play dolls. Have an indoor picnic, or tea party.
Crafts are also fun. Take a risk and get out the play dough. Even better make your own play dough. Stickers, colored pencils, construction paper and scissors (if they are old enough) can keep kids busy for hours. You can even use old shoe boxes to create miniature scenes from their favorite book.
One way I am able to fit in blogging, paying bills, writing emails, and other household admin tasks is to work along side my kids. Last year I wrote about some of our favorite table top toys that help keep my little children busy while I work.
I realize that many moms use the television to babysit their children while they do important things like take a shower or make dinner. I’ve been there, done that. Sometimes, especially with active little ones, television seems to be the only thing to keep them mesmerized while you get something done. I would encourage you to involve your kids, even the little ones, in your meal prep. They can help set the table, mix food together, and do other small jobs. Something I would do with one particularly active child was to fill up the kitchen sink with water and bubbles and let him play with a few of his toys in the water while I made dinner. He made a mess, but it was easy to clean up and he stayed occupied and in my line of sight.
As for getting that ever elusive shower, from the time my children were very little we encouraged room or crib time. We would put the kids in their room or cribs with a few safe toys and then leave them alone. We even put on “room time” music. This let our children know it wasn’t nap time, just time for them to stay in their rooms and play by themselves. When they got a bit older we would sometimes put on an audio book for them to listen to while they played in their room. The key to this technique is to make sure the rooms are kid friendly. If there are things your child could get hurt on in their room this is not a good idea. I found that if we started this when they were young (a few months old) by the time they were three or four years old they really enjoyed their room time. Usually we have special toys that only come out during room time as well.
We did put up a safety gate to keep a few children in their rooms during room time. This was more for their protection and to keep them from running around the house, or possibly outside while I was in the shower and couldn’t hear what was going on.
Turning off the television definitely takes extra effort on the part of the parent. It means getting organized and planning activities to keep your kids busy throughout the day. As with everything in life the best things are usually the hardest things. It might be hard to limit the television at first, but you will definitely reap the rewards.
Check back tomorrow for some ideas on what you can do with your no TV time, plus a giveaway!