When was the last time you took time to play with your kids? For me, it’s hard to play. It’s like I’ve forgotten what that word means and how play is actually done. Often my daughter wants me to play ponies and barbies and I feel lost, like I’ve never seen them before. When my son longs to build cities of wonder with Legos, I wonder how I can simply build a city wall without it all coming tumbling down??
All too often instead of taking time to play with my kids, I give them excuses. I tell them that I don’t know how to play, that I can’t build a Lego wall to save my life and that I would rather watch and listen to them play. The last part I think I say to make myself feel better, but does it really help? How can telling my kids that watching and listening to them play is more enjoyable than actually spending time with them…playing with them?
As a homeschool mom, much of my day is spent either planning or teaching my kids. Some days are really long and instead of taking a break when we need to, I push on. After we’ve finished our homeschooling for the day, I just want a break. I want a bit of time to step away from being all hands on deck, a moment to breathe without being needed as a teacher or even a mommy. Yet, what if those moments are the times when I need to play with my kids? What if those moments are the ones that really count?
As we’re journeying down the path of child led homeschooling, I’m learning that playing with my kids is not only an important part of our homeschooling journey, but it’s time I need with my kids and time they need with me. I’m discovering that playing is a part of learning and it’s another way that we can incorporate fun into our homeschool.
I’ve been giving my kids excuses for so long that they’d almost stopped asking me to play. I realized this recently and decided that something needed to change. That I needed to change. All the sudden it hit me, my kids weren’t asking me to be perfect while playing with them. They just wanted me to interact, to enjoy time just being with them, time just for us together.
A few days after I came to this realization, my son took another chance at asking mom to play. He wanted to know if I would have a Nerf gun war with he and his sister, sadly I think he was surprised when I actually said yes. Looking back, playing with my kids that night was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I think I’m going to make time to play with my kids more often.
So, when my son asks me to build a Lego city with him, we’ll jump right in and work on architecture, design, motor skills, conversation and more, all while building a strong mother-son relationship.
When my daughter wants to play ponies and barbies, we’ll sit down and work on conversation, etiquette, relationships and more, while strengthening our mother-daughter relationship.
Taking time to play with our kids is important, more than we realize. Our kids need to know that they are important, that they matter to us and that time spent with them truly is precious.
How often do you take time to play with your kids? What toys are you and your kids’ favorites to play with together?