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Monday, January 26, 2009

TV Free Ideas

101 TV-free alternatives

  • Design a poster.
  • Learn to play the guitar or other musical instrument.
  • Attend community concerts, listen to a local band.
  • Organize a community cleanup.
  • Visit the library. Borrow a book. Attend library activities.
  • Go ice skating or roller skating.
  • Listen to the radio.
  • Visit the zoo.
  • Paint a picture, a mural or a room.
  • Find out about your area's community center or park's activities.
  • Go swimming. Join a community swim team.
  • Read a book aloud to your younger sister/brother.
  • Plan a picnic or barbecue.
  • Go bird watching.
  • Volunteer for a community organization or charity.
  • Jump rope.
  • Make a friendship bracelet.
  • Write a letter to a friend or relative.
  • Bake cookies and bread. Make homemade jam.
  • Plant a flower, vegetable or herb garden.
  • Read magazines or newspapers.
  • Plan a slumber party.
  • Become a tutor at your school.
  • Go camping (even if it's just in the backyard!.
  • Join a choir.
  • Go through your closets and clothes. Donate surplus items to Goodwill, the Salvation Army or a local rummage sale.
  • Start a diary/journal.
  • Go to a museum.
  • Take a nature hike. Collect seeds and leaves. Make a collage with the materials you collected and post it on the refrigerator.
  • Play cards.
  • Start a community exercise group that walks, runs, or bikes.
  • Sing a favorite song.
  • Get out the family photo album. Research your family history.
  • Visit a local bookstore.
  • Make crafts to give as gifts.
  • Make up a story and write it down.
  • Learn to say simple phrases in a few different languages.
  • Ask an older family member to tell you a story about his or her childhood. Write about it.
  • Play hopscotch with friends.
  • Bake two batches of cookies; one for your family and one for a neighbor.
  • Watch the night sky through binoculars; identify the different constellations. Observe the moon.
  • Exercise.
  • Walk to work or school.
  • Start a bowling league.
  • Save money cancel cable TV!
  • Go fishing.
  • Organize a game of touch football.
  • Attend a religious service.
  • Run a relay or potato sack race. Have an egg toss.
  • Organize a neighborhood scavenger hunt.
  • Study the Bible. Memorize scriptures.
  • Play board games with your family or friends.
  • Cook dinner with friends or family.
  • Paint a flower pot.
  • Clean up your room/house.
  • Kick a soccer ball.
  • Make up a play at school or with friends. Take it to a nursing home.
  • Write a letter to your favorite author.
  • Play with your pet.
  • Do yardwork.
  • Construct a kite.
  • Go on a family trip/historical excursion.
  • Build a fort.
  • Play Frisbee.
  • In the snow, go sledding and make a snowman.
  • Make a collage out of pictures from old magazines.
  • Baby-sit for new parents.
  • Groom your pet.
  • Set up a lemonade stand on a hot day.
  • Shoot hoops with friends, play a round of HORSE.
  • Learn to play chess or bridge.
  • Draw pictures of members of your family.
  • Start a fiction book group. Start a public policy book group.
  • Swap magazines with your friends.
  • Go for a long walk.
  • Write a letter to the President or your Representative and/or Senator.
  • Tie-dye a shirt.
  • Make an ant farm.
  • Make cards for the holidays or birthdays.
  • Organize a game of capture the flag.
  • Play charades.
  • Plant a tree or flowers.
  • Have a garden tea party.
  • Do a rain dance.
  • Make a miniature boat and float it in the water.
  • Write a letter to your grandparents.
  • Play freeze-tag.
  • Learn how to use a compass.
  • Learn the metric system.
  • Create an obstacle course and invite your friends to try it.
  • Play a game of "Simon Says."
  • Have a conversation.
  • Play checkers.
  • Sew a pillow.
  • Visit the countryside.
  • Play broomball.
  • Learn some new riddles or jokes.
  • Go dancing.
  • Climb a tree.
  • Watch the sunset.
  • Have a big party to celebrate a TV-free Week!!
list taken from i-village

Ideas with your toddler

Not turning on the TV in the early hours of the day may feel next to impossible to the exhausted parent. Here are some suggestions for active pursuits, and while they do take parental energy, they result in more engaged parent/child interactions (and who knows, perhaps, your child will learn to sleep longer if the excitement of the tube is no longer available).

  1. Work on age-appropriate puzzles. If you can, you may want to purchase new puzzles for this week.
  2. Make a puzzle. Help your child make a puzzle by cutting an old photo, greeting card, or calendar picture into large pieces. Let him or her put the pieces back together on a sheet of paper.
  3. Read aloud. Get new books out of the library. Read familiar favorites. Help your child make an indoor fort using a sheet, blanket, or towel. "Build" it over chairs. Let your child read books with a flashlight inside the fort.
  4. Read a map. Take a look at any map, and, depending on the type of map, point out major roads, highways, exits, mountains, bridges, bodies of water.
  5. Organize photo albums. Put photos into albums. This depends on your child's age. (If your child is too young you may end up with scattered, chewed on photos -- so be careful.)
  6. Write letters. Compose letters to friends and family, detailing your week's past activities. Little children can be encouraged to write or use stickers to help spell out words.
  7. Dance to Music. Let your child draw a flag on a piece of paper. Attach a stick to one end, turn on the radio to lively music, and let your child march around the house carrying the flag.
  8. Organize closets. Have younger children help you sort and older children can be assigned a particular closet to do by themselves.
  9. Play trains, blocks, or arts and crafts. Challenge your imaginations. Here are two quick ideas:
    1. Make a bouquet of flowers out of opened-up cupcake liners. Write a message at the center of each flower for someone special. Glue or tape a straw or popsicle stick for a stem. Tie the flowers together with a ribbon.
    2. Make a collage by cutting out pictures of healthy foods from magazines and glueing them on construction paper. Then try to eat those healthy foods throughout the day.
  10. Plan the night before. Take a few minutes to discuss the routine with your child before bed the night before. For example, "In the morning, we aren't going to watch TV. When we wake up, we'll get washed and dressed, eat breakfast and then do x, y or z."
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