How To Keep Your Children Busy If You Want To Turn Off TV and Spend Time With Them
American children spend an average of 6 hours, 32 minutes each day watching TV or using other media (including the Internet, videotapes, video games, and radio). That's more time than they devote to any other activity except sleep, according to the AAP. This can lead to childhood obesity and compromised health, because children who watch TV are more likely to be inactive.
Think about a minimum of 30 minutes you’re kids spend watching television and, for some, several hours per day. What else could they be be doing if you turn off the TV?
In all fairness, TV has its good sides with educational and entertaining programming. But like all good things it should be used in moderation.
It's important for parents to keep tabs on their kids' screen time and set limits to ensure they're not spending too much time in front of a screen.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends these guidelines for screen time:
Babies and toddlers up to 18 months old: No screen time, with the exception of video-chatting with family and friends.
Toddlers 18 months to 24 months: Some screen time with a parent or caregiver.
Preschoolers: No more than 1 hour a day of educational programming, together with a parent or other caregiver who can help them understand what they're seeing.
Kids and teens 5 to 18 years: Parents should place consistent limits on screen time, which includes TV, social media, and video games. Media should not take the place of getting enough sleep and being physically active.
So if you turn off the TV and limit your kids screen time how do you keep them busy? Here are a few fun ideas.
- Go On A Sound Safari
- Go To The Library
- Go To The Playground
- Go To The Pool
- Go To The Zoo
- Go To The Splash Pad
- Have An Art Show
- Have a Toy Car Wash
- Have An Ice Cream Taste Test
- Hunt For Bugs
- Hunt For Colors Outside
- Make A Bird Bath
- Make A Marshmallow Shooter
- Make Mud Soup
- Make Your Own Obstacle Course
- Melt Some Crayons In The Sun
- Paint with Water
- Play Cards
- Play Catch
- Play Candyland
- Play Connect Four
- Play Dominoes
- Play Hide & Seek
- Play With Lego
- Play with Paper Dolls
- Play with Play-Doh
- Play with Water Balloons
- Pray together
- Read the Bible
- Read In A Blanket Fort
- Run Through A Sprinkler
- Trim Your Grass with Scissors
- Use a squirt gun and have a water fight
- Walk Your Dog ( or your neighbor’s dog )
- Wash Your Car
In the summer my goal is to turn off the TV and visit a different park every week, sometimes it's just a neighboring town and sometimes we drive a hour or two to find a new, unique park.
We also signed up for the summer reading program at our local library We also go to fun activities at the library. Books and reading are so important for kids.
Of course, it's no surprise that being a couch potato isn't exactly conducive to a healthy lifestyle. If you're watching TV for six hours/day, you're probably not exercising. Plus, you're also more likely to be suffering from depression, antisocial tendencies, & Vitamin D deficiency