8 Ways We Spend Our Time Instead of Watching TV

Yesterday we covered the eight reasons our family doesn’t watch TV.  Today we’ll tell you eight things we do instead.

1 – Read books

Our family loves reading, especially the kids.  We read every day, both out loud with each other and quietly to ourselves.

Junior’s currently interested in space books, having just finished Cakes in Space and The Magic Tree House: Midnight on the Moon (both of which we highly recommend).  He also likes reading about the planets, the solar system, and the stars.

Addy’s a big fan of Dr. Seuss, especially The Sneetches, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Green Eggs and Ham.  She’ll also listen in when we read Junior’s space books, even though she doesn’t understand everything that’s going on.

I’m a science fiction/fantasy type of guy.  Easily my favorite author is Brandon Sanderson.  If you’ve never read his stuff, start now.  You will love it.  I recommend Mistborn, but you really can’t go wrong with any of his work.

Sam loves Michael Crichton and really any book with a compelling story.  Her all-time favorite is The Count of Monte Cristo, which we read out loud together.

2 – Play Games

Games are a big deal for our family.  Sam and I are both ridiculously competitive and we love going head to head in a game of “Ticket to Ride” or “Settlers of Catan.”  Sam’s also a huge fan of “Clue” (mostly because she never loses), “Pass the Pigs,” and “Compatibility.”  I love playing “Risk,” “Zero,” “Monopoly,” and “Phase 10.”

Our kids love games too.  Junior likes “Pass the Pigs,” “Sorry,” and “Qwirkle” while Addy loves “The Birthday Party Game.”

3 – Arts and Crafts

Sam’s the real artist in our family.  She makes the coolest crafts out of random things like coffee filters, cardboard, and coat hangers.  Here’s a wreath she made last year for Valentine’s Day.


The kids love helping her out and doing projects of their own.  You can check out our “Arts and Crafts” board on Pinterest to see some of the crafts we’ve done or are planning on doing.


4 – Start a new hobby

Every year or two, I start a new hobby or try picking up a new skill.  Over the last ten years I’ve tried juggling, origami, clay sculpting, pillow spinning, yoga, whittling, jogging, weightlifting, and now blogging.  I’ve been good at some (juggling and origami), bad at some (whittling), and just plain bored with some (jogging).  Even with the ones I didn’t end up liking, it was fun to try something new.

One of the next hobbies I’ve considered is 3-D printing.  I have a friend who recently got a 3-D printer for only $250.  Now, almost every day he comes into work with a printed lion or frog or some other cool figurine.  Each project is awesome and only costs a few dollars in materials.

If there’s a hobby out there that you’ve considered, give it a try.  When you do, write us about it and we’ll feature your story on our blog.

5 – Talk

One of Sam’s friends was at our house the other day and asked, “Where’s your TV?”

When we explained we don’t have one, she said, “So you actually talk with your spouse?”

At the time, we had a good laugh about her comment.  Thinking about it later though, I realized there was a lot of truth in what she said.  When the TV was on, Sam and I didn’t really talk.  We didn’t have the kind of heart-to-hearts that bring us closer together as a couple.  Once we dropped TV, we started having those conversations again.

6 – Volunteer in the Community

Sam and I spend a lot of time volunteering.  I do Boys Scouts, spending time with a local troop at weekly meetings and monthly campouts.  Boy Scouts had a big impact on my life (I’m an Eagle Scout), and it seems only fitting that I should give back.  On top of scouting, I also teach a Sunday school class for high school kids every other week.

Sam also volunteers at church, overseeing all the Sunday school classes for the grade school children.  She loves serving the kids even though it’s a lot of work.

7 – Go on Dates

When was the last time you went on a date with your spouse?  If it was in the last week or two, good for you!  If not, schedule something today.  Don’t let the ease of watching TV stop you and your spouse from dating.  Get out of the house without the kids and go have a good time together.  Remind each other why you fell in love.

8 – Write a blog together

We’re new at the whole blog thing, but we’ve loved it so far because it’s given us something fun and challenging to bond over.  It’s great to be working on something together other than raising our children.

Thanks for reading about what our family does instead of watching TV.  If you don’t watch TV and have a similar list, please share it with us in the comments section.

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