I read an article recently about a mom who felt so guilty because every time her child asked her to play with her, the mother would said “In a few minutes.” I hear myself saying the same thing. The truth of the matter is, there are things we have to do in the home as a parent, but there is also a small window into our children’s lives that they will actually want to be with us, to PLAY with us. I want my children to look back and to remember THOSE moments. This is how I manage a sense of balance between house work and being in the moment with my own three children:
- Spend at least 5 minutes one on one with each child, each day. Even if it’s to hold hands and talk on the way to the bus stop or to sit down and read a book. One on one, at least five minutes.
- Do what you love and do what they love. Include them in on your favorite things to do and make time to do what they love. I am not a huge fan of playing trucks or barbies but time and time again, I do it because it’s one way to be with my children.
- Give yourself a break. We can’t be everything and do everything. Once you acknowledge this, you will be kinder to yourself and cherish the moments you do have with your children.
20 Ways to Play with Your Children (and have fun too!)
- Dance (throw those hands up in the air and shake your body to the music!!)
- Sing (play the oldies you loved growing up!)
- Walk and Talk (so simple but so therapeutic)
- Make funny faces (take pictures of each other doing so)
- Play Hide n’ Seek
- Go swimming (jump in and get your hair wet!)
- Silly Races (make up races-first one to run around that tree and shout stinky words is the winner!)
- Make Cookies (then eat them)
- Create a mural with Sidewalk Chalk
- Bounce a ball back and forth outside (count how many times you can get it to bounce without a double bounce)
- Charades- or play any old fashioned game you used to like as a kid.
- Go bike riding to a park (swing and slide while you’re there!)
- Make slime (your kids will think you’re the coolest!)
- Get crafty (paint, color, make a sticker collage or even better, make shrink dunks!)
- Movie Night (popcorn and candy too!)
- Build and DO an obstacle course
- Have a sleepover with your kids piled into your bed
- Take all the pillows in the house and put them in one, big pile. Then jump in!
- Get your hands dirty. Dig for worms, ants, snails and slugs. Use your hands to make up a secret handshake too!
- Be present. Put your phone down as much as you can to hug them, hold their hands, look into your child’s eye and tell them how much you love them. Try to turn your NO into YES when it involves playing with your children.
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