3 Ways We’re Cutting TV Time

This post was brought to you by NCircle Entertainment, who provided the DVD to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.

When you’re walking through the grocery store and your kid shrieks, “MOM! They have the kind with extra-absorbent THIRST POCKETS!”, you might need to start limiting TV time. 

3 suggestions for cutting TV time for kids (via abcsandgardenpeas.com)

My kids don’t watch a lot of TV. When given the choice, they always pick playing outside over sitting in the living room. Crafting, baking, even running the vacuum…they all rank higher than the boob tube in our house. We do, however, spend a little time in front of the screen during “quiet time” most days, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve used it as a way to get some online work done in a pinch.

I don’t know how it happens, but my son seems to be picking up the very worst of what TV has to offer. Not violence or anything – we don’t watch that – but when your 4-year-old is convinced that you just have to buy Pampers so you won’t have to change the baby’s diaper at all anymore…or that we have to feed her Beech-Nut because it’s REAL FOOD, it might be time to start making changes.

Be the Change.

Have you ever left the TV on after watching a show, only to realize that there’s a reality show fight or something equally offensive on the screen 20 minutes later? I’ve done it. We all know that kids are sponges, so it’s important to remember that whatever we watch, they watch, too. (Tweet this tip!)  I used to be guilty of putting on a show I liked while they played in the same room, but no more. As a new mom, I quickly realized that they see, hear and remember EVERYTHING. Now, if the TV is on, it’s an approved kids’ show or maybe something cooking-related, but that’s it. If I’m really feeling the need for some mindless “junk food” TV, it waits until the wee hours.

Use that DVR.

I love, love, love our DVR. Not only does it allow me to watch The Voice at 2am, but it lets me sift through a carefully curated bank of shows that are appropriate for my kids’ mood at the moment. I can also keep shows on hand that are appropriate for both kids, since their ages are close, but not THAT close. But the best part of all is that we can skip the commercials by using the DVR, which means less mind infiltration but also about 1/4 fewer minutes in front of the TV.

Educational DVDs

This is kind of a no-brainer, but we’re building a huge stash of educational DVDs. I was a Sesame Street kid, which I’m sure led to my being able to read at an early age. I loved to learn, and my kids are much the same. Why put them in front of something that’s merely silly (or frantic and annoying, like I find so many modern cartoons to be) when you can slip in a lesson or two?

I’ve amassed a great collection of old school Sesame Street DVDs, but there’s a lot of new stuff on the market that we love, too. Quality programming DOES exist! PBS Kids is a trusted favorite, and these days, the newest Sid the Science Kid DVD is never far from our DVD player! My older child is fascinated by the science facts he picks up, and my baby girl loves the fun songs and dancing. I’m 100% comfortable letting them watch Sid together (which is great, because some days, that is the only time I even think about a cup of coffee and a chair!)

The full DVD is 115 minutes running time, but we usually watch one or two episodes before moving on to something else.

Sid the Science Kid

In this new release from Sid the Science Kid, your child will learn about muscles, lungs, skeletons, and the brain.

“When Sid figures out a new way to get ready for school super-fast, Mom says to him, “Now that’s using your brain!” Sid wants to know what that means and discovers that the brain controls all kinds of actions like walking, thinking, breathing and getting ready for school!”

Episodes: I Have Muscles Where?, Sid’s Amazing Lungs, How Did My dog Do That?, Now That’s Using Your Brain

Sid the Science Kid: Now That’s Using Your Brain is available online at Walmart.com. Order now!

How much TV time do your kids get each day? Has your child ever quoted a commercial?




  1. Commercials can be scary, it amazes me some of the ones they air during educational shows and cartoons. This is why we use our Tivo!
    Mama to 5 BLessings recently posted..How To Avoid Mosquitoes and Their Bites! #CutterRepellentsMy Profile

  2. I love my DVD and Netflix for letting my grandkids watch TV. The commercials are offensive to me and I don’t like the messages that most of them send to kids!! This is a great post!!
    Laurie – Steals and Deals for Kids recently posted..JOYBAY Swing Car Ride-on Only $27.99 (reg. $70.00) That’s 60% Off! {11 Color Choices}My Profile

  3. I DVR a lot, too. I like to watch the things my kids watch before they do, so the DVR gives me a chance to do that.
    Robin (Masshole Mommy) recently posted..Beach Essentials For FamiliesMy Profile

  4. I don’t think my 3 year old has ever seen a commercial! He only gets to watch one show a day, which is always either Daniel Tiger or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!
    Allyson recently posted..Fun with Fruttare!My Profile

  5. Great tips! It was always hard to tear my kids away from the TV when they were little. (Well, actually, now too!)
    Lois Alter Mark recently posted..the girls and the goatsMy Profile

  6. Educational shows and movies were some of the only shows and movies my kids could watch when they were younger!

  7. Mine are like yours. We love outside all summer. TV is a true exception. Cold months are different. I monitor their viewing.

    And Sid is a great show!

  8. I think it is great to have good shows on hand for kids.
    Debbie Denny recently posted..The Unthinkable Happened Yesterday!My Profile

  9. great advice, I loved when my kids used to watch syd..

  10. Cutting tv time for both kids and adults is an awesome idea. I recently got rid of cable (too expensive these days) I find I have so much more time now that I’m not glued to the tv to spend with friends, neighbors and getting more done around the house. I can’t imagine how much better it would be for kids to have less tv time too! Having good dvd’s on hand is a far better choice!
    dria recently posted..Olympic One Paint ReviewMy Profile

  11. cutting tv should probably include the dvr. Do commercials really count as tv time?

    • I would say yes! Commercials are exactly the TV time I want to cut out. If I can get rid of them and keep the educational stuff, that’s a win in my book.

  12. I am a huge fan of making the kids watch educational DVDs.
    Giveaways 4 Mom recently posted..A Summer Pairing: Necklaces and Necklines with Stella & DotMy Profile

  13. Yes, my daughter embarrassed the heck out of me when she sang at the top of her lungs in a bookstore “NBC the place to be” over and over one day. She only watched 30 minutes of TV a day at the most, but somehow that got stuck in her head. lol
    Liz Mays recently posted..My Honeymoon Was A #VacayGoneCrayCrayMy Profile

  14. Good tips – at our house TV can become such a habit in the winter.

  15. We don’t watch TV stations here unless it is PBS. With two young children in the home, we only expose them to educational shows. Sid the Science Kid is one of our Favs for sure.
    Sometimes Rosa pretends she is Sid and asks me a question and that will jump start a science lesson. It is great.
    Amber Louchart (Metro Detroit Mommy) recently posted..Big Hero 6 Trailer Released #BigHero6My Profile

  16. Haha my kids definitely sing along to commercials. Whoops. Lately it has been the Band-Aid jingle.
    Rebekah recently posted..El Centro Celebrates Tequila Month with a Festival of EventsMy Profile

  17. We don’t even have cable so we exclusively use Netflix and Apple TV so we don’t have to mess with any commercials that I don’t want the kids to see but we really TRY to spend tons of time outdoors in the summer!
    Katie Harding recently posted..Date Night When You’re Ready to PopMy Profile

  18. yes, unfortunately my kids know quite a few commercials by heart. We all have watched too much this summer. School is going to be good getting back into the routine of not watching as much.
    Deanna Ritz recently posted..Bar B Que Chicken & SausageMy Profile

  19. We rarely watch anything that hasn’t been DVRed. We even DVR the news. But yes, I try to be super cognizant about what my daughter sees on TV.
    Shanna recently posted..Becoming SUPER MOM: My Hunt for the Best Nutrition BarsMy Profile

  20. We don’t watch much tv at all, but when we do it has to all have been recorded on the DVR. Can’t stand commercials 😉
    Danielle recently posted..Back To School Sanity SaversMy Profile

  21. We cut the cable a few months ago and I keep asking myself, why didn’t I do this sooner?

    We use Netflix and Amazon Prime– tons of FREE stuff. I can watch everything that I Could w/ cable now for FREE!
    Tatanisha recently posted..5 Reasons Michigan Children Shouldn’t Be OSU Fans!My Profile

  22. My kids love Sid the science kid. We do not watch too much tv.
    Debi recently posted..Motherhood: Oh the Changes You BringMy Profile

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