Limiting your child’s TV and Computer time

This post is more about the great idea than the actual craft…

Recently in our family we had set a goal to watch less TV.  I just got lazy over the summer by turning on the TV or a computer game for the kids instead of encouraging them to go play outside, or better yet get on the floor and play with them.  My friend was having the same experience at her house and had turned off the television and said that she had loved the results, so we decided to give it a try.  Now that the TV has been off for a whole month I would ike to transition back to a limited healthy amount of TV.  I just feel like no TV all the time, for us, is unrealistic.  So I came up with this Computer and TV Token Jar.

I went to the dollar store and bought a bag of pirate play money and quickly put this jar and bag together.

First I cut a hole in the top of the lid.  I wish I had some great way to do it but I just used a hammer and nail to get it started and then some wire cutters and needle nose pliers to open up the hole.  I then covered it with some fabric using the hot glue gun.  I quickly sewed a mini draw-string bag and threaded some elastic through to keep the bag shut and to keep it attached to the jar.  Printed off some vinyl to label the jar and we were done.

Now the whole idea is that my son gets 10 tokens per week.  Each token is worth 30 minutes.  So he choses when we wants to use them and takes them out of the bag and puts them into the jar.  I then set the kitchen timer for 30 min and he can watch TV or play a computer game.  The first week he used all 10 tokens in 3 days.  He soon realized what a mistake that was and this week he has been more conservative in using his tokens.  It also makes me more aware of how much he is watching and playing instead of just turning it on and leaving it on.

This has been a very positive thing for our family to limit the amount of time in front of the screen.  My boys play together more, they are more creative and have been reading lots of books.

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3 thoughts on “Limiting your child’s TV and Computer time

  1. Great idea!!!!! I am not a fan of TV in our house and my computer is MINE, so I hardly let the girls touch it, which I should probably change…..In any event, I like the idea of tokens or earning TV time. On a daily basis, I don’t allow TV during the day, but if toys are picked up or they read x amount of books for the day or did something helpful at home that is worthy enough, I allow learning shows until dinner. They know at dinner time there is no more TV. This way I know that if I put the TV on at 3 or 4 they get until 5 and that is that…..and it helps me get dinner ready! Love your idea, might have to work on something like that for our house!

  2. thank you for this creative post. I am goung to try this with my almost 7yr old son. Something he will enjoy doing and help him understand how to be conservative.

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