Fun Things For Kids To Do!
Are your kids at a loss for things to do once the TV goes
off?? Maybe they've forgotten how to play! Here's a great list
of things your kids can do for fun instead of watching
Life After Television: Teaching Our Children to Play
By Lisa Workman
Studies have made the news again regarding television and
our children. What are they saying? Too much television is not
good for our kids. The very presence of a television in your
child’s room can be a determining factor in how well your kids
do academically. Kids today are continuing to be “plugged
What is the solution? Limit television viewing. Move the TV
out of you kids’ rooms. Be involved in what they are
Okay. We move the television into a common and give our kids
time limits. Now what? A comment I hear often when people ask
me about the Tokens for TV program is what do my kids do now?
Our kids are so used to being plugged in they don’t know what
to do. They’re bored.
It doesn’t matter if your children are 6 or 16, the answer
is the same. It’s time to teach our kids how to play again.
Having a time for quiet and play are important life skills. How
else will their imagination start working on its own again?
Start with the following ideas to help your kids in their
• Play a game. Dig out your board games. Checkers, Chess,
Monopoly and Sorry! are all great games.
• Dig out the playing cards. Go Fish, Old Maid, War… There
are even other specific card games such as Uno out there. You
can also teach your children how to play solitaire.
• Be a bookworm. Go to the library in your home or your
community. Scour the thrift shops and yard sales. Be a part of
a book exchange. There are also some great audio books
available at the library. You can also purchase audio books at
thrift stores, department stores and online.
• Hands-on fun. Bring out the clay or play dough. Your
teenagers may roll their eyes at this one too, but you would be
surprised at how they will sit down and keep themselves
entertained with this one. (And you don’t have to go out and
buy your dough – have them help you make a batch. A recipe is
• Build something. LEGO’s, Lincoln Logs and K’nex. How many
of our kids still have these in the back of their closet? Don’t
have these construction pieces? Try creating structures using
toothpicks and connecting them together with green peas. Sounds
funny, but it works! As the structures dry they become sturdier
and you can keep them around for awhile.
• Go outdoors. Outdoor games like marbles, jacks, hopscotch
not only occupy your kids, they will also strengthen
coordination skills. Too hot or cold out? The garage, basement
and/or kitchen floors will work fine too.
• Become an outdoor artist. Buy a tub of colored chalk from
the local discount store and give your kids a theme to create
their own masterpieces on your front or back sidewalks. Take
pictures of them for your family album.
Are these new ideas? Of course not. But when our kids are
given a choice of any of these “offline” activities or the
chance to plug in to their TV or games, what are they going to
choose? When you unplug your kids, they will learn how to play
again simply because they have nothing else to do. They will
find other activities to keep themselves entertained.
Be prepared for a little bit of whining or frustration on
your kids’ part. It’s normal. It’s so much easier to sit in
front of a screen with mindless entertainment. It won’t take
long and your kids will be able to find other things to do
instead of plugging in and tuning the world out.
* * * * * * *
There are many variations of homemade play dough. The
Internet or any kid’s craft book are great resources if you
would like more ideas. There are edible versions as well (less
clean up!). The following recipe contains items commonly found
in most kitchens.
UNCOOKED SALT DOUGH
3 cups of flour
1/4 cup of salt
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
1 cup of water
food coloring (liquid is best)
1. Mix flour and salt together in
a large bowl.
2. Add water and oil slowly.
3. Add desired amount of food coloring.
4. Store dough in air tight container.
Add water (a little at a time) if dough is too stiff. If
dough is too sticky, add more flour.
Lisa Workman is the author of Tokens for TV: A Sensible
Approach to Balancing Television, Video Game and Computer
Activities. How much time does your child spend “plugged in” to
some sort of electronic device? Get your FREE worksheet at
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