The day we are posting this, millions around the globe are stuck at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Naturally, for many families this means a spike in television and movie watching. Here are 10 ways to make family TV time more intentional.

1. Turn On Subtitles

If you have children that are still learning to read, this is a great way to make reading fun. It is obviously not a replacement for snuggled up paperback story time, but it is a great way to make it more than “just” TV time.

2. Listen In Another Language

Some of the easiest ways to get a foundation in a new language is to listen to something familiar in that language. Listen for new words, write them down, and look up their translations.

3. Letter What You Hear

Another fun listening activity is to work on your calligraphy skills. Take some butcher paper and wrap it around your coffee table. Then give everyone a pen to write down their favorite quotes or random words with their best handwriting.

4. Work On A Service Project

Many service activities can be done while you watch something. For example, learn to crochet beanies for babies in the hospital, work on some family history, or write thank you cards.


5. Change The Environment

Sometimes all it takes to make TV time more engaging as a family is to change the scene. Make blanket forts to watch a movie in, take your laptop outside, or set up a picnic blanket with a nice meal.

6. Turn It Into A Game

There are many ways to make movie watching into a fun game. For example, if you’re watching a movie you have seen before, you could pause the movie and see who remember what the next line is. You could also act out scenes, play Eye-Spy, or put the movie on silent and make up what the characters are saying.

7. Choose Educational

TV shows and movies can be a great way to learn something new. Find a documentary, a good PBS learning episode, or something culturally new to you.

8. Doodle It

Get out some paper and doodle screens or people from the shows you watch. Or work on art pieces unrelated to what you are watching.

9. Read The Book First

Like #1, movies and TV shows can be a great motivator for reading. Find a movie your child wants to watch and use that as a goal to read the book together first. There are so many book to movie options to choose from!

10. Be Present

This one is the most important. Be with your family. Be present. Whether that’s sitting next them on the couch with the screen glowing or intentionally turning it off for some quiet family reflective time, being present with your family really is all that matters.

Have you tried one of these ideas or have more to share? Comment below!

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