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  • Pamela Haefner

Embrace the Fun: The Magic of Playtime with Your Little Ones


I was listening to Laura Vanderkam, author of 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, talk about time and the feeling of there not being enough. There’s 168 hours in a week. Accounting for a 40-hour work week and 49 hours for 8 hours/night of sleep that leaves 79 hours a week left.

 

And here I am, going to tell you to take 20 minutes a day (doing the math, that’s 2 and a half hours) of that 79 hours a week, to play with your child. Life as a parent is a whirlwind of responsibilities, what with dinner, dishes, baths, books and everything in between. Where is the time to play?! Playtime with your kiddos is one of the most important aspects of parenting. Let me lay it out for you.


Let's talk about the magic that unfolds when you take a moment to dive into the world of play with your child. Trust me, it's not just about building Lego towers or playing dress-up; it's about creating precious memories and fostering crucial aspects of your little one's emotional well-being and development.


1. The Ultimate Stress Buster 🌈 Picture this: you've had a long, exhausting day, and all you want to do is crash on the couch. But wait! Before you surrender to the exhaustion, consider this – playing with your child is the ultimate stress buster. The laughter, the joy, and the simple act of being present in the moment can do wonders for your stress levels. It's like a mini vacation without leaving your living room.


2. Bonding Time Like No Other 💕 Playtime isn't just about toys and games; it's about building a bond that lasts a lifetime. When you engage in play with your child, you're sending a powerful message – "I value you, and I love spending time with you." These shared moments become the foundation for a strong parent-child relationship, creating a sense of security and connection. It’s also an opportunity to foster their sense of self.


3. Emotional Regulation 101 🚀 Kids are like little sponges, absorbing information from the world around them. Play provides a safe space for them to express their emotions, whether it's through imaginary play, drawing, or even a game of tag. By engaging in these activities, children learn to regulate their emotions, understand social cues, and develop empathy – essential skills that will serve them well in the future.


4. Unleashing Creativity and Imagination 🚀 Playtime is a canvas for your child's creativity and imagination to run wild. Whether it's building a fort out of blankets or creating an imaginary world with action figures, these activities stimulate cognitive development and problem-solving skills. Plus, it's a fantastic way to discover and nurture your child's unique interests and talents.


5. Keepin' It Light and Fun! 🎉 Remember, playtime is not about being the perfect parent or following a set of rules. It's about letting loose, having fun, and embracing the joy of being present with your child. So, whether you're playing hide-and-seek, baking cookies together, or having a dance party in the living room, the key is to keep it light and enjoyable for both of you.

So don't underestimate the power of play. It's more than just a break from the daily grind – it's an investment in your child's emotional well-being and development. So, go ahead, dust off those board games, get messy with some art supplies, and let the laughter fill your home. The benefits are priceless, and the memories you create will last a lifetime, all packed into 2 ½ hours! 🌟

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