All of our kids watch TV, there are times they are sick or when we want to relax together as a family.   It is going to happen.   Here are just a few of the ways that we try to make our TV time into more of a participatory “event” and less of a babysitter. . Reenact what you are watching. Did you watch Diego? Go pretend to be an animal rescuer, or are you watching the movie Tangled for the umpteenth time? Why not practice braiding ribbons (aka Rapunzel’s hair) during the show. . Read a related book together before or after. Do you have a book that can even loosely be related to the show? After watching Cars we went and got a book about tools out and read it together… Mater is a tool truck – there’s a link there, kinda 🙂 . Draw a picture of your favorite scene or event in the episode. This is a good way to practice summarizing with your preschoolers, helping them “get-to-a-point”. Often toddlers focus in on one detail, a summary picture helps them identify the essence of what they watched. . Pause and ask questions. Practice predicting, what do you think will happen next? Why do you think the character did that? If you were that person, would you have responded the same way? . Do you have any other tips on ways that I can engage my kids when we are watching a show? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments, or come join this month’s QM sponsor, @Redbox, and myself tomorrow evening, Thursday June 23rd at 6pm CST on twitter (hashtag #redboxsummer) to talk about movies and our families. There will be $250 worth of gift cards and game rental codes up for grabs during the party!
Photo credits to gbaku

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  1. What lovely ideas. Television CAN be a good springboard for language activities, especially when paired with such thoughtful activities.

  2. Absolutely! We don’t watch much TV in our house. Films a bit more… but we make sure any viewing is meaningful and quality stuff.

    Some of our favourite TV programmes are the Tom & Jerry cartoons (thanks Boomerang!) – I particularly love the the really old ones … 1950s stylings an’ all. I love watching these with my kids – and we LAUGH so much. together.

    You should see my kids having Tom & Jerry-type adventures along with the title music (without the actual violence – natch). Just a brilliant starting point for play.