What we do instead of television...

Saturday, March 22, 2014 0 Comments A+ a-

Two weeks ago, I set up a new television system that allows my children to each pick one 20-minute show to watch each day, and I have the option of picking one "educational' show for them. I don't always pick a show, but when I do, they tend to be science and nature NOVA-type documentaries and programming on the Discovey Channel which tend to run 30-60 minutes.  Between everything, they tend to watch 40-90 minutes of television a day. (You can download the fun chart we use here.)

My concern with television has never been with the quality of programming. As a parent in 2013, there are a lot of options for quality television. But my concern is about something different. I like restricting television time because it gives my children time to play and use their imaginations. Children need free time to play, but between school, sports, homework, playdates, today's children get very little unstructured free time to simply play. Once you add the amount of time kids spend on electronics and watching television, the numbers are beyond saddening. Every minute the television is on is one minute I'm depriving my children of the free play time they so desperately need. And how much unstructured play time do they need? My children thrive on at least 4 hours a day of completely unstructured play time. And the more we leave the television is off, the easier play becomes, and the stronger their imaginations become. Now what parent doesn't want that, right?

So,what does a typical day look like at our house? Well, quite often like this!

Crazy? Yes. Life with a 5-year-old and 2½-year-old should be crazy! 

So, how much television do you and your kids watch each day? What do you think about limiting television to 40 minutes a day for preschoolers & kindergartners? Leave a comment below! :)
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