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Getting a break without using TV

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
We have decided to turn off the cable in our house. I am excited, but a little worried too.

I run an in-home daycare, and although I try not to turn the tv on very much, I have to admit to using it from time to time when I need to get something done, or in order to calm the kids down for a bit. Like if the baby just won't go down for a nap, and I need to keep the older kids occupied (and out of her room!) for a few minutes. Or I will let them watch Elmo's World while I make lunch. Sometimes it gets really chaotic in here, and I turn on tv just so I can have a few minutes to hear myself think.

So I need some alternatives. I have a 2.5yo boy that I am particularly concerned about. He watches a LOT of tv at home (like most of his waking hours). He doesn't play independently/creatively very well.... most of his play revolves around cars crashing over and over and over again. Then he loses interest and wants to yell/roll on the floor/jump on the dogs/etc.

I have lots of things that could normally be used for quiet time - books, colouring, puzzles, etc. but they only hold his attention for about 30 seconds.

So... those of you with toddlers and preschoolers, especially active ones, how do you calm things down in your house without tv??
post #2 of 5
Hi Lily

Some of the things I've found useful for chore time are actually letting the children join in and do some of the bits and pieces, appropriate to their age. [I]How To Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way[I] is a really helpful book, giving practical ideas on letting children set the table, prepare their own snacks, wash up, dust etc. I was amazed to find that my boisterous boy *loved* the sense of achievement this gave him. There are tons of great ideas in that book.

For desperate times, when I need a bit of headspace, and the children are full of unburned energy, a useful tool for me has been a paddling pool filled with balls (inside or out) and letting them play in this. And for outdoor, water painting keeps them occupied for AGES! Give them a bowl of water and a selection of paint brushes - artist brushes, household paint brushes, you name it, and let them "paint" anything and everything with the water. Mine love painting trees, fences, benches, the floor. This is loved by all from crawling babies to teenagers! And virtually no mess!

Or there's the old standby of letting them make a den out of the sofa/table and some old pieces of fabric. Or putting on some music, clearing a space and let them dance.

Good luck

Rachel x
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudbaby View Post
Hi Lily

Some of the things I've found useful for chore time are actually letting the children join in and do some of the bits and pieces, appropriate to their age. [I]How To Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way[I] is a really helpful book, giving practical ideas on letting children set the table, prepare their own snacks, wash up, dust etc. I was amazed to find that my boisterous boy *loved* the sense of achievement this gave him. There are tons of great ideas in that book.

For desperate times, when I need a bit of headspace, and the children are full of unburned energy, a useful tool for me has been a paddling pool filled with balls (inside or out) and letting them play in this. And for outdoor, water painting keeps them occupied for AGES! Give them a bowl of water and a selection of paint brushes - artist brushes, household paint brushes, you name it, and let them "paint" anything and everything with the water. Mine love painting trees, fences, benches, the floor. This is loved by all from crawling babies to teenagers! And virtually no mess!

Or there's the old standby of letting them make a den out of the sofa/table and some old pieces of fabric. Or putting on some music, clearing a space and let them dance.

Good luck

Rachel x
Great tip! Thanks.
post #4 of 5
We went without cable for a while and I used the library's DVD section on kids stuff. It's great because you can totally control what they are watching and pick learning movies that are appropriate for their ages.
post #5 of 5
Oh, I forgot to mention - I also have a few baby signing videos that my 14 month old son has watched since he was only a few months old. He was signing well before a year so there was that great benefit, but he also loved the videos so it was a nice break for me. The two best are "my Baby Signs - favorites" dvd that came as a part of the Baby Signs set & the Baby Einstein "My First Signs" dvd.
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