The Parent Challenge: Do You Play With Your Kids? #30DaysofPlay

30 days of play

I recently had a wonderful mother and friend  share that she’s been ignoring this deep calling from within her soul to play.

To play with her kids.

She proceeded to share with us as she paused in between words, the tears rolled down those tired but hopeful eyes and each word spilled forth from deep within her longing soul. And as any mother would do, I sat there with tears welling up, watching as she mustered up the courage to say these five words out loud.

I.

Want.

To.

Play.

Again.

I want to be that fun playful mama, again. In many ways, I could relate. Maybe I stopped hearing my souls inner longing after my first was born.

Or did I misplace it with the laundry after our second as I tried to keep sane and juggle the demands of having two precious children.

Or was it after our third child during those countless days that I didn’t have the energy to frolic in the grassy knoll at the park or play cops and robbers in the driveway with my overly excited batman wearing cop.

I really don’t know if it happened overnight or if it was slowly stripped away by the demands of life. But somewhere along in the midst of mothering three children, being a wife, freelance writing, serving the low income children in our community, homeschooling, trying to keep up with my blog, …. I’ve forgotten to play. The minute the morning sun hits my eyes and I find myself awake, my mind races through all that I have to do.  So I wake up barking orders and stressing myself out with all that I have to accomplish. I want to be that fun loving mom my oldest fondly remembers. He’ll say with a smile, “Remember when you’d swing me across the room.” as the Dancing Queen blared in the background.

Before you think I can’t manage to add another thing on my list to do don’t worry this will benefit you.  The other day my toddler came in the room with a big smile and said, “I’m not angry anymore.”  I responded, “I’m glad, I like happy Mateo.”  And he responded, “I like happy mommy.”  I quietly thought, yes, I like happy mommy too.

Making the decision to play will make you happier not just your kids.  Your kids will cherish in it, your husband will enjoy hearing you laugh again and you will find yourself filled with inner joy as you learn to seize the moments in your day and enjoy them, cherish them no matter how small they are.

As I quietly listened to  my friend sharing, I inwardly cried. Mostly because she was hurting. But now I know, that night my soul connected with hers on a deeper level as my restless heart was nudged with the simple word: PLAY.

But there’s hope my dear mama friend: “Like a forgotten fire, our playful inner child can always flare up again within us.”

So I’m challenging myself to take two days out of the week to intentionally play with my children.  Don’t forget to download your printable (below) that you can put on your fridge to jot down what you’re doing so you can have it on hand for future play times.

An Invitation to Play

30 Days of Play – Are you a caretaker? Parent?  Who totally relates to my story above.  Then join us. This is my invitation to play, for YOU.  You can choose how many days out of the week work best for you.  Whether you choose 2 or 5 days I suggest you go get your calendar out and write in PLAY with the time you’re going to do it.  Also, don’t forget to just go with the flow of whatever your child wants to do. You may have decided on Tuesday before his nap you will go for a walk and pick flowers.  Well on your way out the door he decides he would rather play in the back yard and kick the ball. Instead of getting frustrated because your grand plan to play is getting squashed, don’t. Follow her to the backyard and PLAY!

For some of us it’s a matter of it not being in our calendar so we forget to play, for others it’s we are not wired to play and it doesn’t come natural so we have to schedule it in and then there’s some of us it just doesn’t interest us.  Some of you sweet mama’s just received the blessing of a newborn and you don’t have time to play with your other children, you’re just trying to survive. I’m not sure where you fall in all of this but one thing that we should remember in all of it is: mom quote

“A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who does not play has lost forever the child who lived in him.”  ~Pablo Neruda

How The Parent Challenge: 30 Days of Play will work:

1. Every Tuesday stop by for the next 6 weeks I will share with you 5 different activities for you to enjoy with your child. I will try to come up with a variety of activities that vary from toddler to tweens.

I will also share reminders, ideas and encouragement for YOU to remember to go with the flow in play and to take time for yourself whether that means: take a nice hot bath, going out for coffee with a friend, walking, napping, reading, running… Whatever makes you come alive.

2.  To help motivate you:

  • a. Use hashtag #30DaysofPlay and share about your time together on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or whatever other favorite social media you use.  Play is contagious so let others know and inspire them to do the same by sharing this link so they can join along in the play!
  • b. Join our FREE Carpe Diem- Family Style Facebook Group -Because they grow up and are gone in the blink of an eye—so let’s be intentional about making each day count by seizing the moments with our children no matter what age they are and what phase of life they are in!
  • c. We will be sharing all of our activities, encouragement and reminders on my Pinterest, Facebook Page and/or subscribe so make sure you follow along if you’d like.

3. Take out your calendar and write in the days and time you are going to play the following weeks.  I know sometimes scheduling takes the fun out of it but believe me once you get into the habit of it you won’t need to schedule it and it will happen naturally.  If it doesn’t because you’re too task oriented and get bog down with the details of your day than stick to scheduling it, there’s nothing wrong with that.

4. Stop and acknowledge the smiles, the giggles, the hugs, the giggles.  Enjoy!

30 days of play activities list

Here’s your FREE Printable just click this link 30 Days of Play Printable Activity list. Jot down what you’re doing each day and keep it for future play times. And this way you don’t have to come up with 30 new activities, and don’t worry kids like repetition that’s why they can watch Finding Nemo 100 times and still want to watch it again.  Put a check mark next to it if they really LOVED the activity.  If they didn’t like the activity, you still may want to try it again as some kids need to try things a couple of times before they like it.

Here are the days: (I will update this as I post them)

  • Days 1-5 here
  • Days 6-10 here
  • Days 11-15 here
  • Days 16-20 here
  • Days 21-25 here
  • Days 26-30 here

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