Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Remembering How to Play

In my quest to become a more playful family I have stumbled across something. It's not so much remembering to play, it's remembering how to play in my case. The boys know what playing is. Sometimes they just need reminders on how to do it. I need reminders on how to not take myself so seriously and that letting a task sit for 5 minutes while I go do something with them isn't going to ruin the whole day. In fact, it will probably make it better.

And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3

Not only are we supposed to have a child-like faith, I believe this is also saying that it is ok to play like a child. In reading that verse I have thought about it over the course of the last week. When we were at my dad's house I took the boys into his backyard to run off some energy before heading to my nephew's first birthday. Normally I would encourage them to run and play and watch from the sidelines. How not fun is that? So Dylan and I played a game of tag (Lincoln was quite enamored with the playhouse but did run for a bit). I didn't realize how fast Dylan has gotten and actually had to run at my top speed. We had so much fun, I couldn't believe it.

After dinner another night, rather than splitting off to watch tv or play with some other electronic toy I set out a big bowl of ice cubes, two platters and a shaker of salt. In theory you are supposed to build with the salt like mini ice blocks. Either the shape of our ice was too rounded or something but it didn't work like I imagined. Luckily the boys didn't care and they played with the ice and it gave us a few more minutes of togetherness. I've also read about blowing bubbles outside when it is freezing and the bubbles are supposed to freeze. Well that didn't work yesterday either but at least Linc and I got a few minutes of sunshine and he didn't care or know that it didn't work anyway.
Another thing I have been trying to figure out is how to play with everyone at the same time while they are at such different stages in their lives. Warner is starting to get more into non-blobby baby play time, but Lincoln is Dylan is more concerned with doing it right but we find a way to make it work. Take for instance the double airplane...

Here are more quick tips on remember how to play:
  • Take a look at your kids, or better yet, take a look through their eyes.
  • Playing isn't an organized thing. Sometimes I can be, but the most fun just happens.
  • Look for play opportunities in the mundane.
  • Enjoy spending time together and play will follow.


  1. I enjoyed watching you three play outside last week. Yes, playing now is the best thing you can do. I wish I knew then what I know now about it when you were all so little. I did let the little boy in me out from time to time tho.