We all love watching our favorite cable TV shows, but have you ever thought about trying something from one of your favorite Primetime flicks? There are a lot of amazing ideas you can get from watching a fun series like “The Big Bang Theory,” “Myth Busters” and even “Man vs. Wild.” Here’s a list of ten activities, inspired by my favorite Primetime shows, to get you and the kids out of the house.
#1 Build a Fort with Bear Grylls
“Man vs. Wild” is a great inspiration for anything outdoors. My thought was to take the kids to the woods and see if we could make a lean shelter. Not only was it fun, it was a practical skill to develop. I found a great video to explain the process.
We found a lot of fun things to do outside, one of them inspired by “Survivor.” Taking the kids out back to have them camp in the back yard, with a twist. The fun part was having them use primitive methods to start a fire, and to use old bed sheets and rope to make a shelter.
#3 “Green Arrow” and a few straw bales
One of the fun new Primetime shows is “Arrow.” I always wanted to try archery with my family, so we picked up a couple beginner bows at the local Wal-Mart, a few bales of straw from a local IFA store and BAM—we had an archery range in the back yard. Superhero status, here we come.
#4 “Top Gear” is Top Class
Our favorite BBC show, next to “Doctor Who,” is, of course, “Top Gear.” Nobody does cars like Jeremy, Richard and James. Want to get out of the house and show your kids your undying appreciation for a well built machine? Take them to a local car show or car museum. If that’s not available, I took my sons for a bit of window shopping. Just be a little stiff with the sales staff and you’ll be fine.
#5″Addicted to the Outdoors”…and tracks
There are a lot of hunting shows on TV nowadays, like “Addicted to the Outdoors” from the Outdoor Channel; and it got me thinking. Why not grab some books from the library and take my kids into the hills to do a little tracking of our own? Not to hurt the wildlife, but to learn about the tracks that animals make. It turned out to be fun, entertaining and educational!
#6 Dogs and more…
My kids are big fans of “Dogs 101,” produced by Animal Planet. They wondered what it would be like to feed more than our own dog? So I packed up the car and we took a trip to a local farm where we got permission to feed the animals. It was fun to help with the horses, chickens and even a few pigs. It was so much fun; in fact, we took another trip later in the month to a local dairy for a tour.
#7 It’s a “Revolution!”
Think about the worst case scenario you can. What would you do if you didn’t have the comforts of life? That’s what got us thinking when we watched “Revolution.” How would we grow food if we couldn’t pop down to the local market? We started learning about “vertical gardens” and created our own food supply. Here’s a cool playlist from Youtube to give you a start on the subject.
#8 Scavenger Hunt
“American Digger” caught our attention with the crazy hunts they did. Mob money, fountain of cash, spoils of war? We decided to do our own digging. With a metal detector in hand, we took the kids to the beach. Unfortunately, we only found a handful of coins, a broken watch and 64 bottle caps, but we did have a fantastic time.
#9 Time to DIG!
If you haven’t seen “Time Team America,” you should check it out. It gave us the brilliant idea to round up the kids’ army men, tiny plastic animals and plastic figurines and create an outside adventure. Keeping the kids inside, I took a shovel to the sand box and dug deep. I buried the objects and then lightly hosed it down to make it heavy. Then we waited a couple hours and created our own excavation site. What a blast!
#10 “The Big Bang Theory” & Mentos
I rarely laugh more than watching Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj on “The Big Bang Theory” when their geekness overcomes them. Their brilliance, mixed with comic book/Star Trek obsessions, gave me the idea for a little science experiment of my own. Ever tried mixing Mentos with Diet Coke? This should be done in the back yard, on the lawn, with a 2 liter of Diet Coke (so it’s not sticky) and a package of Mentos.
What ideas from Primetime have inspired you to get out with your kids?
– Emiah Gardner is a writer for CableTV.com that spends her weekends with family, friends and the shows recorded on her Comcast DVR.