Almost any parent would agree that children should spend more time actively engaging their bodies and minds and less time in front of TVs, PSPs, DVDs, and computers. But even our best intentions can be hard to follow through on unless we have something to replace those things. If you want your kids to try something new, you’ve got to have replacement activities ready to go.
Not only is today Earth Day, but we’re also midway through TV Turnoff Week. So it’s the perfect day to say, “Kids, we’re going outside!” Make it fun! Make it an adventure. The more we can teach children that there is as much stimulation in the world outside the moving screen, the more willing they’ll be later in life to make that decision for themselves. As an added bonus, those who spend time outside inevitably develop an appreciation for Mother Nature, which is a perfect tie in on Earth Day.
So head outside! Tell your kids a story about the Earth. Make up an Earth-related song. Find some sticks or little stones and drum out a beat. Play a game that involves weather or seasons or plants. Do something different today. Who knows, tomorrow they may just want to do it all over again!
Want some more suggestions for TV Turnoff Week? Here’s some ideas for both indoors and outdoors.
www.screenfreeweek.org – this website was specially created by the publishers of the early childhood magazine, Tessy & Tab. It has lots of great ideas and tools!
play-activities.com – play activities for screen-free week
www.dorchesterhealth.org – 101 screen-free activities
play.kindermusik.com – our Kindermusik Play website has a number of free downloadable activities to accompany songs. Just look for the orange buttons with a capital A in a box. Those are free activities you can download and try at home.
Click here for a fact sheet on screens and very young children.
Special thanks to Kindermusik educator Theresa Case for contributing to this post. Theresa’s Kindermusik program, Kindermusik at Piano Central Studios, is in the top 1% of all programs in the world.