After much prayer and conversation my husband and I have decided to set a more defined TV boundary. We decided that the best thing for our family was to limit TV time to 30 minutes a day and a family movie once or twice a week. The reason for the 30 minutes is because my oldest is only 2 and my youngest is only 10 months. I need to keep my 2 year old occupied while I put my baby down for his nap. I realize that I could find other things for him to do during that time, but I am comfortable allowing that 30 minutes. I certainly haven't perfected this yet, I am still working out the kinks. It is an adjustment for both me, my husband and my son. After the first couple of days it was much easier, my son stopped asking me to turn it on. It is becoming normal for me to do my responsibilities without the TV. Which isn't a surprise considering that in all of history women didn't have TV's! What has been the biggest blessing is that I am a more focused mom. I am more intentional with my son and what he could be doing. I never turned the TV on because I didn't want to spend time with my son. I love him and love including him in everything we do. I am so very glad to have woken up to this issue now instead of years down the road. This is always something I have felt strongly about. Perhaps this is why I have felt so incredibly guilty for letting it take so much control.
So, now on to what I promised! Here are some of the things I am doing to replace TV in our home. Many of these activities work "double duty" for play and home preschool. I have been reading "Home Grown Child" (see my review a little later this month!) and have been using her checklist to make sure all his needs are met within his play. Naturally, there are some things that he doesn't need my help with and others that require some planning and/or participation on my part. Here goes!
1. Play with blocks
2. Play with playdough
3. Paint with watercolors
7. Threading cards or pasta
8. Play/study with nature table (this is our table of items he has collected in outside on walks)
9. Simple Sensory Activities (play with shaving cream, transfer water from container to container...)
10. "Wash Dishes" (fill the sink with soapy water, sponge and some unbreakable dishes)
12. Help with chores (I always remind myself that it doesn't matter if they are actually helping, only that they feel they are!)
13. Play outside!
14. Garden (we have a small garden space just for our boys)
15. Play Invitations (more on this below)
16 Tinker Time (let them take something apart and put it back together without your involvement)
17. Full Body Finger Painting
18. Make a Bird Feeder
19. Bath time just for fun!
21. Water Table
22. Sidewalk chalk
23. Make and paint a box playhouse
24. Scissor Time
25. Dress Up
"Fun Stuff To Do" and Happily Domestic's Pinterest page. There is much inspiration to be found!
How do you handle TV time in your home? Has this been a struggle for you? How do you help your toddler stay busy?
Written By Happily Domestic Contributor: Brittney Thompson