September 19-25, 2010 is TV Turnoff Week, an awareness campaign also known as Turn off Your TV Week. TV Turnoff Week is a semi-annual event held in April and September and was started by Adbusters to encourage people to think more about their media habits and find other ways to entertain their families. Many families and schools across the country participate in TV Turnoff Week and spend the week doing a variety of activities that do not involve watching television, playing video games or browsing the internet using the computer or a mobile device.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 2009 survey showed that “..watching TV was the leisure activity that occupied the most time (2.8 hours per day), accounting for about half of leisure time, on average, for those age 15 and over.” http://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.nr0.htm
Since, lack of time is one of the most common complaints for busy parents, imagine how much more time you would have if you watched less TV and participated in TV Turnoff Week? TV Turnoff week is more likely to be a success if there is some planning involved. Think about all of the extra things you can do instead of watching TV. What have you’ve been meaning to accomplish in the past year or so?
With this in mind, I decided to come up with 59 things you and your family can do during TV Turnoff Week. Even after TV Turnoff has ended, you can still use this list of 59 things for ideas when you or your kids are feeling “bored”.
1. Read a good book
2. Play board games
3. Listen to some oldies
4. Finish a craft project
5. Get some photos in albums, or organize on the computer (no internet browsing!)
6. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while
7. Write a letter to a friend or family member
8. Clean out the garage
9. Go for a long walk with a friend or your family
10. Bake a pie or another dish you’ve wanted to try
11. Prepare all meals as a family
12. Roast marshmallows
13. Invite another family over and have a potluck dinner.
14. Go outside and play with your kids
15. Declutter and organize a junk drawer
16. Create a dream board
17. Organize your cookbooks and recipes
18. Finally read all of those magazines, and then purge
19. Finish a decorating or decluttering project that’s been on hold
20. Go through your collection of books and donate some to a worthy cause
21. Declutter and organize your children’s toys or toy room. If they are old enough, involve them in the process.
22. Spend some time outside tending to your garden
23. Get those small DIY projects done around the house
24. Take one of your children out for some quality one-on-one time
25. Declutter and organize your closet
26. Take all broken or unused electronics, appliances and tools to the e-cycle center. For Maryland residents, click here for more information on local area e-cycle programs.
27. Visit the library and borrow some books
28. Organize your children’s arts and crafts
29. Clean and organize your pantry
30. Spend an evening at the bowling alley with your family
31. Eat a light dinner and then go out for dessert or ice cream
32. Have a picnic
33. Take care of all items that need to be repaired
34. Clean your silver
35. Clean your jewelry
36. Start a family scrapbook and get everyone involved
37. Find a volunteer activity you can do alone or with your family
38. Work on your budget or start a new budget
39. Create an emergency preparedness kit
40. If you haven’t been exercising much (or at all), schedule some time to exercise at least 3 days of the week. You may end up continuing after TV Turnoff week ends
41. Go to bed earlier
42. Start a journal
43. Clean out your car
44. Do a challenging puzzle
45. Do a crossword
46. Go to a local museum or art gallery
47. Experience something new in your town
48. Take a nice long bubble bath
49. Look at old photos and reminisce
50. Play cards
51. Look through your cookbooks and find some new recipes to try
52. Peruse the grocery store aisles and try something new
53. Take a nap
54. Go for a bike ride
55. Go for a scenic drive
56. Clean out your medicine cabinet.
Here are the FDA’s guidelines for disposing unused medicine.
57. Organize your coupons
58. Plan all of your outfits for the week
59. Listen to a book on tape
If you’re planning to also refrain from using the internet and your mobile electronics, e.g. iPods etc., you may want to quickly do some research online so that you’re not tempted to get on the internet. Here are some websites with information to help you to plan some activities during TV Turnoff Week.
More information about National TV Turnoff Week at TV Turnoff Network
Games for the whole family
How to create a dream board by Oprah
Baltimore and Maryland/DC metro area resources:
List of Maryland public libraries.
List of Maryland state parks
List of Maryland Retail Games Stores.
Maryland Scenic drives and byways.
Things to do in Maryland
50 Free Things to do in Baltimore
100 Free (and almost free) things to do in the Washington DC area