Since one of the big issues for kids health today is the amount of time they spend in from of a screen (be it a television or a computer screen, no difference), these ideas for getting up and doing something else in the evenings are most welcome and most timely. Think about it: first it’s dinner, presumably sitting, then it’s homework, sitting again, followed by TV, sitting some more.
Break the pattern with one or more designated TV and computer FREE evenings. A nice walk, with or without the dog, or a ball throwing session, again with or without the dog. Frisbees are good fun. Shoot some hoops or soccer balls. You can do all of these no matter the season, provided it’s not raining or snowing at the moment.
And if it has to be indoors, the iMom blog has some great ideas for indoor activity that gets everyone moving. Make a treat together in the kitchen, that then they get in their lunchbox. Play one of the active wii games- might even be a good enough reason to invest in the game system. Do a project, either an art project or a basement project like building a birdhouse- great together time too.
Get out one of those games– Parcheesi, monopoly, checkers or chess, backgammon, etc. Card games are another good activity, and these range from Go Fish to pinochle and bridge for older kids. These don’t necessarily exercise the body, but they do exercise the mind. And as I mentioned the other day, read a great book aloud, a chapter a night, just like Scheherazade in the Arabian Nights (a good book to read aloud, by the way). Set them up for a camp out with a ‘tent’ in the basement or living room, games they can play with each other, healthy snacks, books, cards, anything you can think of that isn’t a TV or another screen.
One night a week would be a great way to start the TV Free Evening routine.