This blog is here for you to find fun learning activities to do with your children. We share great ideas we find and love on the Internet, as well as ideas we come up with on our own! We also like to share resources we find helpful.

To find ideas for your child, click on the age range blog label or on the theme/topic you are looking for (on the left side of the page). In each post, we try to list optimal age ranges for the activity, but you must judge for yourself if it is appropriate for your child. When you try an activity out, please comment and let us (and everyone else) know how your child liked it!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Surviving Winter: Television Time (and other Technology)

Side note: Remember when TVs looked like that? How quickly things change these days.

Okay, television and technology (computers, video games, computer games, etc.) are a couple of options at your disposal for keeping some peace during the winter. 

We definitely watch more television in the winter than in the summer. I pretty much don't turn the TV on for the kids at all if it is nice weather outside. My kids all didn't start watching TV in life until January after they turned 1. For all three, that was 20 months, 21 months, and 22 months old. So in the winter, we use it some. 

I start slowly each January. I don't immediately go to TV each day for 30-60 minutes. I might do one day a week. By the end of the winter, it seems we are watching TV almost daily for 30-60 minutes. TV is great for filling some time....

...but it also defeats some of your purposes for surviving winter. It stops kids from moving around, which they don't need in the winter. They need activities to get them moving. 

It also gets addictive and leads to sleep and behavior problems if too much screen time happens daily.

So use with caution. If you start to use it and notice behavior issues and/or sleep issues, you probably have the TV on too much. Use it as a special activity to do, but not as your life for the winter months. 

Also, don't think the television is necessary at all to get through difficult weather months. Last year, we had moved and didn't have it for about six months. When it isn't an option, the kids use their imagination. They don't think of TV because it isn't part of life. They think of other things to do. 

So in your TV use, I say be wise and mindful. 

A tip for preventing TV time from completely absorbing your children is to have other things for them to do while they watch TV. Maybe color, maybe play with toys (my toddlers always want to play with toys while watching TV), maybe jumping on the mini-tramp while watching ("You are free to watch TV so long as you are jumping on the trampoline" :) ). So you can make it more than just sitting and staring.

By the way, I plan for this to be my last Surviving Winter post for this winter season because I plan for winter to be over soon. Hopefully winter will obey :) 

I do have a full list of ideas ready for next winter, so be excited...but enjoy the nice weather first. 


Kristy Powers said...

LOL, I hope winter obeys you, too! I won't mention what it's like here in northeast Florida today...

Plowmanators said...

Kristy, winter is being like a toddler today. It is snowing ever so slightly to test the boundaries. But the question is, what kind of logical consequence can I give winter? ;)

Kristy Powers said...

That is a tough one, but if anyone can think of a good logical consequence, it will be you. :) I suggest not showing winter your frustration with it because that might encourage it. Just kidding. I grew up in Minnesota, yet nothing useful comes to mind...LOL.

ralphswurld said...

We do go to the mall a lot but only because they have a few different play areas there for the kids and the carousels. This Winter we may try art activities because we haven't done that yet. We have gone to the Children's Museum. I plan on checking out the local libraries. We go to music class once a week and I take my oldest to Gym class once a week. We have playdates with other kids. We go to my inlaws. We do foodshopping. We make sure we don't hang and spend watching tv so much and make cable tv companies rich. Somehow, I always find myself out with them. We do most of these trips in the morning since they wake kind of late from their afternoon nap.


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