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Keeping kids busy without TV

Updated on March 18, 2015

Just keeping them busy?

Of course there's more to children's education than just keeping them active. Nowadays, they are busy when they watch TV, they are busy when they chat on the web, they are busy when they are hooked up with videogames. They are out of the way, that's all! And what about their education?

They need to be busy in a productive, constructive way.

If we want our kids to be outstanding and be proud of them, we will have to prepare them better than just letting them watch TV, for example. That means, prepare the way for other activities alternative to the television.

All right, I don't want to wander off, navigate right out of the subject here, so I'm going to stick to the title: How to keep your kids busy when there is no TV. It seems rather difficult, but actually it is a question of establishing new, good habits to replace the not so good ones.

We tend to blame the television for lack of education or lack of interest in other things, but actually TV sells what consumers ask for. A better education supposes a more refined taste for educational programs rather than talk shows or useless trivia. We talk through what we do... or what we don't do. Audiences and the lack of them form the current rating.

And while TV is what it is, we must get our kids interested in more productive stuff.

They say the only way to get rid of a habit...

is replacing it with another.

First of all, TV produces radiation that harms eyesight, books don't. Give them a good book and maybe read the first chapter to them. If you manage to get them interested, they will be able to read the rest.

My three kids, all boys, used to read a lot. There was always an unread book at home for them to read. And yes, we had a TV set, but it wasn't on all day and they certainly did NOT have command over their watching timetables. Each one of the three had a different activity and interest, so we, as parents, had to do some triple thinking.

There are books on all subjects you can imagine and for all ages, so why not give your kids a book thinking about what they are attracted to?

Get them into the habit of reading and you won't have to worry about what to do when there is no TV (or you want to suspend it, or it breaks down, etc)

Here are some titles - ...there are many more

What about a hobby?

This might even perform the miracle!

A hobby is much more than just a while during the day, (or several hours, depending on the case) and certainly much more than something to do on a rainy day!

Kids, for their mental growth and development, need something constructive, real world (or disguised as play) and consistent through time.

A hobby, especially in children, may be something that spawns a legitimate interest for the future.

Let's see: Stamp collecting can be very interesting, since one can learn geography, history and political current affairs through them. I am aware that e-mail is taking over rapidly, but there is still a great need for postage stamps all over the world.

Here is something to start off! - It's interesting, it's constructive... and it's quiet!

Supersafe Folded Stamp Hinges Pack of 1,000
Supersafe Folded Stamp Hinges Pack of 1,000

The best way to fix your stamps in your album

plane modelling
plane modelling

What about modelling?

Building models of course

I mean building model boats, planes, toys, and such. Ages 10 to 14 will be attracted to this activity. It supposes following an order, puzzle-like fitting in of the parts, glueing, painting... and enjoying!

The typical model is a boat or a plane. There are gazillions of models to choose from, bigger smaller, more complicated, easier ones, you name it.

Now, while we're at it, let me clear up one very sensitive aspect of kids' activities. Here, I am suggesting things to do, that require a little smart thinking on the part of parents, as well as a little guidance and partaking. Otherwise, it's very much like "shoving" kids in front of the computer instead of the TV, Don't you think so?

Here are some planes in action - They are absolutely fascinating!

Some very serious planes, here.

Once kids get into this, there's no getting out!

Children acting
Children acting

And what about the younger bunch?

They have the right to be entertained too!

With a toy musical instrument, they can actually pretend they are the TV themselves!

Maybe standing on a table in front of their bedroom window and have their friends watch them from the garden. (oops, and when it's raining?)

Perhaps an imaginary audience would be the same for them...

Well you get the idea. Even they will think up some props and make believe scenography for a TV musical show.

My middle boy used to watch music shows and guitar players. So, when he was 7 years old, I gave him a study guitar. At the age of 16 he was forming his own group, after having spent 3 months at a time taking classes with 6 different guitar teachers. Today, at 29 he is a luthier, music editor, composer and performing rock artist (the latter only as a hobby), but he gets a kick out of it. All because of a little birthday present that was a bit more than a simple toy.

Playing is very much like acting, isn't it? Try to give their games a little tweak on the serious side, with toy or make believe cameras "filming" the action, or home-made costumes.

If they know how to write and read, then a "Tutti-frutti" mixed up story could be the trick. All players write their part of the story and pass the page on to the next player, with their part covered or doubled up so it won't be seen. The pattern would be something like: "So and so" met "So and so" in the "etc". "So and so" said "this" and "So and so" answered "that". In the end they went to "wherever". When the "story" is finished, they are all read aloud. The result can be really hilarious.

These instruments may come in handy... - for a rainy day or for actually performing on TV one day!

Very Young performing artists in action - Wanna have your kids imitate them?

Your contribution to this sector improves our page. A comment, an insight, criticism, everything done in good will will enrich this page. Thank you!

Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions - Everything that is human-made is perfectible.

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    • Paul-Lenton profile image

      Paul Lenton 4 years ago from El Calafate, Argentina

      @Zeross4: Thanks for taking the trouble to read and Squidlike!

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 4 years ago from Kentucky

      I think Band in a Box looks fun! Great ideas :)

    • Paul-Lenton profile image

      Paul Lenton 4 years ago from El Calafate, Argentina

      @samojonno: Congrats on your fatherhood! Following your kids' interests closely you get to know how to follow up. Many times a hobby or entertainment has given way to a professional activity. Thyanks for taking the time to read and appreciate!

    • samojonno profile image

      samojonno 4 years ago

      Some good ideas here, I've just become Dad to a little boy. Model making for sure when he is older.

    • Paul-Lenton profile image

      Paul Lenton 4 years ago from El Calafate, Argentina

      @Faye Rutledge: That's a sensible daughter you have! Once kids get out of the obsession for TV, it's easier for them to take up constructive activities. Thanks for reading and squidliking!

    • Paul-Lenton profile image

      Paul Lenton 4 years ago from El Calafate, Argentina

      @esmonaco: Good to hear you liked it. Thanks!

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 4 years ago from Lakewood New York

      I certainly liked all of your ideas here, especially the airplanes! Thanks.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

      My daughter hasn't had TV for her kids for years. They are now 16 and 20 and survived! They both read a lot and my grandson taught himself to play the guitar.