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Less Screen Time

October 23rd, 2012 - Category: Family Time

Is your television on from sun up to sundown?  Is that the first thing that gets turned on in the morning and the last thing to be turned off at night?  If it’s not the television maybe it’s the computer, or pod, or notebook?  Too much screen time can stunt the imagination and yield a loss of wonder.  Whenever the show is over or the game is done, your kids are back to being bored again.  With the glimmer and jazz that electronics have to offer,  it makes it hard for kids to focus on a book, or engage in imaginative play, or marvel at nature.

Encouraging our children to spend less time in front of a screen can elude even the best of parents.  Here’s some ideas of things to do instead of sitting in front of a screen.

Chores:  Chores teach responsibility, build self-esteem, and encourage spending time together.  It is a great way to give them something to do that will benefit them and the family.  At you can find many ways to teach and encourage your child to be more helpful with chores.  If someone says, “I’m bored.”  Have several chores for them to choose from to take up some time.

Books:  Books don’t have to be a lost past time.  Get a library card and spend the afternoon at the library.  Encourage your children to always have a book they are reading.

Use Your Imagination:  There is no limit when you use your imagination.  Play school, dress-up, or super-hero.  Have a tea-party in the back yard or pretend to fix the car.  The possibilities are endless.  The more extravagant the better!

Play With Friends:  Invite a friend over for a couple of hours.  When ideas can bounce off of two heads they are sure to find something fun to do.

Play Outside:  Ride bikes, play at the park, work in the garden, run through the sprinklers.  Take time to appreciate the weather and nature all around us.

Build Something:  Whether it is Lego’s, play-dough, or a fort built out of sheets in the living room, building something sparks the imagination and can keep kids busy for hours.

Crafts:  A couple of popsicle sticks and some glue can go a long way to fighting boredom and inspiring grand thoughts.

Hobbies:  There are so many hobbies to choose from for girls and boys.  To name a few there are model airplanes, scrap-booking, painting, sports, photography, the list is endless.  Take up a hobby with your child and you can both learn and grow together.

Experiments:  One of my favorite science experiments was mixing vinegar and baking soda and watching it foam.  From watching mold grow on fruit to which soap works better, find everyday household products and experiment with them.

Collections:  Start a collection of stamps, coins, baseball cards, or even leaves or rocks.

Board Games and Puzzles:  There are quick ones and long ones.  Games for young and old alike.  Take your pick and spend some time getting to know each other over a good game or puzzle.

Whether you plan to limit screen time to just a few hours a day or you just need some ideas to encourage your little one away from the TV, we hope some of these ideas will help.  Use your imagination and spend some quality time together.

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