I can’t be the only one out there who doesn’t really enjoy playing with their kids, right?
Am I alone in this?
Let me back up a minute before the haters start hatin’.
I love my children. They are the sunshine in my life. I love exploring new places with them, playing outside, taking walks, traveling, going on adventures, doing puzzles, cooking together, doing crafts together, and watching movies with them.
But sitting on the floor in the playroom all afternoon?
No thank you. Not my idea of a good time.
I can’t be the only one who feels this way! In fact, I think playing with our kids for hours is a relatively new thing in our society. I’m sure Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Ma was way too busy milking the cows, washing laundry by hand, and baking bread from scratch to sit down and play with Laura and her sisters for hours. And all I saw Betty Draper do on Mad Men was sit in her kitchen and smoke. Yes, I know it’s just a TV show. And her kids didn’t turn out well anyway… But you see my point!
So with all of that being said, if you’re reading this and you’re the type of mom that loves nothing more than playing dolls, legos, and action figures all day – that’s great! Props to you, mama! But I’m not that type of mom. And please don’t judge me because of it.
I’ve learned over the years there are a few things I can do to make playing with my kiddos a little more bearable.
Here’s my list of 5 Tips to Make Playing with Your Kids More Enjoyable:
1. Schedule Dedicated Playtime
I’ve mentioned before how my kids (and I) thrive on a schedule. (Click here to get my free printable visual and editable summer schedule for kids!) I like to make sure I have dedicated “play-with-mama” time on our schedule for each day. That way I can curb the constant question of “Mama, will you play with me?” that comes out of my 4-year-old’s mouth ALL DAY LONG! And during those dedicated playtimes, I’m all in! I put my phone away, sit on the floor, and focus solely on my kids.
2. Set a Timer
Playtime can drag on for me, but it goes super quick for the kids. Sometimes I’ll set a timer at the beginning of playtime and let my kids know that when the timer goes off, mama needs to do some chores and get some work done. That way, it’s almost like it’s the timer’s fault that playtime is over. And it (usually) helps to prevent tantrums when playtime is done.
3. Turn on Some Music
Music always helps to pass the time! We usually listen to Disney songs, because you know I’m a big Disney nerd. But whatever you do, don’t turn on kid’s songs unless you like to jam out to that kind of stuff. Listening to Brother Finger or the Wheels on the Bus makes playtime 100 times worse!
4. Ask Your Kids Lots of Questions
My 4-year-old never stops talking. Never!! And as he’s telling me this and that about whatever it is we’re playing, I love to ask him lots of questions. It shows him that I’m listening to him and giving him my full attention. I also love hearing his answers to my questions – he’s a comedian! He cracks me up!
5. Grab a Treat
I love having a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea in hand when I sit down for playtime. It gives me something to look forward to and enjoy while I’m playing with the kiddos. There are also days when my special treat is a glass of wine. #justbeinghonest
So if you’re a mom like me who just isn’t in to playing all day every day, try out some of these tips!
Do you schedule a dedicated playtime with your kids?