I remember the days when the television was NOT the first option to keep children occupied. Back then, there were so many things that children could do in their spare time and not bother mommy or daddy. Today, it is sad to say that many parents (and even nannies) turn to the black box to keep the children quiet and behaved. Now I am not saying that the TV is all bad. We do have a lot of good shows for children, and with DVDs being the norm, we have even more choices on hand.
Still, I am a firm believer in engaging children in other activities and not letting the TV run their lives. While I find the TV useful and entertaining, I also think that children should be exposed to many other activities. There is a whole world of ideas and values to be learned in so many other ways, don’t you think? So, here’s a list of my alternatives to watching TV.
Stickers! There is no doubt about it – children LOVE stickers. Both boys and girls have this thing for stickers so you really should stock up on them. There are a lot of stickers that you can buy in bookstores – whenever you see some that you think your children would like, just grab a bunch. Also make sure that you have a blank notebook where your children could put the stickers. Otherwise, you might end up with stickers on the walls, on the furniture, and even the fish tank! To encourage creativity, tell your children to make up their own story with the stickers. Another idea is to buy sticker books. They have all sorts of themes – dinosaurs, gadgets, and more. Choose the ones that will interest your children and bring the books out when necessary.
Match colors…sock colors, that it. With several children in the house, I have tons of socks to pair up after washing. Instead of doing it myself, I can actually enlist the kids’ help. Toddlers who know the basic colors are excellent helpers. Just ask them to pick out matching pairs and put them together. Older kids will even be able to wrap or bind them up together. That’s killing two birds with one stone, don’t you think?
Audio books! I love to read and I love listening to audio books. I think my children should have the same passion as well. With any mp3 player, they can listen to all the stories they want. It’s better than TV because listening to stories can help sharpen their imagination as well as their comprehension skills.
So what’s on your list of activities?