Your child experiences the world through play. It’s how children learn new things, develop relationships, and even solve problems. It’s also a great way for you and your child to bond; but for busy parents, finding time to play can be difficult and exhausting. Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to make time to play with your child.
Quality, Not Quantity
First, aim for quality instead of quantity. Some studies have found that it’s the act of spending time with your kids, not the amount of time that you spend, that matters for childhood development. The idea is to be consistent. If that means playing with your child for just ten minutes a day, then that’s absolutely fine. What your child will remember is what you did together during play time, not the amount of time that you spent playing. To take full advantage of that time, though, try to be fully present with your child. Your phone can wait for a few minutes.
Sit Down Games
Sometimes, it’s tough finding time to play because you’re just exhausted. You need a few minutes to sit down, but your child is still brimming with energy. How do you fit in some play time when you really just want to sit on the couch? You fit in some play time while sitting on the couch, of course. Look for games that let you sit down while your child moves and plays. For example, you might give your child an object to hide and then guess where the object is. You could blow bubbles and let your child pop them. You could pretend to be a mama bear in a cave while your baby bear goes out to “hunt.” It’s not zoologically accurate, but you’re tired, so why not?
Use a Timer
Preschool-aged kids respond really well to timers. Tell them that their screen time is up, and they’ll argue with you about it. Let your kitchen timer tell them that screen time is up, and they’ll accept it. Why? Nobody knows. It’s one of the mysteries of parenting. Timers can help you when it comes to finding time to play. If you have work to finish, tell your child that you’ll play as soon as the timer goes off. You can also set a timer during your designated play time, too. Tell your child that you can play until the timer goes off, and once it goes off suggest an activity that they can do by themselves.
Encourage Alone Time and Enlist Childcare Help
Sometimes, finding time to play gets tricky because you want to play with your child, but you have a lot of things to do. When your child follows you around the house, you can’t finish your tasks, which means that you take longer to do them, which means that you have even less time for play. To finish your tasks faster, encourage alone time for your child. Again, timers work really well for these situations. You can also hire a nanny or babysitter who can hang out with your child while you get tasks finished.
Finding Time to Play
Need time to get everything finished so that you have more time to play with your child? Legacy Academy can help with that. At Legacy Academy, your child can play, have fun, and enrich their mind with indoor and outdoor activities. Legacy provides the ideal childcare environment. Contact Legacy Academy today to learn more. You can schedule a tour with a Legacy franchise in your area.