Ten Things for Kids to Do Instead of Watching TV

  1. Encourage kids to set up a jump rope contest. If they're older, go "double dutch" with two ropes. (A Hula Hoop contest is fun, too.)
  2. Take the dog for a brisk walk together. Don't have a dog? Have kids take their teddy bears for a stroll instead. Walking as a family is good talking time!
  3. Give kids colored chalk to create a sidewalk mural. Or draw a hopscotch game-fun to play alone or with friends.
  4. Don't let rainy days put a damper on fun! Turn up the radio and dance inside.
  5. Start a "hundred" walking club. Who's first in your family to walk a hundred times up and down the sidewalk or the stairs in your house?
  6. Play a game of tag or kickball in the playground, park, or backyard.
  7. If there's snow, make a snowman or go sledding. Or take the family ice skating at any time of year at an ice rink-even in July!
  8. On warm days, go in-line skating or ride bikes (remember the helmet and pads), or run through sprinkler "rain."
  9. Enjoy a hike together in a nearby park or forest preserve. Have kids find ten points of natural interest to enjoy as you hike.
  10. Host a neighborhood bicycle wash outside-or a dog wash instead!

Source: Adapted from "Healthy Start: Food to Grow On," vol. IV (Food Marketing Institute, American Dietetic Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics, 1995). Reprinted with permission by the Food Marketing Institute, ©1995.

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