Please don't think I am trying to tell you that I am good with playing with my kids because the truth is a lot of times I do it grudgingly. There are some days where I feel that it is a chore to play with them; I just don't feel like it.
Today I noticed some things that make a huge difference in enjoyment and reward of spending quality play time with your children.
I reflected on the times when I felt like it was a chore to play with them and realized that it was because I was only thinking of myself. I was thinking of what I needed to do or I was thinking about how this was supposed to please me. (This all sounds so awful spilling out but it's true and I need to learn from it). I also was pretty sure that the days I felt like that were days that I probably forgot to read my scriptures that morning. Days that I wasn't as in tune with the spirit as I should have been. Also, lately the weather has been warmer and we have been playing outside. I find it easier and more enjoyable to play outside than inside with my kids. During the winter, I don't want to go outside and play in the cold and it's tiring to play inside all the time.
So, after learning from a good play day today and reflecting on some mistakes in the past...here are some tips on how to truly make playtime with your children a wonderful, enjoyable, and rewarding experience.
#1: Start off right. Wake up in the morning and read your scriptures and pray. You need to do this to invite the spirit with you as the spirit is a necessary play mate to have. Also, it gets you out of a selfish mindset and helps you think more upon what God wants from you and the needs of your precious children.
#2: Set aside a time as playtime. A lot of times what holds me back from enjoying playing is that I keep thinking that I need to sweep the floor or wash the dishes or fold laundry. But today I said to myself that after lunchtime for 1-2 hours is designated to the kids and I am not worrying about anything else. It helped that I was able to get quite a bit done before lunch and I told Brigham that it would be mommy play time after lunch.
#3: Wear play clothes: for playing outside with Brigham is requires sports shoes. And of course kids get messy so it's good to wear clothes that you don't mind getting messy. Like later this evening during our activity for FHE we went outside on an exploring walk around the farmground and Adam stopped to throw rock with Silas in a muddy puddle. I picked him up and didn't realize how muddy his feet were and soon my pants were covered in mud.
#4: Be open to kids ideas and frequent change. When I play with my boys they come up with all sorts of pretend ideas, just play along. They also can go from one different thing to another. Be open to how they want to change.
#5: make suggestions. If you really don't want to something they suggest, come up with a fun idea of your own that you would enjoy doing with them and chances are they will go for it.
Now go have fun playing with your children!!!