BAM Family

BAM Family

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Operation No TV

....well, more like "less" TV. Here is my "bad mom" confession: this past year (or two) I let my kids watch a LOT of TV. As in hours of mindlessness in front of the boob tube. AK! It feels horrible just writing that (ok maybe not MINDLESS. They usually watch educational shows or Veggie Tales).

Now that my degree is over, I am home with the boys full time again. I have felt convicted about the amount of time that they spend watching TV. And even more concerned about how much they WANT to watch TV or movies. So, these past few weeks, I have been trying to turn it off around 9am (they still watch PBS or NickJr. when they wake...or should I say, as I wake up, get a shower and coffee, and make them breakfast).

I have been racking my brain for creative activities and searching the internet for ideas that are both educational and fun. One favorite activity has been to "play games" (as the boys call it) on It is a great website for beginning reading skills. We use the ABC link and practice letter recognition and phonics. The boys LOVE it and are engaged and interactive the whole time.

I have also discovered ActivityMom. I am looking forward to using more ideas from this resource in the future.

Here are a few activities we did today:

 We made "caterpillars" from pipe cleaners and beads. Benji did so well with this project. He was completely concentrated on stringing his beads. Plus it helps the boys with fine motor skills.
 Benji's Catterpillar
 Micah (still working on his) 
(By the way, my boys DO wear pants. They just seem to run around in their undies a lot)
 Here is a little project I got here. It was actually a link from ActivityMom. It is a bunny game where you build a bunny. Micah got creative with ear placement.
 Here is Benji's bunny. Forget the body--just put the tail on the head! 
This is actually an activity from yesterday: Bed Tents! I stretched a fitted sheet over their toddler bed and safety pinned it in place. The boys had fun in them and slept in their tents last night. 

I was hoping that the tents would keep them occupied for the hours after their nap (as I am trying to cut out TV time after nap time). Well, they played in them for about 20 minutes and then were on to something else. Basically, they drove me crazy in the kitchen while I was trying to make dinner (we have to eat at 5pm on Wednesdays so we can leave at 5:45 for church). Finally, after roaring at them numerous times to GO PLAY IN THE LIVING ROOM (sadly, another one of my "bad mom" habits) I finally turned on a library DVD. 

It was worth it for a few moments of sanity. 

So, how about you? How to you keep your kids busy, happy, engaged, and learning while keeping the TV off? Believe me, I need ideas! 


Jessica S. said...

This morning I got out paints. I often will only get out red, blue and yellow so they can mix them and find out about secondary colors. (When we put blue and yellow we get green)

It is also something different from coloring with crayons which happens a lot around here.

You could try making snowflakes with paper and scissors. Mostly my 3 year old was just getting the hang of cutting, but it was still fun.

Good luck in your endeavor!

Amy Bonebright said...

I found some paint w/water books at Ollies. Those are fun and don't need alot of supervision. Also, any sticker books are good, too. Besides that, the kids usually are playing w/some cars or pretend food or running around like little crazies!

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