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Playing With Your Kids

Kelly's Korner is doing a series called "Build Em' Up," meant to encourage moms throughout this journey of motherhood. Today, her post was about playing with her kids, so I thought I would participate.

Many of the moms I'd read about said they didn't play with their kids enough because of all of the things they felt they had to do around the house. I usually don't ever have that problem (I honestly could care less if there is laundry to do, it doesn't eat me up inside like many other moms out there), so that's not why I have trouble playing with the kids.
As you get older, I think your imagination becomes a little more limited than that of a 3 year old. I find it difficult to actually play with the kids and imagine with them. Not only that, but each age and sex of a child comes with different types of play. With Jordan, he used to always want to play Legos, but now, it's Nerf Wars. I am not a boyish-player, so that's always a little harder for me. Sophia is much easier for me to play with (hence the tea parties, I can get on board with that!) and Avery is just getting into the age where she says, "You play with me?" And it usually consists of the same game over and over. So, it can get a little boring.

Sometimes, I feel as though I really have to work hard to find games that we can both relate to (both meaning me and the child in question) so that we can both enjoy ourselves. I hate to be an adult who isn't 100% in the moment because I am not having fun. But in order to do that, you have to allow yourself to let go and give yourself the freedom to think that just maybe, playing like a 3 year old can be fun, if you find the right game for both of you. And doing that requires spending time with them and getting to know them. And it can be something as simple as suddenly, you walk backwards down the hall instead of walking regularly, and your 3 year old mimics you and shrieks with delight, and you end up playing a very entertaining version of Simon Says.

I am a huge believer in Supernanny, and one major theme on every episode is that most families don't play together enough. All of those children with difficult attitudes tend to become alot easier to deal with when you actually laugh with them and do things they enjoy. Each episode, Jo makes up a game that the family plays together. Playing together is just as important, to me, as discipline but it's easier said than done. Sometimes, I just don't feel like getting down on the floor and acting like a 33-year old goofball, but once I am in the moment, I tend to have a really fun time. And kids are only young once, so it's important to soak up every moment.

Jason and I are big fans of board games and dominoes, and I like doing those kind of structured games also. Kids tend to learn to work within rules that way and to understand the value of winning and the graciousness of losing, so we do game nights at our house as much as we can.

What games do you play at your house? What's your favorite way to play with your kids?


Blue-Eyed Bride said…
I LOVE what you said about the Supernanny. My kids behave SO much better when we have a lot of intentional play TOGETHER. If they feel ignored or like I'm not paying attention or not having fun with them, they act out and they do what they can to get my attention. I'm not great with using my imagination, and so far my boys aren't in that stage. They're still into trains, puzzles, books, blocks and outdoor play. I'll have to dig down deep for some good imaginative boy play! :)
totally agree. my kids just light up at dinner when we do a simple game or "true or false" and tell them fun facts about mom and dad before they were born.
What a great idea! I love that. My husband and I have known each other since we were 12, we kind of do the same things...
Priscilla M said…
I agree, I think we really have to learn how to re-engage our imagination when we play with small children. ;)
Jennifer said…
Love the structured game time for the fact that it teaches boundaries and rules and playing fair AND it gives you time together as a family. I agree with what you said about once you're in the moment playing, nothing is better :)
Thanks for sharing and for linking up!

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