Monday, December 20, 2010

a tv free childhood

After reading the comments on Meagan’s lovely post “a tv free childhood” over at ecoMILF, I thought I’d write about what we do during poison hour / crafting / day to day since we don’t use TV as an entertainment form for Little B.

I’ve slowly been acclimatising Little B to my crafting / knitting during out days together. It’s not uncommon to find me perched on the edge of the sandpit / or ensconced in a chair next to it knitting while he plays and we chat together.

When I want to do short bursts of sewing, this is what Little B does:

He loves beading at his little table near me. It’s that or threading or building big Lego towers.

During poison / impossible hour which always falls while I’m cooking dinner *sigh*, I’ve got a revolving repertoire of play dough, painting or cutting. This is all done at a table in our kitchen as he’s keen to be near me. I also play a poison hour soundtrack that we have put together which keeps both he and I calm and happy.

But these are obviously things I do with an almost 4 year old. When he was smaller, I didn’t craft during the day, but for poison hour I put a big chalk board on the floor of the kitchen and let him draw. Or I would give him a bowl with crushed ice to play with.

Other great hits were two sets of magnets (dinosaurs, alphabet) that I rotated for him to play with on the fridge. And some photos he could rearrange all over the fridge in magnetic protective covers. Banging pots and pans and emptying the bottom shelf of my pantry was another big fave :-)

And when he was littler again, I wore him in an Ergo backpack and we used to sing and dance while I cooked. I was also best-friends with my slow cooker :-)

I love Christy’s idea of bags that only come out during this time period with toys that don’t see often that rotate. If Little B was younger I would have tried this option.

Audiobooks play a huge role in our lives as well. Little B loves to listen to stories and this gives us periods of down time during the day. His current favs are Paddington at Christmas and Jack & the Beanstalk. But our collection ranges from Fireman Sam to Winnie the Pooh to Dr Suess. These are really good when he is sick or confined to the house due to crappy weather.

As one of my favourite kids books says “everybody is different”, so this post isn’t to make you feel guilty if you use TV in your house, instead I hope it gives you some ideas, so that TV isn’t the first or only port of call as you play out your days together with your little ones.

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