Alternatives to TV

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

When Your Child is Glued to the Couch

Thanks to a bout with the stomach flu, B has pretty much lived on the couch or in bed for the last few days. He has been absolutely drained of energy. It’s times like these that I most appreciate the worthwhile children’s programming on PBS. However, even on a sick-day, I just can’t live with myself if I let B sit in front of the TV all day.

Books for a Busy Mom

photo courtesy ginnerobot
B would be perfectly happy to listen to me read books all day. And when he’s feeling icky, I really try to put aside as many items on my to-do list as possible and do just that. Unfortunately, T has not yet acquired the interest or attention span for our read-a-thons, so we can only read a couple at a time before he interrupts, or wait for naptime. Technology comes to my rescue to feed B’s book appetite (which seems even larger when his food appetite shrinks). So these are more situationally than developmentally appropriate recommendations, though I would have to say exposure to books is better cognitive development than most passive TV viewing.

Audio Books

Disney Winnie the Pooh CD Storybook: The Many Adventure of Winnie the Pooh / Piglet's Big Movie / Pooh's Heffalump Movie / The Tigger MovieYou can find many of your favorite books on CD, older ones on tape, and even some on MP3. The challenge for preschool age kids is that most picture book readings don’t last as long as their attention spans. We have two selections in our personal library that occupy a little more of B’s time and attention than others. First Disney’s Winnie the Pooh CD Storybook was a gift from B’s aunt. It has 4 stories in 125 pages, which actually prevents it from being a frequent read-aloud choice because B isn’t very amenable to breaking mid-story. Putting on the CD when B is lounging in bed is very successful, and it runs well over an hour. My only complaint is that there are no page chimes, but B doesn’t seem to mind; he sometimes follows the pictures and other times he just sets the book aside to sit back and listen.
Brown Bear & Friends CD
We also have a compilation CD featuring Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? And Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? All read by Gweneth Paltrow. We have board book versions of each story, and even with the lack of page chimes, B is able to follow along easily thanks to the repetitive pattern of the text and the illustrations. For bilingual families (or those who’d like to be) the CD also includes the Spanish version of each story.

Books on Screen
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom... and More Fun with Letters and Numbers (Scholastic Storybook Treasures)
Like audio books, the number of books on DVD is rapidly growing. Normally, I would pass over DVDs in favor of experiencing the real thing, but during weeks like this one, they come in handy. B received theDVD version of Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom and he loves it. I don’t know if it’s because he already loved the book, or if it’s thanks to the songs and animation, but this is a much requested feature at our house. It includes 6 other stories, bring the running time to 60 minutes. B loves to get his copy of the book and read along with the story. I’m still working on purchasing copies of the other featured stories.

Tumblebooks Mascot

B also enjoys selections from the Tumblebooks library. Tumblebooks is a subscription ebook service that you can access from the internet, but thanks to our public library system, if we access it from their portal page, it’s free! Book selection and page navigation is pretty simple, meaning that when B had the energy to sit at the computer desk for a while, he could listen to some virtual books and enjoy the original illustrations brought to life with some extra animation.
Appropriate for: preschoolers, primary grades
Linking Up with Show and Tell at ABC and 123

What do you do to occupy sick kiddos who have the energy of a slug?

4 comments: November 10, 2010 at 2:48 PM  

I am so sorry B is under the weather and agree the Magic School Bus is a great book to read when it comes to germs. Enjoyed the recomendation on the CD. We also have these books at the preschool and it would be wonderful to let the children independently listen and view these books.

Thanks for stopping by and Good Luck on your entry. :) joyce

Ginny Marie November 11, 2010 at 7:16 PM  

Oh, poor B! The stomach flu is going around our area, and I really hope my girls don't get it! I don't really have a now, I bet B is feeling 100% better!

We love listening to books on CD when we travel. Our library has a great selection!

Natalie PlanetSmarty November 12, 2010 at 2:36 PM  

Poor B! When daughter is under weather (which is, thankfully, has been rare) I also cuddle with her and read, watch TV and/or audio books. My husband, however, has a different approach and just cuddles in bed with her until she falls asleep. He believes that sleep is the best remedy, and I guess he has a good point there.

jeannine: waddlee-ah-chaa November 13, 2010 at 4:16 PM  

Poor thing. I can always tell when my little ones are really sick because they will just hang on the sofa in front of the T.V. without moving. It is the one time I'm thankful for the T.V to take their minds off of their hurts.

Get better B.

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