- Family and Parenting
How to keep your kids busy with no TV
Kids and TV
In recent years, kids, even toddlers, have become addicted to electronics and TV. It's become sadly mundane to see even 3 and 4 year olds glued to the screen like little flies, spending their childhood trying to level up in games or catching another episode of cartoon. This article will give you some ideas for things to do with kids other than watching TV. Have fun with your kids and toddlers without the influence of electronics with these tried and tested ideas!
Create pressed plant art
This is an all time favorite, especially with artistic kids.
Go on a walk outside and collect lots of leaves, grass, and flowers of various different colors and shapes. After returning home, press the plants under a large book or dictionary and leave it there for a few days until it's dried. Get pieces of paper, have your kids draw on backgrounds and whatever they want, then glue the dried plants onto the paper as different flower arrangements, or create shapes and animals with the different dried plants. You can frame them, make them into bookmarks, or even handmade cards, and trust me, your kids will enjoy the entire process- the possibilities are endless!
Make some yummy treats
Kids will always be interested in making food. There's been plenty of food making toys for kids using playdough or molding clay that has been tremendously popular with children of all ages. Why get those when you can make real, edible food?
Here I've included a link list of several great recipes to try out with your kid. Let your kids help mix the dough or measure the ingredients or shape the cookies, and watch them smile proudly as they munch on their own creations for dessert.
- Chocolate chip cookies
The classic and perhaps most popular treat. Simple and straightforward, it's completely kid proof. Who cares if you make a mess? This foolproof recipe is guaranteed to be delicious as long as you measure out the correct ingredients.
- Oreo milkshake
This recipe is super kid-friendly, easy to make, and delicious. A favorite for kids' 'How To' speeches or just to enjoy on a hot day.
Don't just make food- take it up a notch. Why not try setting up a lemonade stand in your neighborhood and selling lemonade with your kids? It's a great sales experience for any child, and they're guaranteed to love making money with their own effort
- Vanilla cupcakes
Cupcakes- every child's dream. Easy to make, delicious, and the best part is, your kids get to decorate it however they want! Make sure to buy some colorful sprinkles and cupcake decorations for your artistic little bakers.
- Gingerbread man
Another free-to-decorate recipe perfect for holiday season. Make them with your kids, or make them and have your kids doodle on them with icing- it'll be a fun and yummy experience either way.
- Chocolate pretzle sticks
Who doesn't love chocolate? Make this super easy and scrumptious treat with your kids that's perfect as holiday treats, party favors, or valentine's day chocolate gifts.
Have a water gun battle
The perfect summer alternative for curling up with ice cream and watching TV, water gun battles cools the kids down, satisfies their pool urges, and keeps them moving around- and away from the electronic screens. I have yet to meet a kid who does not love water gun fights. Have you kids change into bathing suits or loose tshirts, hand them water guns, and let the water war begin. You don't have to, but I always join in when playing with my baby cousins- It's a great way to monitor them (sometimes kids get a little rough with their guns) and make the battle more interesting for the kids, as they always team up on me. This is also a great activity for a large group of kids, as you can let them form different 'squads' and have a full out water war competition. You can even bump it up a level and play outdoor hide and seek or freeze tag with water guns- the kids will have a blast (no pun intended)!
Take them to a pet shop
I remember in my childhood days, whenever my parents took me grocery shopping, I would run to the pet shop next door to play with the cute animals. I loved watching the kittens and puppies and snakes and even the variety of colorful fish and reptiles.
Now, just a warning: Before you take your kids to a pet store, make it clear to them that you aren't going to buy any pets. Make them understand that you will only go on account that no crying or whining for puppies or kitties will be involved (though you can always buy them a goldfish or two to make them happy). Pet shops are great for kids, because they not only get to see various types of animals, they also get the opportunity to pet them! Pet shops are like zoos, but better- I mean, who wants to crane their neck amongst huge crowds of people just to catch the glimpse of a tiger 300 feet away? Your kids are guaranteed to love the pet store experience, especially if they're fans of little animals.
Build a feeder
A miniature building project is a great idea for boys or handy kids who love to work with tools and materials. I've included links below for various bird and insect feeders you and your kids can make by hand. Have a fun learning experience with your kid by building a feeder and hanging it up in your very own garden, and watch little critters come by!
Write a book together
Write, draw, and create a fun picture book with your kids. This is a rather time consuming project, but one with definite rewards. Your kids will not only enjoy the fun process of making up stories and characters, it's also a fun way for them to learn writing and spelling as well as the story writing process at the same time. Buy an artistic notebook or blank picture book, and have your kid draw and write on every page, helping them with spelling and giving them suggestions along the way. Your kids can give copies of their picture books to grandparents, teachers, or even their buddies- watch them enjoy their proud moments of being a mini celebrity author!