It engages all 5 of their senses.
Free play time is definitely a necessity. Not a luxury to put off for some future unknown date.
Unfortunately, kids these days (not so much unlike ourselves) are busy. Busy. Busy. Busy. They have school, homework, soccer, dance, and then more homework before their day comes to an end and another begins. Somewhere in there, they must eat and sleep. And no doubt screens (like iPhones, iPods, etc) are competing for their attention too.
But kids need some protected time. Each and every day. To just be. To play on their own terms.
Their health, both physical and mental, depend on it. Believe me, I see the effects of stressed out kids every single day.
Kids, from babies to teens, need time to just play.
And if you’re thinking…there simply is no time. Think again. Here are 7 easy ways to steal away moments to play.
No planning required. Don’t get burdened down with time constraints. You don’t need a grand plan. In fact, it’s better if you don’t. Just tell your child, you are free to play. Here’s a bucket, a few sticks…have at it.
Toss the to do list. For 2o minutes anyway. Ignore the pile of dirty dishes staring back at you, or the the not yet mailed Thank You notes. Clear your mental clutter and take your kids to the park. Just do it.
There is no one right way. Play looks different for every person, for every child. And it varies from day to day. For some, it’s quiet and focused (like studying the ladybug they just found in the backyard). For others, it’s loud and messy. The point is, it’s led by your child. And they’re having fun.
Join them. What better way to reconnect after a long day at work then to just play with your child. This could mean cuddles on the couch with a good book, roughhousing in the living room, or playing ball in the house. And yes, we are those crazy parents who let their kids play ball in the house (within reason anyway).
Ditch the screens. I would say one rule of play time should mean no screens of any kind. So put the nix on all handheld electronics and tell them to find something else to play. They will thank you later.
Get outside. Unsure what to do? Take a walk. No matter what the weather. Kids are amazing and find ways to play no matter where they are. And as you know, kids don’t just walk. They skip, run, discover, and collect. A walk is definitely bona-fide play time for kids.
Embrace the mess. Play now and clean up later. No, it’s not always easy to stand by and participate in your daughter’s play time when it means all things glitter, paint, and paper scraps. Get into it. Have fun. You’re going to have to clean up anyway. Might as well have fun making the mess too.
Kids are way too stressed these days. I see it everyday. And it’s making them sick. They absolutely need some down time. And time to reconnect with you.
So get up, get out, get down…go play with your kids.
I guarantee it’s a win-win for both of you.Pin It