Weekly Challenge : Be Present in Play
I don't know about you but I love doing projects with my children, going on outings and keeping busy. I have always enjoyed planning all sorts of fun activities. My children love keeping busy and get very excited about projects, activities, experiments and outings but sometimes they have no interest in doing anything other than just playing at home. Yesterday, as my kids were content playing, I realized that it has actually been awhile since I got down on the floor in the playroom, ignored everything else around me and just concentrated on playing with my kids. I'm a stay-at-home mom and my life basically revolves around my kids. We read books, do arts and crafts, experiments, projects, play outside, play games, go on outings, etc. I play with my kids everyday but when I started thinking about simple child directed free play, I realized that all too often, I start to play but then after several minutes I get distracted by something or someone. I usually take the opportunity to get a few things done when my children are busy with their own free play which is completely okay and healthy for everyone. I decided that while I do have a lot to do, I would like to make more of an effort to join in with their free play more often.
I walked into the playroom and asked my children if I could play with them. They eagerly said "yes mom" and immediately brought me into their creative play world where I stayed for about an hour before we cleaned up and went outside for a picnic lunch. We all had a really good time just playing whatever they wanted to play. I didn't direct or plan anything, I didn't give any suggestions, I just followed their lead and played without letting myself get distracted. We had a lot of fun together. There is definitely a lot of value in just sitting on the floor with no agenda and just playing whatever your child chooses. I know that my kids can detect whether or not I am living in the moment with no distractions or interruptions and they love it when I am focused on just playing and listening.
Weekly Challenge: Make time in your schedule to just play with your child. Don't plan anything in particular, just take his/her lead and don't give in to other distractions. Be present, in the moment and just play.