I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a get down on the floor and play kind of mom. I love spending time with my five year old daughter, but you probably will not see me playing Barbies anytime soon. Also, being a work from home mom, sometimes I get lost in work, while she gets lost in her toys or even *shutter* TV!
All this means that I really have to make an effort to find things we can do together.
1. Baking: I love to bake and luckily so does Ellie. Many evenings we’ll spend trying new recipes, mixing, breaking eggs, and just giggling. I’ve made sure that she has baking utensils and aprons in her size. This way it’s easier for her to actually get involved.
Bonus: She also enjoys helping with the clean up.
2. Exercising: Yes, Ellie and I exercise together. We have since she was a very little girl. It started out with me pushing her in her jogger for our daily hikes, but as she got older it evolved. Now I’ll turn on the Wii and we’ll box, play tennis, or dance for hours. There are new sports toys coming out all the time – it doesn’t have to be Wii. Time seems to fly by because we’re laughing and enjoying ourselves.
Bonus: We are burning calories.
3. Shopping: I know I know, but honestly, we have some of our best times out shopping. It could just be at the market. We look for colors, shapes, or anything out of the ordinary. It creates conversation and learning.
Bonus: She’s not afraid to tell me if the pants I’m trying on make my butt look big.
4. Photography: I love spending the day with my camera in hand taking pictures of buildings, flowers, waves, or whatever. We’ve given Ellie one of our old point and shoots. One of my favorite things is taking her with me and seeing what she shoots. Many times it’s way better than what I’ve captured.
Bonus: When she was younger I would send her into the back yard and ask her to photograph certain colors. It was a great way for her to learn her colors.
5. Working: Many days I’m working on a deadline and my playtime is very limited. On these days instead of turning on the TV for the entire day, I’ll set up a workstation for Ellie right beside me. I’ll have her color, work on the iPad, or practice with her workbooks. This way I’m getting work done and I don’t feel like I’m ignoring her.
Bonus: She’s learning!
So how do you insure play time with your kids?