Worried you’re not spending enough time with your children? Throw parent guilt out the window! Here’s an easy way to spend quality time with your child AND still get things done!
I was a stay at home mom.
In theory I had all the time in the world to connect with my kids.
But I quickly realized that despite spending all day, everyday, with my boys we weren’t getting a lot of meaningful connection.
I’m talking about those wonderful moments when you and your kids are together playing, snuggling, or giggling hysterically over smelly socks.
For a brief instant in time you are totally in-sync with each other and it’s incredible.
But it didn’t happen often enough.
Does this sound familiar?
Often it seemed as if my days were one round of changing diapers, dispensing food, and scraping off dried cereal that was super glued onto the floor.
I’d fall into bed exhausted and wake up the next day to do it all again!
I wanted MORE quality time with my boys.
But I needed to get stuff done? What to do?
An sanity saving discovery
I slowly realized that I couldn’t do everything at once. It wasn’t possible to give my children the attention they needed while trying to deal with my other responsibilities.
So I leaned to take breaks during my day to spend quality time with my boys.
I would get my fill of smiles, giggles and hugs! And more importantly so did they.
Family life suddenly became a lot less chaotic.
And what amazed me was that it didn’t take a lot of time! We’re talking 10-12 minutes each day.
Interestingly enough a recent study confirmed that’s all it takes.
All it takes is 12 minutes!
I quickly discovered that playing was a super easy way to spend quality time with my kids, so I decide to put aside some time each day to play with my boys.
The trouble is when you’re in the midst of dealing with all the grown up stuff, it’s hard to change direction and come up with something fun to do with your kids. Especially when I suddenly found myself with 12 precious minutes in the midst of the craziness that is family life.
A simple fix
I sat down one evening and made a list of easy play activities that were ready to go at a moment’s notice. When I found myself with time to spare, or the boys were clamouring for attention, I picked something from the list.
Did it work?
Heck yes! What’s surprised me was how easy it was to find time to play when I had a list of ready to go activities to choose from.
I was also happy to discover how content my kids became when I filled them up with some quick quality time and then sent them on their way for some free play.
Our family life became a lot less chaotic and I felt that mama patience and satisfaction begin to bubble up again. After all there is nothing like feeling you are doing well at this parenting thing right?
Something to help you
I’m sure your day is full and your to-do list is never ending. But I also know this. Being a better parent starts with giving our kids just few minutes of our attention each day.
It’s as simple as that!
To help you I’ve created a set of printable cards using the play activities from my original list. I also added few others I used with the kids at the library.
Here’s how it works:
- Get a bag and download these printable cards.
- Print them and cut them out. Optional: laminate them if you wish.
- Put them in the bag.
- When you are ready to play just grab the bag and invite your kids to pull a card.
- Do what it says. EASY PEASY.
If you pull a card with an activity that doesn’t appeal put it back and grab another one instead.
The play card police will NOT show up at your door I promise.
If your cards get worn out simply print another set
A few more details
This set of cards has 32 play activities. I’ve also included a sheet of blank cards, so you can add your own activities.
All of these activities have been kid tested. I know they work and I know that kids enjoy them.
More importantly the activities do not require any preparation or special materials, so you can get going in a moments notice.
Just a few minutes each day
All it takes are a few minutes of attention to make an intentional impact on your family. Playing is such an easy way to spend time with your kids. Why not take advantage of it?
Want more simple play ideas?
Check out my Simple Fun Pinterest board
How will you connect with your children today? Leave a comment and inspire me!