Long before I had Eve, I had visions of the kind of mom I would be. My home would be impeccably decorated for each holiday and the aroma of freshly baked cookies would permeate it. I was going to spend hours playing with legos, playdough, and dolls with my children and making eye-catching crafts for them.
Reality had a very different vision of motherhood.
Besdies our annual New Year’s tree, I have managed to put up exactly one holiday decoration, and that was a very sad Halloween banner that I had purchased back in 2006. I’ve made cookies twice with Eve (and more often it’s the aroma of our cast iron pan burning that fills our home). And while we have a pretty fantastic art corner set up for her that she seems to enjoy using, I probably have actually sat down with her to do about three crafts at home with her in her lifetime.
The reality is, while I spend a considerable amount of time with Eve, I don’t spend as much time playing with her as I had imagined.
That’s not to say that she doesn’t have time to play — it’s fascinating to watch her imagination unfold in front of me. She could spend hours caring for her dolls and stuffed animals, feeding them, reading to them, and putting them to sleep. She has a variety of art materials at her fingertips, and I often find her going back and for between her dolls and her art easel.
I love spending time with Eve, but for whatever reason when we’re home I have a difficult time just sitting down and playing with her. We’re so frequently on the go that I sometimes forget to just relax and be in the moment with her.
Now that the summer is coming, and I intend to spend more time slowing down, That includes making sure I spend more time just playing with her. From my days as a graduate student learning school counseling, I understand the value of play and the many opportunities it allows for learning, growth, and promoting creativity.
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I was recently reminded how important is to make time for her and I to play together.
In The Undeniable Power of Play, authors Alana of Parenting from the Heart Blog, Katie of Views from a Step Stool, and Susie from Twitchetts share a plethora of play activities for children five and under, not to mention the benefits of play. From sensory activities to science experiments, you will find an wide array of activities that will engage both you and your children.
One of my favorite aspects of the book is that for each activity it shows you how to adapt it to different ages and how to further expand each activity. I also like that many of these activities are ones that I would actually enjoy doing, like the Magic Frosted Paint. Eve kept asking for more paper so that she could paint more pictures with it. Many of these activities are also fantastic for keeping her engaged and entertained when I have adult and do things like cook dinner.
But it’s also a great reminder for me to slow down, get my hands dirty, and allow my creativity to flow with her. I’m looking forward to trying out more of the activities in the book this summer with Eve.
You can get your copy of The Undeniable Power of Play on Amazon for just $9.99 and try out some of these activities for yourself!
Do you enjoy playing with your kids?
I received a free copy of The Undeniable Power of Play for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.