This post is in partnership with Genius of Play. All opinions are my own.
Unstructured playtime is one of the most important gifts you can give your children. In a world full of tech, tv and video games, kids today seem to be glued to their electronics and mine are no different. No matter how much I try to limit their screen time. Growing up in the city, there was never a shortage of neighborhood kids to play with. Sure, we had tv and video games were just becoming popular, but we all wanted to be outside. It was a neighborhood ritual that after dinner time passed the entire block moved outside. The adults would mingle and talk like old friends while the kids played tag, dodgeball, catch lightning bugs or just use our imaginations to play in our own little made up worlds. My childhood was amazing, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
I wish my own kids had that experience but there are fewer kids in our neighborhood now and the ones who are here would rather play video games than come outside. So, I make sure that every day, no matter where we are or how busy we are, that we unstructured playtime in factored into the day.
Genius of Play knows how important playtime is for a child’s development. They’re on a mission to give families the information and inspiration they need to make play an important part of their child’s life.
PUT PLAYTIME ON THE CALENDAR
Whether we’re home or traveling, setting time every day for playtime is always a priority. Whether we head to the lake or beach or our own backyard, we’ll turn counting rocks, leaves, insects or anything else we can find into a game. It’s easy for time to get away from you so setting time to just relax and play every day, ensures playtime every day. Pretty soon it’ll become second nature. Need some play ideas? Visit Genius of Play for tons of ideas and inspiration.
TURN LEARNING INTO PLAYTIME
Since our children are bilingual and we encourage speaking Spanish at home, this is another great way to practice the new words we’re learning. We’ll count in Spanish or set out on a hike to learn new Spanish words. Her dad only speaks to her in Spanish while I do the English speaking and practicing Spanish words with her. Teaching her this way has helped her retain more of what she’s learning.
LIMIT SCREEN TIME
Sometimes this is easier said than done, but it’s something I’ve really been enforcing lately. When the kids want to reach for the tablets or video games, I know it’s time for a break in my day and we’ll head outside for a change of scenery. Within minutes, they’ve forgotten about their electronics and are having fun being kids.
There are so many benefits though play, don’t just take my word for it. Check them all out here. Play is an amazing teaching tool and in addition to learning how to interact with others, kids develop these 6 benefits critical for childhood development.
- Improving Cognitive Abilities
- Honing Communication Skills
- Increasing Creativity
- Processing & Expressing Emotions
- Developing Physical Skills
- Enhancing Social Skills
Enter Genius of Play. They’re on a mission to give families the information and inspiration they need to make play an important part of their child’s life.
Different types of play help kids build and strengthen important developmental skills. The Genius of Play website has hundreds of play ideas for kids of all ages. You can sort ideas based on your child’s age, how much time you have to play or the developmental benefits of play that you would like to focus on.
Visit Genius of Play website to find hundreds of ideas in Spanish and English to make playtime a priority.