Most days I have every intention of spending quality time playing and creating with my girls, but sometimes I get lost in my to do list or the other seemingly urgent things that are constantly fighting for my attention. Can you relate? This year I am going to take purposeful steps to get into a better rhythm of creating space and carving out pockets in our days for intentional play. Will you join me? Today I am very excited to introduce you to Alison, the fabulous mama behind Yoga Pants and Pearls. Alison is SO creative and always shares such fun ideas for engaging and interacting with her kiddos. Today she is sharing 4 tips for connecting with your kids through intentional play. Sweet friends, meet Alison!
I have created some of the greatest memories with my children through intentional play. It takes effort for me to slow down, ignore the to-do list and really connect with my children at their level and on their time. I believe it is the most important part as my job as a mother to create a space for us to learn, create and just be together. I will share a few tips on how to make play time intentional and beneficial for both children and caregiver.
1. Keep it Simple
I really love to use everyday toys and household items in new ways! There is no reason to go out and buy something new in order to connect or teach your child something new.
Egg carton pom counting: using a clothespin, a child can count and transfer the correct number of poms into an egg carton.
Name Blocks: tape the outline of your child’s name onto carpet and allow them to “write” their name using blocks.
2. Focus on a Favorite Book
In our house, each of my children have their favorite books that they love to read over and over. To keep the magic of the books alive I like to come up with fun extension activities!
The Crayon’s Book of Numbers: counting crayons into cupcake liners filled with playdough.
Monster’s Don’t Eat Broccoli: making monster faces using playdough, googly eyes and teeth shapes.
3. Themed Reading
With a one-year-old and a three-year-old in our house we have a lot of books! A fun way to keep them interested in grabbing a book off our shelves is to pick a theme and collect books that fit it. Examples could be a current holiday, season, or even something different like emotions or a specific author. We try to find as many of them that we already have and end up hunting at our library for more. It is exciting to see them make connections from one book to another!
Enjoying our ’emotions’ book theme.
4. Take Time for Set Up
I usually take a few minutes at night or during nap time to set up any activities I want to do with the kids! This cuts down on any wait time for them in anticipation for a fun new activity and allows me to focus on everything we need. It also helps me be more consistent with intentional play because when I am prepared, the activities run smoother and gets me excited to do them more often!
(photo by Michelle Walker Photography)
I feel extra inspired today to connect with my girls through intentional play. I love the reminder that it doesn’t have to be complicated to be meaningful. Thank you great tips and super simple activity ideas, Alison! If you loved these tips, be sure to go check out her darling blog where she shares so many amazing resources. Some of my favorites are this DIY job chart, her tips for the best books for speech and language development, and FREE Printables galore. I absolutely adore following Alison’s account on Instagram, because of how real and genuine she is. She truly is such a joy and has the BEST ideas so please be sure to stop by her blog and say hello!
You can follow along with Alison here:
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