6 Ways to Sneak Playtime into Your Busy Schedule

6 Ways to Sneak Playtime into Your Busy Schedule

6 Ways to Sneak Playtime into Your Busy Schedule

As a mom, business owner, full time employee and sister/daughter/wife …etc, I know life’s schedule gets hectic!

 

Many of us can’t seem to fit in everything we want to now let alone set aside time to play with our children.

 

But, we need to.

 

Play is how our children learn! So, today I want to give you 7 easy ways to sneak playtime into your schedule!

 

It’s not about having time. It’s about making time.

 

Here are my 6 easy peasy ways to make time for playtime today.

  1. Use your commute
  2. Find 5 minutes
  3. Take THAT app off of your phone
  4. Play Instead of Clean
  5. Play through TV
  6. Play & Exercise

Most are pretty easy to get but let me explain a little.

 

Use your commute

woman driving and making conversation with unseen child

 

If your commute is even 4 minutes long (like mine), you can create a fun game or topic of conversation.

 

For example, I talked with my 2.5-year-old about the moon and sun, their distances from us and how they would squish our house (their sizes)!

 

The topic can be anything. You’ll be surprised how fun it is to hear their thoughts and see them put things together.

 

An example of quick game is to say “red and then count every time you are at a red stop light or sing a song but mix up the words.

 

Here is a list of games or topics to talk about. (if you want more stay tuned for our monthly membership stagesoffun.com)

           

  • Weather (literally describe and talk about the weather because we have to teach them what “windy” “Sunny” and “Blustery” mean!
  • The colors you see as you drive.
  • Fast cars verses slow cars
  • Safety (why you buckle, wear sunscreen, not go with strangers)
  • I spy classic car game where you try to describe an item you see and they guess
  • Name as many colors as you can think of
  • Talk about their favorite _________ and yours and how they are different

 

Find 5 minutes

Many times when I talk about playtime parents get anxious that they can not find a half hour at then end of the day to spare or that the hours will add up and be a huge schedule changer.

 

Let me correct those who think this…

 

Designated together Playtime can be as small as 5 minutes here and there or as large as a full day.

 

Either way is beneficial for your child and I know we can all spare 5 minutes.

 

Heck, I’ve wasted 5 minutes today watching videos about a dog with hiccups

 

find a time waster and use that time for play (see #3)

 

Take THAT app off your phone

Woman looking at her phone

 

You know what app I’m talking about....

 

It may be youtube or a social media app that you find yourself checking all the time and using it to fill in all those little moments of quiet with it.

 

Well stop!

 

I know this is waaayy easier said than done but it really will save you hours. I know I average 36 minutes. A. freaking. Day on Instagram alone. Wowzah.

 

Take that time and spend it playing with your child, instead of surfing the net.

 

Play Instead of Clean

Okay, okay. This one isn’t “finding time per'se more of exchanging time but I found this tip the most liberating.

 

As a mother, we are pressured to do it all.

 

Society says we should clean, cook, play, organize, work, not work, run all the errands…blach. I don’t even like typing this because guess what? We don’t need to do it all, all the time. It’s just not possible.

 

So, I’m giving you permission to not clean for the next bit and just go play. Trust me. You will remember the fun time playing more than cleaning 10 years down the road – and so will your child.

 

You can do the laundry tomorrow.

 

 Play through TV

 Man watching television with children

Screen time is not the best form of playtime. Let me repeat that.

 

Screen time is not the best form of playtime.

 

But, we live in a world that it is everywhere and, I’m being real here, very convenient!  

 

I’ll keep you up to date on the recommendations for screen time but here is my suggestion – limit screen time in favor of more active play but TV can have its benefits, when used in moderation.

 

So, If you decide to let your child watch a TV show (no judgments here) try talking to them through it.

 

A study by Texas Tech University found an “increased physiological change in children when parents view programs with them as opposed to being in a separate room.”

 

What this means is that your child will learn waaay more from the television program if you sit and watch with them and talk to them during it about what is going on.

 

Why?

 

Children learn through interaction and this study is showing that children will engage more with the show if you’re interested in it.

 

They also learn more by you communicating what is going on and encouraging deeper reasoning to the program than if they watched it alone.

 

For example: if you are watching a program about 

 

Play & Exercise

Many people find it hard to fit it all it (hence the reason for this post!) and that includes time for exercising.

 

Why not combine your exercise time with some extra playtime?

 

Here are some easy ways to do this:

  • Find a mommy-and-me yoga video or class.
  • When you’re cleaning up toys, race who can do it faster and lunge, squat, and jump your way to a clean living room.
  • Get outside and go on nature search and walk the neighborhood.
  • Climb the sliding hill (is that just a Midwest thing?) over and over when you go sledding.

 

Think of anything and add in some kick-booty exercises to raise your heart rate and your play time status!

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Phew! That was a lot.

 

What do you think? Think you can try one or two of these this week?

 

If you do…let me know in the comments how it went! I’d love to hear your fun times (and the not so great times too)!

Have a FUN day!

 Mikala Simon, DPT signature

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