We don’t do much screen time.
We save it as a special treat, for rare nights when we’re all exhausted or for when we’re sick.
Even with infrequent viewing, it’s easy to run out of great programming. We love the older Disney classics like Mary Poppins and Swiss Family Robinson, as well as incomparable masterpieces like The Sound of Music. But for common fare we’d rather watch Andy Griffith reruns on Netflix or pull up a Shark Tank from You Tube than watch modern kids’ movies.
TV TRICKS (ON YOUR COMPUTER)
That said, we recently enjoyed a new approach, when one of our kids was out for the count with a long flu-bug and needed diverting. We typed into our search engine topics like these:
- best ballet clips Russian ballet
- how to build a log home video
- how to make a pelt video
- blacksmithing basics, forge video
What resulted from the searches were these gems:
- Great Russian Nutcracker scenes~ These are transporting! Any sick kid or tired mom is immediately uplifted and distracted with the magic of this music and the dancers. The videos are each quite short but there are SO MANY that you can see most of the ballet if you watch them all. Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, the whole 2 hour performance can be found here, with excellent quality dancers.
- Building a Log Home~ This one is made for little ones, cute music with an upbeat tempo. The video is only about 6 minutes. If your kids are older or precocious in their interest in this topic, here is our favorite log home making video. It is 25 minutes long and it is fabulous. Surprisingly, this video is in Finnish; what a beautiful language! The footage is, as my 5 year old said, “so cool, so cool.” This is how log homes were first made. They even show horses pulling the logs out of the forest after being felled. So special!!
- A Pathfinder video about how to skin a squirrel and prepare it for drying, this almost 15 minute video had both my sons (ages 5 and 11) enthralled and very focused.
- Passion for Work~ A 16-year-old blacksmith!~ This young man from Great Britain is inspiring and his work had even my husband very excited. Here he forges a horse head bottle opener, which again got all three of my “boys” quite animated. I am superficial so I liked his accent. (Just kidding.)
We were pleased to find short, medium and long videos with quality information that both entertained and educated. I’m sure you can find lots more in the areas of your kids’ interests. If you do, comment below and share your favorites.
There will always be nights when the standard movie best fits the bill. There will always be great classics to watch again. But when you’re coming up dry and don’t want to fill your kids’ minds with nonsense that isn’t remotely edifying or educational, deprive Disney of your vote and go to your computer for You Tube instead.
(One disclaimer~ these kinds of videos on You Tube usually have brief, benign ads you can skip beforehand. But You Tube can show inappropriate images when you least expect it. I always stay with my kids when we’re watching shows or finding a new one.)
Here are several kid-friendly cold and flu remedies*, to relieve symptoms and speed recovery. The recipes are ones my wellness blogging friends have created, that I’m excited to share with you.
Mineral or Epsom Salt Baths and several other great remedy tips from Raising Generation Nourished. I have personally seen huge transformations in my kids when they are sick and I give them a salt bath: more energy and 50% improvement of symptoms. Here’s my Detox Bath post for further guidance on the duration and ingredients of a healing soak.*
Garlic drops work for ear infections. Here’s a DIY recipe if you’d like to make your own from The Healthy Honeys. Here’s a link to my favorite product if you’d rather buy it.
Lastly, several excellent tips for understanding colds, flus and fevers from Nurse Sarah at Sensibly Sustainable.
Opposed to all screen time or looking for alternatives that promote independent play and interactive imaginative play? Here’s a great article about how to create spaces that foster this, even for sick kids. The author also reminds us to get books on CD from the library. This has been a great option for our family over the years.
*I am not a healthcare practitioner, nor do I pretend to be, and none of my advice should in any way replace the guidance of a medical professional.