8 ways to get your children to watch less TV
January 28, 2015  |  Written by M. Rodrigo Brao

How many hours should a child watch TV? In a study, published by medical journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, British paediatricians, led by psychologist Aric Sigman, suggests children under 3 not watch television or use other electronic devices such as cell phones, computers or tablets. And for kids 3 and older, they recommend they spend no more than 2 hours a day in front of a screen. Other experts however, believe we should not prohibit but limit the use of screens. Instead of isolating children in this technological and digital age, the key is to help them consume in moderation. Overexposure to screens can cause serious problems related to physical and cognitive development such as obesity, attention deficit disorders or lack of empathy.  Instead of opposing machines, we must search for educational alternatives that may substitute them. Especially during the winter months, when children spend more time at home. The Toy Blog would like to offer 8 ideas to help you help them not be tempted to watch too much TV.

Learning about Animals

Children feel passionate about animals and more so, if they´re wild. Rainy winter days are a perfect excuse to introduce them to the animal kingdom. You can learn about one each day. Take the Animals in Action figures by Famoclick and have your child choose which animal he or she wants to learn more about. Your children can draw a picture of the animal on a piece of paper or construction paper and create a Fact Sheet and their very own animal library. Remember to make it interesting and fun. If you´re reading about cheetah´s for example, tell them how fast they can run (115km per hour). If it´s sharks they´re interested in, did they know they have 3000 teeth. If this activity encourages your children to learn and discover, why not take a trip to the Zoo so they can see their favourite animals up close?


Children and kitchens might seem uphill or quite unlikely, but cooking has invaluable lessons for childhood development. Besides it´s a great activity and helps build their vocabulary, allows them to become acquainted with basic math skills and shows them to be patient. Keep in mind they must follow instructions, measure ingredients and wait for the dish to bake in the oven. However, we suggest they start off by practicing pretend cooking with toy kitchens such as Comiditas Famoplay.

Board Games

A board game may seem like a simple pastime but it´s also a great way to spend quality family time and have children exercise their brain. Board games help them ask pertinent questions, enhances their social skills, cultivates empathy, teaches them to make decisions, make mistakes and respect the rules. In our post titled “Let´s Play a Board Game” we suggested you check out the Famogames, ideal for winter afternoons.


Enjoy the Snow

It may be cold but you shouldn´t let that stop you from playing outdoors with your children. Snow gives you the chance to introduce them to winter sports such as skiing or snowboarding. Another option is to spend the day in the mountains sleigh riding, making snowmen and having fun with snowball fights. The little ones will have a great time and will be exercising while they do. Just make sure they´re bundled up and wear waterproof clothes and breathable fabrics, which help regulate their body temperatures.


Cities offer a wide variety of museums to choose from. Art, history, technology and science are some topics children can learn and where they´ll also develop a critical and scientific mind. So, what can we do to have them engage and enjoy museums without getting bored? The majority offer special tours for kids so they can discover artists, paintings, experiments or events from a different point of view. Before you go, make sure you call them or visit their website to confirm their hours and activities.

Arts & Crafts or DIY Experiments

The main advantage of arts & crafts or DIY experiments is that they keep children entertained for hours while they provide them with tools that encourage creativity, decision-making, concentration and motor skills. You don´t have to spend a lot of money since you can easily reuse objects you probably have at home and teach them about recycling too. There are plenty of websites where to get ideas. We published several posts with great suggestions here at The Toy Blog. If you haven’t read, “Shall we make a Collage?” or “10 Experiments which will make your kids love science”, we encourage you to do so. Nancy also offers activity ideas in her blog that will serve as inspiration.


Libraries aren´t just places where to go read. Nowadays, libraries organize fun activities for children, motivating them to read through puppet making, drawing and interacting with other children. They´re usually divided into age groups and make for some very entertaining afternoons. And not just for kids. For parents as well. Make sure you visit the nearest library to discover the activities they have programmed this winter.

What other activities would you suggest in order to get your children to watch less TV?

Photo Credits: Famosa


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