This post about simple ways to play with your child was inspired by Green Toys and the #PledgetoPlay campaign. I’m a Green Toys Ambassador because I support 100% Play. All opinions are my own.
I admit that more often than not I’m busy working at home – whether I’m working on a blog post, doing laundry, or cleaning the floors – I’m almost always working on something when I’m at home. I like being busy, it makes the days go by faster and I feel productive. Since my girls are older now and are in school, at least for a part of the day, I have quite a bit of uninterrupted work time in the mornings. But at the same time, as a Work from Home Mom I find it hard to know when to turn off the work… when to step away from it all. The fact is, I know this is hard for all Moms whether you’re a WAHM, SAHM, or Working Mom. There’s just so much to do in a day that it’s hard to turn away from what seems like our priorities and play with your child.
But today I’m encouraging you to do just that! I am encouraging you to take 1 hour out of your busy day and make your priority playing with your child. Not watching your child play or finding a an activity to keep your child busy for an hour, but to play with your child. If you’re like me, you’re thinking of a million things you could accomplish in an hour, but don’t. Get that out of your mind and take a quick peek at this list of 30 ideas that I came up with so you can find simple ways to play with your child.
I’m so excited to partner with Green Toys in their newest campaign to Pledge to Play. With this campaign you’ll be entered to win an amazing Treasure Box full of Green Toys just for pledging to play with your child for 1 hour a day! A toy company that is actually encouraging you to play with your child. They’re not making toys to keep your kids busy for a few hours so you can get your work done [although yes, I know we still have to do our work], they’re saying “Think about what’s really important.” My girls are 4 and 5 and although the days may sometimes seem long, those 4-5 years went by in a blink of an eye. I try to remind myself of that often when I see dishes in the sink… I try to remind myself of that when they say, “Mom will you play with me?”
Green Toys fit perfectly into playing with your child because they promote open, interactive, unplugged play. All Green Toys are made withOUT glue batteries, screws, and even paint! Instead, you could say that Green Toys are made with 100% Play in mind and right here in the USA from 100% environmentally friendly materials! For those very reasons, Green Toys doesn’t just hold a special place in our play room, but my family’s life.
Now, let’s get to those play ideas. Out of 30 total ideas, I hope this helps you come up with a new way to play with your child today!
Coloring is all the rage for adults right now, but let me tell you, it’s quite a hit with kiddos too! I love the conversations that come up with my girls while we’re coloring together.
2. Play with Baby Dolls
A favorite in my childhood just happens to be one of my girls’ favorites too. They love pretending to feed, bathe, and diaper their baby dolls and it’s a great way for them to learn some amazing life skills as they’ll probably have their own child one day.
3. Blow Bubbles!
4. Open a Restaurant
If you have a play kitchen and dishes and food, encourage your child to be the chef in her own restaurant as you are her first customer. Some of the combinations of food that Moreaya comes up with are a bit questionable – Brownie Pickle Hotdog Sandwich… but it turns out that it can be quite delicious!
5. Puzzle Marathon
Have a puzzle marathon! My kiddos love puzzles and we love working on larger ones together. They also love to have timed races with smaller puzzles, all in good fun. I’m a firm believer that you can never start too young with puzzles and I’m absolutely loving the new Green Toys 4 piece puzzles for little hands!
6. Go On a Nature Walk
7. Build with Blocks
Whether you choose wooden building blocks or interlocking blocks, this is a great way for you to sit down and play with your child. You could build a village or a robot – the possibilities are endless!
8. Put on a Play
I have two little actresses in my house and one of their favorite things to do is put on shows. Instead of just watching, jump in with them. Let your child be the director and actor and act out one of their favorite books!
9. Have a Dance Party
10. Open-Ended Painting Session
If there’s one thing my girls love more than crayons, it’s paint. Sometimes I shudder because, well, it’s paint. But it’s important to let that Type A out and just enjoy painting with your kids! I love to pull out white sheets of paper or sometimes even canvases and just let them paint whatever their heart desires!
11. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
I have girls so this isn’t a way we play often, but when we do, it’s definitely fun. We recently added in the Green Toys Recycling Truck to our car shelf in the play room and it’s brought out level of play up to a whole other level as I’ve been able to incorporate so many green teaching moments without them even realizing it!
12. Build a Blanket Fort
This could quite possibly be the funnest activity on the list, if you’re asking my husband. He thinks building a fort is a weekly necessity and the girls don’t objects. Throw a blanket over a few chairs or a table and you’ll hear, and participate in, quite a few giggle sessions!
13. Get Outside
I have great childhood memories of being outside making grass and rock soups for my Mom and my girls love doing this now too.
14. Play Your Favorite Board Games
15. Modeling Dough
I lose track of time myself when we pull out our dough tub and accessories. It’s such a great open-ended activity and really gets imaginations going.
16. Plant Flowers
If it’s a pretty day, consider planting flowers with your child. You can buy flowers that are already blooming or let them plant seeds in a container. Not only will this be a bit of a science experiment, it’ll give you a great way to interact daily when they need watering!
17. Arts & Crafts
Some of my girls’ favorite art activities involve craft supplies like – pom poms, pipe cleaners, sequins, buttons, feathers, and glue. It’s amazing what kind of art they can create when it’s up to their imagination.
18. Backyard Scavenger Hunt
One of our favorite outdoor activities is having scavenger hunts. I come up with a short list of items for the girls to find and they love running around the yard with a purpose.
19. Read a Book
20. Water Table or Sprinkler
Who says playing in water outside is only for kids? Running through a sprinkler with your kiddos is more fun than you’ve ever had washing dishes!
21. Outdoor Chalk
22. Have a Tea Party
23. Create something out of a cardboard box
If you have a box around the house, get it and start using your imagination!
24. Play at a Local Park
There’s no need to leave the house but if you need some scenery head to your local park. And instead of having a seat on the bench with the other parents – join your child on the swings!
25. Cook together but don’t follow a recipe!
It’s hard for this Type A Mom, but the girls and I have so much fun when we get in the kitchen and bake together. You don’t necessarily have to go completely without a recipe, but make the activity fun!
26. Play Superheroes and/or Princesses
27. Freeze Small Toys in Water.
Since the first time I saw this activity on Pinterest, I knew my girls would love it and it turns out, I love it as much as them. Simply take some of your child’s small toys and put them in a bowl of water in the freezer. Once it’s frozen, head outside for some chisel and cool fun on a warm, Summer day!
28. DIY Play Mat
Here’s another one that comes straight from my childhood. My cousin and I used to draw our own roads and play mats on poster boards and that was half the fun of playing with cars and toys. Sophia and I had fun bringing her vision to life on this play mat inspired by the Green Toys Rescue Boat & Helicopter and Rocket.
29. Pretend Games
Sophia and Moreaya LOVE to pretend they’re my pet dogs and cats and I remember playing this with my Mom when I was a little girl.
30. Child-led Play
All these are great ideas but one of the best ways to play with your child is to let THEM choose what to play! You might just be surprised at the creative ideas your child will suggest!
I’ve given you 30 great, simple ways to play and I’m sure you can incorporate some of them into your child’s day! So, today, I encourage you to play with your child and take the #PledgetoPlay with Green Toys. It’s simple – Pledge to Play unplugged with your child for 1 hour a day every day from now until Earth Day and you’ll be entered to win some amazing prizes!
What is one of your favorite activities to play with your child?