12 Activities That Get Kids to Unplug the TV


Most everyone loves to come home after a long day and relax in front of the TV, watching a program to help decompress. But while occasional television time isn’t harmful, letting your children sit in front of a screen too often can make them cranky, expose them to often inappropriate content, and rob them of valuable time during which they could be learning, either inside the house or out.

This year then, let’s all celebrate National TV Turn-Off Week (April 21st-25th) by switching off the screen and having fun with these twelve imagination learning activities for kids.

1. Write a Book

It may sound like a daunting prospect, but writing a book can be a wonderful learning activity to help spend family time together. You can each pick a piece of the storyline, and craft a whole story using nothing but your imagination.

2. Write a Poem

If your kids already have experience writing, try changing playtime by writing a poem in rhyme, in a type of verse, or even just freely.

3. Draw a Family Portrait

The next chance you have family time together, have your children draw a collective portrait of all of you together. This fun kids arts and crafts project will give you something to remember forever!

4. Put on a Play

There’s no better way to get lost in the imagination than by putting on a play with the little ones. You can perform an already known classic, or write one during playtime to show off to the rest of the family.

5. Make a Delicious Feast

Consider taking playtime into the kitchen by creating a feast for the family. If your children are old enough, give them specific responsibilities to help ease the process; if they’re still too young though, just let them lend a hand as you cook something delicious for dinner.

6. Have a Scavenger Hunt

Collect a few items, hide them throughout the house, and give a list of the things that you hid to your children. Then spend the rest of the day scouring your home for these fun treats!

7. Make a Puzzle

To make your own puzzle during playtime, all you need is a piece of poster board or Styrofoam, and a pair of scissors or a sharp knife. Have your children use kids arts and crafts supplies to decorate the poster, and then use the cutting device to slice it up in whatever way you would like. Then, mix up the pieces, and have your kids put it back together during playtime.

8. Fingerpaint

While it may seem messy, fingerpainting during playtime is a great kids arts and crafts project that will let your children explore the reaches of their imagination. It’s also a great interactive activity that builds kinesthetic awareness and dexterity for the little ones.

9. Go on a Nature Walk

There are so many wonderful things to see in nature, during both winter and summer, and you can take these opportunities to head outside and witness them during playtime. Make sure to look for animal tracks, budding flowers, different types of rocks, and anything else your children can find.

10. Make a New Invention

If you really want to discover the depths of your children’s imaginations, spend playtime one day trying to think of a new invention to help make your life a little bit easier!

11. Volunteer to Help Someone

If you are trying to get your kids to turn off the TV, suggest instead they you spend some family time volunteering in the community. You can help out at a humane society, wrap presents during the holidays, or even cook meals for those in need.

12. Head Outside and See for Yourself

Your children shouldn’t always need a reason to go outside – if you want them to get away from the screen, simply turn off the TV, head out together, and see what sort of amazing things you can find!

Have Family Time Outside

Don’t let your kids spend too much time in front of the TV. Instead, open the doors, head outside, and have some family time fun in the great outdoors!


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