TV viewing by young children skyrockets during the summer months as exhausted parents look for ways to fill the day. According to the Smart Television Alliance, children’s television viewing during the summer increases 150 percent compared to the rest of the year.
The AAP recommends no television under age 2 and limited television by children above age 2, but studies published in Parents Magazine show that a majority of parents do not abide by the recommendation. In my experience, TV viewing escalates during the summer months as parents who want the3 best for their children struggle for a free way to pass the time. With gas prices hitting or exceeding $4 a gallon, trips to the museum, zoo, beach and other local attractions have become harder for families to afford.
One of my favorite books is Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun. Author Bobbi Conner provides tips on how to reduce the amount of time your kids spend watching TV and playing with electronic games as well as nearly 700 age-appropriate activity suggestions for children from 1-10 years of age.
We reviewed Unplugged Play last December on Mamanista because it is full of imaginative, interactive activities for infants, toddlers and elementary school children that were perfect for a snowy day during winter vacation.
Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun is a parent’s best friend. It has tips for free activities perfect for beautiful, summer days and rainy, dull days, for times when you want to play one-on-one with your child and those moments when you want to distract your little one with a busy activity so you can get dinner on the table or finish that email.
These activities trigger the imagination and help children develop their motor skills and problem solving abilities. But, most importantly, they are good, plain fun and do not require much money– just imagination and a sense of whimsy. In fact, some of my favorite activities in the book involved just a laundry basket and rolled up socks!
Leave a comment on this post by July 11, 2008 letting us know your favorite low cost or no cost summer activity for kids.