Something that has really been annoying me as of late is the fact that our kids spend all day indoors watching TV and playing computer games. This is not how I grew up and it surely is not the way I want my two young boys to grow up either. There is so much more to life than watching cartoons and playing overly violent computer games.
Kids need to be active, or at least use their brains for something productive, something which TV surely is not in any way. Sure, a little bit of TV and computer games is fine, but too much of anything is not good. That is why I started looking for some fun alternatives to TV and computer games which my kids could do for fun and to learn something too.
So, what are my 3 favourite alternatives to TV and computer games?
This may sound a little weird, but just bear with me and I will explain it. This is something that is ideal for both little boys and girls, plus for teenagers too. Aquascaping is actually a mix between having an aquarium and a garden. In fact, an aquascape is a like a little underwater indoor garden. One of my boys actually loves to be in the garden, and he loves pets too, especially fish, which is why I figured that his own aquascapes was the perfect solution that would keep him from playing too many computer games and watching too much TV.
An aquascape requires a fair amount of maintenance, which you may look at with and think that your kid is not the best for taking care of something. However, the fact that it requires some maintenance is the exact thing that will keep them away from those blasted shows and violent games. That being said, an aquascapes does not require so much maintenance that everything in the aquarium will die due to neglect.
There is also the fact that having to take care of some plants and fish will teach my boy some responsibility, something that every boy needs to learn before becoming a real adult. All you really need are some plants and fish, maybe a filter and some lights, the tank itself, and maybe even a protein skimmer (which are covered more here). Sure, an aquascape may not be the cheapest to start up or maintain, but it is no more expensive than a brand new computer game or cable TV package!
Aquascapes are also fantastic because there are so many different types of them. Underwater caves, jungles, rainforests, coral aquascapes, mountain ranges, and much more can all be made into an aquascape. It is something that lets my boy’s imagination and creativity flourish and rise to its true potential. The reality is that an aquascapes is kind of time consuming, so it keeps kids occupied, they aren’t all that hard to maintain, and they will give you and your kids hours of entertainment too. We also like aquascaping because it is a great indoor activity for those cold and rainy days.
Ok, so we know that it might be a little difficult to rip your kids away from their beloved computer games and favourite TV shows, especially for sports. However, once you do get them playing that first game of any sport, you will see how quickly your kids fall in love with it. There is really not worry of your kids not liking sports, because there are so many different options out there that you are bound to find one that suits your little boy or girl. The simple reality is that there is a rapidly growing epidemic of childhood obesity, which leads to being big as an adult, and eventually an early death. These are all things which nobody wants for their kids, and the perfect solution is an hour of exercise per day.
Remember that kids don’t always like to exercise, so you are going to want to find an activity that peaks their interest and is very fun. There are so many options like soccer, baseball, basketball, skipping rope, hide and go seek, tag, bowling, lawn bowling, hiking, biking, cricket, lacrosse, and so much more. The point is that an active activity is a great alternative to games and TV shows. You want your kids to be healthy and have fun at the same time, which is exactly what any kind of physical activity will provide them with.
3. Books & Board Games
One of the biggest problems that I have recognised when it comes to computer games and TV is that they are inherently anti-social. Yes, you can watch TV and play computer games together, but in the long run they aren’t meant to be all that social. Kids need to learn to socialise well with others to build good connections life, not to mention that TV and computer games aren’t all that great for stimulating the mind either.
OK, we know that you are thinking that books are also anti-social because reading is usually singular. However, we mean that you should get together with your kids and have some kind of story time event. If they are really young, you can read to them, probably with picture books. If they are getting older, you can slowly teach them to read, and eventually read real full length books. Of course you are going to have to find a subject that your kids enjoy.
Sure, you might not be a fan of Star Wars, but having your kids read a Star Wars book is much more beneficial than watching the movies on TV. The pint is that family story time is a great way to bond with your kids, have fun, teach them essential skills, and get away from TV and computer games at the same time.
The same can be said for board games. Board games require a logical thought process and they usually involve some kind of reading too. Whatever board game it may be, the fact of the matter is that it is going to be much more mentally stimulating for your kids than blasting away at terrorists on the newest shooter game. Plus, board games are much more interactive and will allow you to bond with your kids much more as well.
So in conclusion…
Just remember, you probably shouldn’t ban TV and computer games all together, because your kids will seriously hate you for that. However, you should find some alternatives and limit their time on those electronic devices because they will benefit from it in the long run. Get your kids’ hearts pumping and their brain juices flowing!