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13 Responses to 100 Ways to Avoid TV

  1. Tabatha

    We loved making a house for barbie out of lego’s. Lincoln logs. The cleaning game!

  2. Catherine N

    I have 2 girls (2&5) we make menus, set up a little table with dolls and stuffed animals and play restaurant, make homemade playdough, trace shapes with cookie cutters, bake, decorate with window markers & crayons then use the squegee to clean the Windows, have an indoor picnic, take a walk in the forest preserve, draw the week’s grocery list, make our own bubbles and hop in the tub, and one of their favorites: record the girls singing and playing music and then listening and giggling to the playback. My older daughter just started using an old tape recorder to sing songs and make up commercials like we hear on the radio. 🙂

  3. M. J. Joachim

    crochet, cook, garden and read…unless I’m playing cards or games with family members, of course:)

  4. Felicity

    When my twin sons were small (from the age of about 18 months until they were about 3), I used to set up a painting area outside on our back deck. I usually did this when it was warm so I could strip them down to their undies (they loved this!) and not worry about the mess. We used water-based paints and I just hosed the area down afterwards. Sometimes I hosed the boys down too! They had a ball, painting each other as much as they painted on the paper!

  5. Karla  

    We do Rock Thoughts(www.rockthoughts.com)! A great way to not only entertain little (and big) ones but it also helps stimulate their creativity and encourages reading and writing. It’s been a lot of fun.

    • Kristin  

      Wow, I love those Rock Thoughts, what a neat idea! We enjoy painting and decorating rocks but I love the added collaboration and storytelling component! My older daughter would love this!

  6. Cinders

    We have the TV on a lot in our house, but its my husband and I who its on for. We just grew up with it that way I guess, but my little girl spends a lot of time playing and ignoring the TV. She has a couple shows she will stop and watch but other than that she loves playing with playdough, containers, pipe cleaner activities, coloring, painting, legos, and her favourite game is tucking her “babies” in for naps all over the house lol

  7. Betty

    Playing hide and seek inside the house is one of our favorite things to do. Another favorite games is playing catch!

  8. Anne Lipuma

    My son n I spend all this time building a crazy mini city, we use all of his Lego duplos (sky scrapers), wooden blocks as town houses- Lincoln logs for the country side n we add a farm n animals, we make a zoo out of his dinosaurs we using the lids of the Lego n block containers for “cages” we use hot wheel trackes as roads or make our own….n I can go on n on, but once were finished I yell out oh no the monster man is coming then he roars n stomps and starts tearing through the town like Godzilla, I get to play all the little people n cars n animals running for there lives no one gets hurys Cuz he is a nice monster he always tells me, I just eat buildings Cuz thats what big monsters eat, they eat big things, only lil monsters eat little things and people. Anyway we have a blast n then we can do it all over again! But the town never looks the same.

  9. Jean Perks

    simple. get rid of the television. We never had one as children, they were unheard of. My children did not have one, I refused to have one in the house. We did all of these things in the list and many more with lots of time out in the garden and the fields around us. Playing with friends is a vital past time.

  10. amanda

    sometimes people ask me how we get by without a TV.
    we have netflix on my laptop – and once in a while my kids get a show to watch – but that’s about it. and it’s a special treat for them.
    without the option of on demand TV, my kids have become very creative and active at 3 & 5.
    it’s been good for all of us.
    thanks for your post. i will use some of these excellent ideas 🙂

  11. Maggie Kalm

    I like these ideas but the times I’m using the TV as an activity are like the times you listed at the beginning of this article – making breakfast, showering, doing something on the computer. All of these activities seem to require my attention since I have a 17 month old and she has no siblings. The TV is a distraction while I do things she can’t do with me. I was hoping, after the first two paragraphs, these were ideas that would entertain just my child. I know how to play with her when I’m able to.

  12. Kristin  

    Hmm, Maggie, I suppose this list is more geared to older kids and those with siblings, which is what my experience was when I wrote it. Though my oldest did do some of these things on her own for periods of time when she was a young toddler — I was on bedrest with twins (and later nursing them around the clock, gah!) so she did not have me to play with her much of the time. I also made a lot of toddler activity bags and did toy rotations, so toys and activities were novel and not something she saw everyday — that seemed to grab her attention more.

    I like the idea of letting kids learn to be with themselves (not literally, but in terms of not being entertained and played with by a parent all the time), but I know it can be a challenge with an only child. It was a necessity for us, so my eldest learned, with plenty of fussing at times, but not TOO much sadness (though yes, I did also do quite a bit of TV at that time, too, and that was okay too!). I am an only child and know I learned pretty well how to entertain myself eventually, but I admit I have no idea how I was when I was a toddler!