By Fredrica Syren:
We’re TVless people! When I say this, many people look at me in horror. Then they ask me how I do it with kids.
For us, going TV-free was something we had talked about endlessly since my husband and I got married. But there never seemed to be a good time to pull the plug. As we discussed it, we also came up with excuses for why we should keep our TV and cable. Yes, at one point we had lots of channel options, most of which we never watched, yet I found myself watching reruns — not even good ones! But, hey, there it was. And the kids were sleeping, so why not, right? Well, three years ago, we finally took the plunge and got rid of the TV. Today we could not be happier and wish only that we had done it earlier.
Just to clarify, this means that we have no cable and no TV channels, so there is no regular TV watching or surfing. However, we do have an iPad that we use for watching movies, and our kids do watch a movie one day a week.
So, the question I get is how I entertain 3 kids without a TV. Frankly, I think it’s easier than letting them watch TV because with letting them watch TV also comes the endless nagging to watch more. It was difficult to get them off the screen once they were watching. Then we had a lack of imagination because, with TV watching, that’s what happens. Basically, it took way more time and energy to deal with that than it takes me to organize play or crafts for them.
I’m super lucky that my kids love crafts. The list of crafts they like and can pretty much do on their own are listed below:
My kids love creating art with colored sand or salt, as shown in this video:
Other fun activities we take part in are as follows:
We have dance parties—Kids love to dance. When we dance as though no one is watching, they think it’s great.
We read books—All three kids will endlessly bring us books to read if we let them.
We sing—Who cares if my voice can crack glass? My kids think I’m Pavarotti!
We build with blocks and Legos—We let our fantasies create the most stunning houses, buildings, cars and … well, something
We build castles with sofa cushions—Who does not want to be the king/queen of the castle?
We go on nature walks—Letting our kids loose in nature is fun to watch because, lately, everything is interesting — rotten leaves, sticks, pinecones and bugs.
We bake or cook—Ok, I should admit that it makes huge messes and everything is painfully slow, but it’s so worth seeing how proud and excited they are over the results.
We play music—We have a piano and flute. Our oldest play both the clarinet and viola. Boy, are we one great band. Maybe, just maybe, one day we all will play the same song!