Playing with Mommy is more fun than an iPad

Halsey Schools Preschool Infant & Toddler Care in Woodland Hills

Virtually all children would prefer playing with their parents

It’s true that most children watch too much TV and other screen media. But did you know, if given a choice between  screen time or playing with Mommy and Daddy virtually all children would prefer playing with their parents? It is up to us to give them what they want and what we know is better for them. So dig down deep inside and let your inner preschooler come out! It’s time for some hands-on fun!


Screen Collage Vs. Activity Collage

  • Gather up some newspapers and magazines (the old fashioned paper kind) and search for pictures of screens, TVs, computers, smartphones etc. Cut or tear the pictures out and artfully paste them to a piece of paper. Hang it up on your wall of pride.
  • Now look for pictures of active things to do; people swimming, running, playing, etc. Cut or tear the pictures out and artfully paste them to a piece of paper. Hang it up on your wall of pride.
  • Which collage do you like better? Why?
  • Now draw (paint, color…) a picture of something you like to do with your family that is more fun than watching TV.

Idea Box

  • Get an old shoe size box and let your children decorate it however they like. (Any box will do)
  • Then come up with fun things to do instead of watching TV and write them down or draw them on individual pieces of paper.  Come up with ideas that the family can do together and ideas that your child can do alone.
  • Put them in the box.
  • Now whenever your child is “bored” or looking for something to do reach in and pull out an idea. Add new ideas each day or whenever you or your child think of them.

Math Skills & Language Arts:

  • How many screens (TVs, computers, phones…) can you count in your home? Count them on your fingers or on a piece of paper.
    • Describe the shape of each one.
    • Which one is the biggest? The smallest? Order them from smallest to biggest? Which one is medium?
  • How much time do you spend watching TV each day?
    • Set a stopwatch when you start watching to find out.
    • Are weekdays different then weekends?
    • What else can you do with your time instead of watching TV?

Outdoor/PE/Gross Motor Skills:

Scavenger Hunt

  • Make a list of things people do outside instead of watching TV like walking, running, swimming, jumping…
  • Now head outside and start the hunt.
  • If you can’t find someone else doing one of the activities, do it yourself and cross it off.

Cooking Project:

Easy Home Made Playdough

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1/2 cup salt
    • 1/2 cup water
    • food coloring
  • Combine flour, salt and water in bowl and mix with a spoon. Add more water or more flour to get the mix just right – mushy and pliable like dough. Roll into a ball in your hands and test the consistency.
  • Put the ball back in the bowl and add the colors you want. Knead the color into the dough.
  • Play with it!

Science Project:

Exercise vs. Sitting; What happens to our heart when we move our body?

  • While sitting put your hand on your chest. Can you feel your heart? Is it beating fast or slow?
  • Run, jump, do jumping jacks, hula hoop, bike; any exercise will do. Now feel your heartbeat. Is it faster or slower? Why do you think that is?
  • After you exercise are you thirsty? Are you hungry? Exercising can make you hungry and/or thirsty because you need energy to move. Eating gives you energy or fuel.
  • How do you feel during and after exercise? Do you think people should exercise or sit around?
  • When you exercise you use fuel. When you sit in front of a screen and watch TV you don’t.

Social Studies:

A long time ago people didn’t watch TV or use computers or have cell phones. What do you think people must have done back then? Ask your parents, your grandparents, your great grandparents or some older neighbors.

Field Trip: Play at your local park

Instead of watching TV tonight, go to your local park and: swing, slide, play catch, run, jump, sing & dance or do anything active.


  • Television – televisión
  • Screen – pantalla
  • Computer – ordenador
  • Exercise – ejercer
  • Active – activo

[quote author_name=”Jenni Rice” author_description=”Director & Owner” author_image=”” size=”small” style=”solid”]

Too often screen time takes away from important family time. Make a difference in your family by making choices that are active and engaging. The reality is, just about anything is more fun to children than watching a screen.


Jenni Rice - Owner & Director
Latest posts by Jenni Rice - Owner & Director (see all)


Read These


Find it!