The Playdate Kids Gazette

This blog is dedicated to all of the Playdate Kids Club Members. We will offer fun to read articles, tips for parents, ideas for arts and crafts projects and more!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

THE GREAT TV TURNOFF


Many adults would agree that it is easy to flip on the television set, plop the kids down in front of it and have them entertained for hours at a time. It is a simple solution that is an ongoing occurrence in millions of households with young children present. What parents do not realize is how damaging television can be for their children. Television teaches children that when they are bored, instead of doing something productive, it is acceptable to resort to the tube. At the crucial ages between three and six, children need to be involved in lots of activities to encourage natural creativity. So what are you supposed to do with all this empty time that the television usually occupies? The following is a top ten list of productive things to do with your kids that are guaranteed to put a smile on their faces, and yours.

1. Puzzles – These have been around for years, and to this day remain a child’s favorite. They enhance memory, give kids a sense of accomplishment upon completion, and develop their concentration skills. Not only are they good for educational purposes, they are fun, and kids love them. They are great for children of all ages, especially three to six year olds.

2. Recreation – Kids love the outdoors. If there is a park nearby, taking the kids there is not only great exercise for them, but you can also get active and join them in their activities. They get the benefit of physical activity, exploration, and perhaps the chance to make a new friend or two.

3. Crafts – Craft time is great for children ages three to six, especially if they are a little messy and they can really get involved. Crafts are a great idea for rainy days! Some easy crafts to do are paper bag puppets, watercolors, paint by numbers, or just have a variety of supplies for the kids to be creative with (glitter, popsicle sticks, washable markers, crayons, colored paper, glue, etc.)

4. Play Dough – Buy some play dough in lots of different colors, and kids can make anything their hearts desire. It is a great activity that encourages creativity. It is also a reusable item, which makes it worth the purchase.

5. Jump Rope or Hoola Hoop Contest – This activity would be best suited for the older children, around five or six years old. Hold contests in your backyard of who can jump rope or hoola the longest!

6. Freeze Dance – This active game is tons of fun! Put on some of your kids favorite music, and play it for a few minutes. Tell them that when the music stops, to freeze in whatever position they are in. If there are lots of kids playing, whoever is still moving when the music stops is out till the next round. Continue the music for a great time!

7. Make Paper Airplanes – These can be fun for boys and girls of all ages. Go to an internet site to find out how to make paper airplanes if you do not already know how. You can even let the kids color the pieces of paper to make their airplanes custom and unique! Help them fold the paper into their aerial creations, and then enjoy!

8. Cooking – Cooking can be messy, but fun for kids of all ages. You can make homemade ice cream, snow cones, or popsicle sticks with ice trays and lemonade on a hot day. A healthy favorite snack that is fun for kids to make is ant sticks.
All you need is celery sticks, peanut butter, and raisins, to be the “ants”. Have your children spread the peanut butter onto the celery, and then place the raisins onto them, to make them look like ants walking on the ground. It can be a good thing to encourage your kids to play with their food!

9. Dollar Store Treasure Hunt – This is a planned activity. Go to your local dollar store and pick out a few items that you can hide around the house, or perhaps in the backyard. Create a scavenger hunt, but make it simple, especially for the younger children. For example, if you buy a plastic boat, make a list of the items hidden and simply write “BOAT” on it. Kids who are learning to read and write get the added bonus of working on their reading skills, while playing and having fun.

10. Make a Card for Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa – This activity is not only fun and creative, but also sentimental. It is a great way to make something special for a family member. If you are mailing it, you can even let your child decorate the envelope!

By Jordyn Borczon of M. Loring Communications

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