Hello and welcome!
Our mission is to encourage and inspire healthy hobbies, learning and leadership through less screen time and more reading, crafts, outdoor exploration, family activities and service.
As a reliable form of distraction and entertainment, television, video games, iPads, iPods and other handheld devices enable today’s parents to relax, work and/or get a multitude of tasks done while their children are “plugged in.” Though some parents may not realize exactly how much screen time their children are getting (see Child Care Settings post), many know that their kids should probably have less.
Numerous studies have shown that screen time is detrimental for children, yet 2-11 year olds still average 4 to 4 1/2 hours a day of TV time. That’s more than twice the limit recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which suggests restricting television viewing to no more than 1-2 hours a day for children over the age of 2. (It also recommends no TV for those under 2.) One recent survey revealed that Americans aged 8-18 now spend an average of more than 7 1/2 hours a day using a TV, computer, smart phone or other electronic device, excluding time spent texting and talking on their cell phones!
Given the AAP’s recommendations and the reasons behind them (see Screen Time), it makes sense for parents to investigate alternative activities. This site is for those of you looking for such alternatives: ways to occupy your children’s time without screen time.
Depending upon their ages, some of the projects featured here will require a significant amount of adult involvement, while others are more hands off. Inevitably, you will end up spending more time with your children, but that’s exactly what many of them really want and appreciate—time with you.
Some of these endeavors are messy, and some involve trips outdoors, while others engage children in quieter—and neater—pastimes like reading or drawing, but one thing they all have in common is that they do not involve screen time. Less time in front of the “tube” typically means more time interacting with others, broadening their horizons and becoming well-rounded individuals.
In addition to encouraging a variety of arts, crafts and nature projects, we have included ideas for helping others. Children who participate in community service or volunteer projects benefit in a variety of ways. In addition to feeling good about assisting others, they’ll have a better understanding of life outside of their daily routine. Expanding their world view will help to increase their empathy and compassion. As an added bonus, those who stick with such activities may even live longer, as suggested by one study that claims those who volunteer regularly are more likely to live longer than those who don’t.
Ultimately, investing the time (and sometimes money) that these projects require will equip your children with skills, interests and values that could serve them well for years to come. Who knows, you might even introduce them to something that becomes not just a hobby but also their life’s purpose!
Thank you for visiting,
Liesl Bohan, homeschooling mom, writer and primary contributor
Matthew Bohan, homeschooling dad and contributing artist, illustrator, painter, sculptor and photographer
Sources for Stats Mentioned Above
- MLC (medialiteracyclearinghouse)
- The New York Times
- Kaiser Family Foundation
- The Health Benefits of Volunteering
- Child Care Settings May Increase Total TV Time for Children
- Screen Time: It’s Not That Innocent (tipsntidbits.com)
- How Much TV is Right for Kids? (psychologytoday.com)
- Computers and Young Children (education.com)
- Too Much Tube Time for Kids, Group Says (webmd.com)
© Liesl K. Bohan and Matthew Bohan | TipsnTidbits.com