When you want to get kids away from the TV and into something more constructive, it can be hard to think of TV alternatives that will capture their interest. In some cases, the activity may not get their interest right away, but it may lead to new hobbies over time. Here are four ways to introduce TV alternatives to the household and to reintroduce old favorites.
1. Board Games
Board games may not be as immediately entertaining as watching TV, but this TV alternative has so many games available that you can find something for any household. There are games for very young kids that don't require any reading, like Candyland, and there are games for readers of every age. Even teenagers can get in on the action by playing trivia games based on pop culture or getting reacquainted with their childhood favorites.
Gardening is a favorite pastime for many adults, but many children also have a fondness for it. However, that can't happen unless they are introduced to it by an adult. Young children can start by planting seeds in cute pots or even putting seeds in between wet paper towels and drawing pictures of all of the stages that the sprouting seed goes through.
Older kids can be put in charge of a a small flower garden or learn to plant seeds and seedlings in outdoor containers. Some kids may find it boring at first, but once their plants thrive and bloom, you may see a quick change in attitude. Checking the plants each day and taking pride in the gardening efforts may become a part of your child's daily routine.
Putting puzzles together is an activity that one or several children can do together. It's also one that can be appropriate for any age group. Puzzles with large pieces can be put together by preschoolers. There are also many intermediate puzzles, including 50 piece, 100 piece, 500 piece and up.
4. Craft Projects
Most kids can get engaged in craft projects if the project is one that is age and interest appropriate. Craft projects can include anything from making paper flowers to sculpting skulls from clay, so there is a craft for every kid. Setting up a useful crafting area will make it easier for kids to engage themselves in craft projects at any time. A sturdy table with a crafting drawer or two nearby will allow kids to go to the crafting area when they want to use their imaginations and create something they can be proud of.
For younger kids, cutting out shapes and gluing them to construction paper can be fun. You may need to cut out the shapes if the child is under 4-years-old. Young children can also learn finger knitting and work with clay. Older kids can make pot holders, make simple dolls and learn crocheting or knitting. Teenagers can create dioramas, make clothing or learn how to make their own jewelry.