What do you do instead of watching tv? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-25-2008, 03:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm interested in going tv-free, but I imagine my family spending a lot of money we don't have on other entertainment, like shopping, visiting attractions, eating, etc. We're not very good at entertaining ourselves. So how do you spend all that tv-free time?
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Old 04-25-2008, 01:50 PM
 
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I highly recommend the book Living Outside the Box: TV-Free Families Share Their Secrects as a resource.

Do you have a good library system in your area? I'd start there.

Good Luck!

B.
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Old 04-25-2008, 01:59 PM
 
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We do so much -- it is crazy! And we don't spend hardly any $$$.

We cook -- like homemade pizza -- and the kids love it. They even clean up. We are not rushed, so they get to help and actually eat better because they helped cook.

We are tourists in our own town. There are more free things to do with kids that you ever imagined! Find a city website, or search through the local papers to find things every week. Last night we just went to a TV turn off Family Fun night. It was great!

We have visited a new park every week this spring. We have also discovered more bike trails and fun stuff like that.

We play games and do crafts.

We sit and read and the kids "read" too.

We play on floor or on the beds. The kids climb all over us. It is nice for DH and I, we just lay there, and enjoy the family.

:
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Old 04-25-2008, 02:12 PM
 
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We're not totally TV free, although we only have local channels. This time of year its really easy to not watch tv. We have to mow our lawn and take care of it, as well as my husband's granny's lawn. We do alot of reading while at home also. We have a nice park within a couple of miles of our house. We go there and play on the playground, feed the ducks, etc. It's nice just to relax after a busy workweek. I also get tired of all the negativity on the news shows. Somebody is always in a crisis somewhere!!!!
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Old 04-25-2008, 02:14 PM
 
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Read
crafts
library
parks
take walks
go outside
play with toys
play cards
cook/bake
make playdough
play with pets
talk to each other
gardening
writing
make your own movies (we have a video camera)
chalk on the sidewalk
play musical instruments
play music and dance
Colleges often times have free events
Farmers markets
People-watch at the mall
Rollerskate/skateboard/bike/scooters
Family baseball/basketball game

You will probably sit around the house for a couple of days staring at each other with your kids complaining "I'm bored" a million times, and then slowly but surely find ways to entertain yourselves. My brothers and sisters and I would have to be bored out of our minds before we would actually play together, but once we reached our max-boredom levels we always managed to find something to do, even if it consisted of building a fort outside with some sheets, rubberbands, and big sticks.

My husband grew up watching lots of tv, but now he marvels at how many other things there are to do, and doesn't even want tv.

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Old 04-25-2008, 02:16 PM
 
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We are not 100% T.V free(I allow DVD's): We were once an all day every day T.V family. Now that I don't allow it, my DC actually play with each other.


We go to different parks. My DC especially like to watch the dogs at the dog run. They could stand there all day.
We also do arts and crafts. We go in the backyard(we have a swing set), they dig in the dirt and make mud puddles.
We go to the library. We go to different childrens play places(a little expensive, so I need to cut down)
We go to childrens museums.
In the house they play childrens games like hide and seek and red light green light.
My oldest DD loves to read, so she can read for hours. I used to be like that too

Try your local library, they should have a free paper with a list of things for children to do. Also google your area, you'll be surprised with what you might come up with.

: 2:Ma To 6 :12,8,7,5,2,1&
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Old 04-25-2008, 02:23 PM
 
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well, we do dvds sometimes, so there's my disclaimer.


we just live. It's no big secret. We didn't replace tv with new or different activeties, we just live.

You know all those things you do when you're not watching tv? Well, we do those, just like we did before, except we keep doing them.


Before we got rid of the tv I thought it would be this big thing where that chunk of time would be replaced with things I deemed more benificial like reading, crafts, more exciting, live entertainment, etc. The thing is regular life just takes over, you know? And it feels soooooo good.
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Old 04-25-2008, 02:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lunar forest View Post
we just live. It's no big secret. We didn't replace tv with new or different activeties, we just live.

You know all those things you do when you're not watching tv? Well, we do those, just like we did before, except we keep doing them.
That's about it. You just live your life. And you have lots of time to read.
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Old 04-25-2008, 04:09 PM
 
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Yup. Just do what you do when you don't watch TV. We play at home, cook, color, do crafts, go to the park, the bookstore (our library is under construction--no need to buy anything, though), read, clean the house, weed the garden, go grocery shopping, do puzzles and play games, take walks, read magazines, blow bubbles, play catch, talk...we just see where the day takes us. The only real money we spend on "entertainment" is on books (which we consume voraciously, but dh and I both have since we were children) and one or two inexpensive classes a week with dd at our local rec center (and those are largely for the social aspect of it, not because we "need" entertainment).

Dd is only two, but she's never had TV, so there's no sense that there's "extra" time to fill.
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Old 04-25-2008, 04:29 PM
 
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DH and I have been TV-free for most of our adult lives, so ten years or more. Every time we've tried tentatively reintroducing television, we've had to admit after a short time that it was a negative influence in our life, and that the quality of our relationships and the quality of our leisure time was deteriorating. For us, no-TV is the default setting.

We do watch the occasional rented movie on the computer, maybe like once a month, without the kids, but that's it.

My kids are still little. These are things they do, things DH and I do, and things we all do together. We have a very tiny budget, so we only rarely drive anywhere more than a few miles away, or eat out, or anything like that.

cook together
linger over meals and talk
listen to music and dance
play instruments
gardening
run around outside
stargaze
knit
spin
weave
woodworking
playing with toys, inside and outside
reading
telling stories
playing pretend games
bicycling
hiking
canoeing
picnicking
sidewalk chalk
visit with family, friends, neighbors
wading pool
visit the (free) nature center at a local park
visit our CSA farm
visit a local historical farm, also free
throw rocks in the river
play in the creek
sandbox
play-doh
painting
drawing
hang out at the library, especially when they have free programs
go for long neighborhood walks, with a bag to collect "treasures"
make blanket tents in the living room and play camping
build block cities and then knock them down
play board games
play basketball
play kiddie basketball, indoors in the winter
go to the bookstore and read all their books and don't buy anything
pack a lunch and go eat it in the food court at the mall, and then window shop
write stories and poems, make books
children's crafts
play wrestling, tickling, and tackle games with Daddy
play with the cats
go garage sale-hopping, or thrift-shop combing, or curbside trash-picking
local activism
make ice cream, yogurt, italian ice, or yummy baked stuff
roll and cut out cookies
sew
make dolls
make paper dolls
jump on the bed
"adult" activities, ahem... (lots more time for that without TV, provided your kids will go to bed without too much trouble!)


Gosh, I could go on and on and on, but this is getting long.

I would really encourage you to take the plunge and try it. Just do it. Don't dwell on what you're missing. Use the opportunity to try out all kinds of stuff you normally wouldn't do, and see what happens. If it's not working, you can always go back, but you'll never know how it will be if you don't try.

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Old 04-25-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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My favorite pasttime is going to the creek and throwing rocks in the water.

We hike, bike, walk.... Read, play games, make tents in the house. There's endless possibilities.

Wendy - mom to dd1(11), dd2(7), dd3(3)
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:14 PM
 
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I second the book recommendation, and the "live life!" comments. This is the third spring I've been more or less TV free (we did a lot more videos the first spring, then we had a baby the second!), and we're starting a teeny tiny garden for the first time ever, and my partner has several potential bonsai trees, which is something he's been wanting to do and reading about for years.

I also want to say - nothing. We do nothing sometimes. We have downtime, just hang out, watch the child play, play with the child, talk, look around the house and see if there's anything needs doing or we want to do, but sometimes, we just do nothing. Which is remarkably refreshing, and rather inexpensive.
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Old 04-28-2008, 05:03 PM
 
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Maybe we should post our TV-free days?

Honestly, I don't spend much money on a daily basis (except on food and libary fines ...the key for us is rotating toys so we don't get bored of just one thing...
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:15 PM
 
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Like other have said, it just gets filled up.

Honestly, at first, to get over the "withdrawl" period, you may need to plan- extra walks, have some friends over, etc. But before you know it, that "extra time" isn't really there... I noticed that my house was cleaner, we were eating better, the laundry got done, all that. Little by little that tv time was just put into other things.

As for the kids, my 3 yr old DS has been tv free since he was 3 months, so he doesn't really "miss" it, but just today, as I was bustling around int he kitchen fixing him lunch after he came home from pre-school, I noticed him just lounging in the big chair, looking out the window, watching the birds and the clouds. He told me how the pear tree was blooming and he thinks a squirrel lives there. Ya know, he finds ways to entertain himself. He's a kid.

Another quick thing I feel I need to say is: Bordem is OK. It is OK for kids to sometimes be bored. We as parents rush to fill every moment- lessons, playing games with them, etc. But how many great games and hobbies and books read came out of time just being bored? Kids will find something to do. I very rarely actively try to entertain my son (of course, sometimes I do... art projects and we go places and stuff- I mean, when we are home and just doing our thing, I don't feel the need to set him up with an activity every minute). My mother used to say "Go out side!" and that was that. We'd end up whining about how bored we were, my sister and I, but soon we'd be skipping rocks or playing tag. It is OK for kids to be bored sometimes... It forces them to find their own interests and be creative.
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:51 PM
 
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What everyone else said.

I honestly feel like DD and I have no time for TV during our days!

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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Old 05-01-2008, 08:22 PM
 
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My boys are only four we don't do anything differently than anyone else. They play a lot. They prefer outside so I'm looking forward to the better weather--we've been inside mostly for quite a while. I read to them a lot every day. We listen to music every day. We do a lot of talking of course. They wander in and out to help with things like cleaning, cooking, laundry. As far as doing together outside of the reading and chatter--we do games, puzzles, play dough, coloring/painting/cutting, etc....but none of those every day and some days none of them. I need to do better at that sort of thing but that has nothing to do with TV free!

Basically, I think kids find ways to fill up the time when TV is gone. I don't think you have to work and pay to find replacement entertainment. I know this is true even in former TV houses with older kids because my parents got rid of our TV when I was in I think late grade school or early middle school maybe. They didn't fill it up with anything; we just played and read and talked as a family more! As teens we slept more than we otherwise would have I bet as TV steals a lot of evening/night time. And that's a good thing in my book as most teens don't get enough sleep. My boys are younger so they just fill up their time with play. There is an adjustment period when switching over but it'll work out.

Edited to add: I was focusing on kids here but then I wondered if you were also talking about adults. Disclaimer for me is hubby and I have been TV free the majority of the 11 years we've been married. But right now we had a storm rip an old non-working antenna out of the ground so insurance paid for a new one. I'm watching some things right now; mainly American Idol. But basically we've been TV free too and hubby still basically is. He reads a lot in his free time, exerices, and writes. I spend a lot of my free time on the internet, talking on the phone, reading, or doing scrapbooks. Since we got high speed internet the scrapbook stuff barely happens...but it's hard to do that now anyway because the boys are always in my stuff when I get it out. But just like kids adults find other ways to spend their time too.

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Old 05-04-2008, 06:17 PM
 
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We just went TV free in Nov. I was a TVaholic!!!!! But I really don't want my son to be.

We just live our lives. Sometime we have so much to do sometime not. But you will see that with time you wil find LOTS to do. Book that you never had "time" to read. New parks to explore, cooking, games, makinf up songs, whatever you want to do. Playing makebelieve is my favotie!!!!!!!

Well I hope that you give it a try.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:16 PM
 
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I saw this and I had to chuckle. I came from a low-tv house growing up and have lived without one (except for an occasional movie) for close to 20 years. Whenever someone asks me what we do without tv, I always wonder how they get anything done if they spend that much time watching tv! We're pretty busy just doing things around the house, like everyone else said, and I can't imagine finding 2+ hours a day (don't know what you do, but I know the US average is really high) to spend in front of the tv! How do people do that?
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:06 PM
 
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I saw this and I had to chuckle. I came from a low-tv house growing up and have lived without one (except for an occasional movie) for close to 20 years. Whenever someone asks me what we do without tv, I always wonder how they get anything done if they spend that much time watching tv! We're pretty busy just doing things around the house, like everyone else said, and I can't imagine finding 2+ hours a day (don't know what you do, but I know the US average is really high) to spend in front of the tv! How do people do that?
I was thinking that just this afternoon. I was considering borrowing some PBS nature/science shows from the library and then I thought abotu when we'd watch them. Morning? no, too busy. After lunch, oh no, certainly no time there. In the evening before dinner? Nope, they play so nicely by themselves, that'd never do. After dinner before we get ready for bed? no no no, that would take too long and they'd be too cranky and how'd I get everything done?!

I honestly don't know how anyone squeezes tv into their days. It's not like we're very busy people, or have any sort of schedule.
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:15 PM
 
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I second, or third, just about everything in this thread! It's all about riding trikes in the yard, or digging holes, or blowing dandelions, or building with blocks or painting or reading... or just doing nothing! There *are* days when I am sort of the "cruise director" and find myself having to come up with three or four activities (and there are great books and websites out there for this), but for the most part, and especially since it's warmed up a bit, it's just unstructured free play basically all day long... and the kids come up with 90% of what they do in a given day.

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Old 05-12-2008, 11:25 PM
 
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It's so funny how your perspective changes once you go TV free or low TV! DH and I were discussing musicals in front of the kids the other day, and my oldest was asking about them. There's nothing on stage currently in our area, so we decided to rent "The Sound of Music" as an intro. I was thinking today that we could watch it, but we couldn't find the time! It's much easier to fill up your days than you think.

We spent a lot of time outside - in our backyard, local parks, state parks, camping, walking (daily depending on the weather), hiking, exploring. And we (try) to spend a lot of time with friends and family. The library! Sometimes we just stroll around down town and look at the shop windows. Find a nice spot to have a picnic. There was a really neat classic toy store in our old town with a train table, we'd go there and play for hours and not spend any money (except the occasional small toy so I didn't feel guilty, and I did a lot of Christmas shopping there). At home we bake, cook, clean, talk, READ (all the time!), play together... there's just so much to do. Seriously. You'll be amazed.

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Old 05-14-2008, 10:29 AM
 
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don't mind me, just subbing
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:27 PM
 
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Disclaimer: we do watch DVD's from time to time.

During the day it's not an issue for us. We've been w/out TV since last August and I thought that the winter would really drag on and be boring, but it wasn't. The kids played together more and my dh and I actually would TALK more. We'd go to bed and visit where before he'd watch TV in the living room and I'd read in bed. It's been good for our marriage.

Liz~A wife and homeschooling mother to two gifts from God!
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:23 AM
 
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Spend way too much time online. Actually, we did that when we had a TV too, so I guess that hasn't changed.

We didn't have dd when we had a TV, and our schedules weren't nearly as hectic. When I'm in school, I honestly can't imagine finding time to watch TV- I have barely enough time to get enough food and sleep, much less adequate time with dd and dh

It used to embarrass me to find any of our conversations revolving around a TV show. Now I wonder how we would ever get anything done if we had a TV schedule to keep up with...
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Old 06-06-2008, 04:30 AM
 
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Spend way too much time online.
Same here

I also read, play with my son (we go in the backyard and to the park a lot), clean the house, I'm getting more into cooking...

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Old 06-08-2008, 08:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Quote:
Spend way too much time online.
Same here

I also read, play with my son (we go in the backyard and to the park a lot), clean the house, I'm getting more into cooking...
same here.

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