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Turn-Off Tips from TV-Free Kids

Enjoy this interview with two kids who don't watch TV. They're creative, bright, articulate, and curious about the world around them. Coincidence? Or cause and effect?

At the time of the interview, Lucy was 12 and in sixth grade. Her sister Maddie was 8 and in second grade.

Why do you think kids watch so much TV?

Lucy: They think there's nothing else to do.

Maddie: They think it's too cool and they can't think of other things to do. I don't know why they always get all those toys if they're never going to use them!

What things do you do that kids who watch TV don't have time for?

Lucy: Homework. Kids who watch TV don't do their homework.

Maddie: There's a guy in my class who never brings back his homework and he never does anything and he always watches TV.

Apparently TV doesn't just eat up work time, it takes up fun time, too.

Maddie: I like to read chapter books -- Pony Pals, Pony Camp, and Babysitter's Little Sister series.

Lucy: I like animals and ballet. I go to ballet class, and after school I like to go around the neighborhood and visit all the cats.

So who's missing something, the kids who watch TV or the kids who don't?

Maddie: The kids who watch TV are.

Lucy: Kids who watch TV can't ever have fun unless they're watching TV.

What activities do Maddie and Lucy recommend for kids who are going to turn off their TVs for a week?

  • Play games with your siblings.
  • Go in your basement or closet and find an old game like Mousetrap, Parcheesi, Sorry, or Life, and have your brothers and sisters or your friends over to play.
  • If there are at least two or three kids, you could go outside and play tag.
  • Do a puzzle, like a Curious George or Madeline puzzle.
  • Play cards like Old Maid and Go Fish.
  • Play with your pet if you have one.
  • Pretend you're a grownup or an artist.
  • Make up magic tricks with cards.
  • Make up dances to music.
  • Read a book.
  • Do your homework!

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