TV-Free Ideas for Early Elementary Kids


Learn About Your Family History: History is a story well told. Through storytelling children can understand what's involved in writing the stories that make history. For this activity you'll need family members and friends, a fairy tale or folk tale, and a history log.

  1. Tell a story of a person you know: Gather your children, other family members, and friends to have a storytelling session. Choose a person you know to be the focus of the story or choose a well-known person to be the center of the story. Decide who will begin, and go clockwise from there with each person adding to the story. Set a time limit so that you must end the story somewhere.
  2. Read a folk story or fairy tale: For example, Little Red Riding Hood or The Story of Johnny Appleseed. Talk about how the story begins and ends, who the characters are and what they feel, and what happens. Ask how this story based on fantasy is different from the story you told about the real person you know.
  3. Read a story about an historical event: Now pick a moment in world history, for example the fall of the Berlin Wall, the French and Indian War, or a current event in the news headlines. Ask the librarian for help in choosing material that is at your child's reading level.
  4. Help your child write in the history log about this storytelling experience.

In the storytelling session about the person you know, how did you verify the "truth" when there were differences of opinion about what "really happened"? If you were to write the story of a real event for the newspaper, what would count for you the most in preparing it? What else would you include? Where would you get your information? How would you check the accuracy of the information?


Music and Kids

Listening to music can move one's spirit, can energize or can soothe. What are some of your child's favorites?

Helping Out Around the House

Instead of watching TV, you can use some of the extra time to organize and straighten out closets and rooms. Having family chores can promote a sense of belongingness and can increase self-esteem as children learn to care for themselves. Children ages four to eight can assist in making beds, setting and clearing the table, watering plants, taking out trash, wiping down bathroom sinks, putting away clothing and toys, vaccuuming or sweeping, unloading a dishwasher, walking or feeding pets. Chores done together (whether at a set time or with some fun background music) can be productive, fun family time.

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