Friday, January 24, 2014

TV Time

In case anyone was wondering, I'm not completely anti-TV/media. I just want my kids to grow up with balance, or rather lopsided balance. And by that I mean, some TV, but mostly physical activity play, rather than sitting at the computer or in front of the TV all day. I myself don't remember watching all that much TV before I was 10. My siblings and I spent our time reading books, playing games, and running around outside. After a visit to the library (Wednesday is library day!),  I came across a super cute idea to give your kids some TV time, but not to much. This idea comes courtesy of 365 Games Toddlers Play: Creative Time to Imagine, Grow and Learn, by Sheila Ellison.

Recommended age group: 30 months and up

* Give your child daily tickets that she can turn in to you if she wants to watch a show. Each ticket is worth 30 minutes, but you get to decide how many total tickets she gets each day. (Mia's not quite old enough to understand this concept yet, but I plan to do it the future. Right now, we watch shows on Netflix when mommy isn't feeling good, or she's working on something like the bills, or taxes, and needs to have limited distractions. Otherwise I try to keep it off.).

* Tape a piece of your child's artwork over the TV when it's not in use. That way you will stop and think before turning on the TV again.

*Sit down with your child and watch the shows with them. That way you can talk about what is being learned, and then practice the words, letters, shapes, etc. that they saw on the show that day. (This is also a good concept for older kids, especially that sensitive pre-teen age when they want to watch teenage oriented shows, but aren't necessarily mature enough. My mom and I used to watch Gilmore Girls together with my sister.  We still love it to this day and talk about it all the time (except for the "Logan Huntsburger" time period. Not a fan.).

So anyway, those are just some ideas courtesy of Sheila Ellison (learn more about Sheila by clicking here), with my side notes of course. I hope that this helps you and your family. Do you have any other ideas about TV time?


  1. I like the redeemable tickets idea. We use "screen time" (computer or TV) as a reward. Since we homeschool, kids earn ten minutes per academic subject completed cooperatively with zero whining. It motivates them to get their work done without dawdling and frees me up to get things done in the afternoons.