Yay for summer! I love summer and the endless possibilities it presents. However, with a newborn in tow I am finding my older two watching more TV then I care to admit. Mama’s nursing? Go watch TV. Baby’s sleeping? Go watch TV. Mama’s napping? Go watch TV. Technology has its benefits, but it’s all about balance.
So how do we find the balance?
First off we need to set limits. “The TV is all done in 5 minutes.” This is so important! When our children watch TV they become sucked into the alter reality it presents. They need an opportunity to break away from it temporary, before we break them away from it entirely.
We also need to set limits and follow through on when they can watch TV. “When you have played outside xxx minutes then you can watch TV.” We can make this more appealing to our children by offering them choices on what they would like to do to earn their TV time. “If you want to watch TV, first you need to either colour some pictures, or play outside. Which would you like to do?”
Choices are an excellent opportunity for children to feel in control. When children have a sense of control over what they do with their day, they feel more confident and are less likely to get upset when things don’t go their way.
So what can we have our children do to earn their TV time?
A favourite is playdoh! It has endless opportunities for creativity. My children’s favourite thing is to add loose parts in their playdoh and create magical creatures, silly pictures, anything they desire.
Here we added little glass stones that can be found at the dollar store.
We used two different colors of round glass stones, and then some silver flat stones. They used them to create holes and textures in their playdoh. They pretended they were eyes, hair, teeth, almost anything while they created. The possibilities really are endless! They sat and played for at least half an hour; putting stones in; taking them out; rolling up the playdhoh; changing the shape.
Want to learn more easy Screen Free Activities? Check out our upcoming Workshop!