Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Build 'Em Up: The Joy of Playing With Our Kids

This is the second part of the Build 'Em Up Series.  You can read how other bloggers find joy in playing with their kiddos by heading over to Blue-Eyed BrideKelly's KornerLife in the Green House, or Lil Light O' Mine

I love the scripture in Ecclesiastes that says there's a time to build up, laugh, dance, etc.  There's a time for everything!

There's certainly a time to clean house, make meals and do the laundry.  These things have to be done.  With little ones, there's so much of the time that we're having to discipline throughout the day and that's not fun for anyone.  There should always be plenty of time to play with our little ones.  They need it.  We need it.   

I don't believe there's a wrong or right amount of time that we should spend with our kids every day.  Some days they get more one-on-one time, some days they get less.  It all depends on what's happening that day.  Having more than one child changes things a bit when it comes to play time.  I know the older they get, the more they'll play together or we can all do something together.  As of right now, Sydney is on the move and I have to watch her like a hawk or she's eating paper in secret.

I don't think Amelia is keeping a tally on how many minutes I'm spending with her but I do know it means the WORLD to her when we do anything together. 

We have these little human beings that want nothing more than our attention.  Spending time with our kiddos should be fun and something we enjoy.  I don't feel like I have to schedule play time, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the day to stop and play.  

I thought I'd write about a few things that I do with my girls. 

1. Laugh.  Maybe it's just because she's three years old but Amelia could sit and make up jokes that make zero sense all day long.  And if I laugh at her jokes...oh should see how she lights up and just gives full belly laughs!  It's priceless.

2. Dance.  There are certain times in the day when we stop to dance.  It's usually when a certain theme song comes on.  The theme songs to Strawberry Shortcake, Veggie Tales and Fresh Beat Band are some of our faves.  We've been dancing to them for so long, if we hear them on in any room, we all know to stop and dance.  Amelia loves it.  And Sydney is starting to dance with us which is hilarious.  

3. Sing.  I make up silly songs that rhyme every day and Amelia has started doing the same. Lots of laughs.  I inherited this from my Mother.  She sang to us about everything.  We sing A LOT around here. 

4. Bake.  Amelia and I used to bake a few times a week, starting when she could just sit on the counter and watch. There's not as much time for this with a one year old, but I'm trying to start back during Sydney's nap times.  This gives me some one-on-one time with Amelia.  I let her pour in all of the ingredients and then lick the spoon at the end.  

5. Get the mail.  Ok, this sounds nuts but my child loves to go to the mailbox.  She loves to open the mail and thinks every piece is a special letter written just to her. (LOL)  When I get ready to get the mail every day - she is grabbing her shoes to go.  I always put Sydney in her high chair so Amelia and I can go together.  THE MAIL.  Who knew it could be an activity? HA!

6. Paint nails This is something we've just started doing.  Amelia loves to have her nails painted.  You would think she won the lottery afterwards. Piggy Paint is the best.  It dries quickly and if your child picks it off and eats it like mine, it won't kill her.  So that's a plus.

7. Dress Up I think all kids love this.  Girls and boys.  Amelia changes outfits several times a day.  And if she can get me to participate - even better. 

8. Talking At Naptime/Bedtime And this isn't a time where we play but it's some of the sweetest times with my girls.  When they're lying down for naps or bedtime.  I love taking this opportunity to snuggle them up and talk to them.  Tell them how much they mean to me and exactly why.  I don't think they'll ever get too old for this.  Amelia loves for us to tell her about the day she was born.  Every minute with our children is precious time.

Before I finished this post, I decided to ask Amelia what her favorite things are to do with Daddy and Mommy, and no joke, she listed 100 things without taking a breath.   Here are a few of the things she mentioned:

Dress Up
Bake Cookies
Freeze Tag 

None of these things cost a thing.  Except our time.  

Spending time with a child makes a happy child.  And it should make us happy too.  It shouldn't feel like an inconvenience.

Just a few days ago, Amelia looked at me and said, "Mama, since you don't know how to play basketball, do you want to play something else?"  I looked at her and said, "I know how to play basketball!"  She replied with "great, let's play!"

She knew exactly what she was doing starting the conversation out that way, and ya know what, that was her way of asking for my time.  How could I say "no" or "hold on a sec" or "maybe in a little bit" to that?

I couldn't.

We've all heard it and I believe it to be true, Kids spell love T-I-M-E.

Love to all,


Christi said...

Love this post! Oh how so true! Yes, I sing so much even for my kids who are older. They laugh and follow suit.

Momx6 said...

Awesome post! Good job, Jill. I am proud of you!

Andie said...

This is a great post... And amazingly... The fact that your little one listed all of those free things of what she loves to do is a true testament that you are right... Kids spell love TIME. :)

Lil Light O Mine said...

this is awesome. so so sweet. our lists are very similar except i cannot bake one thing. LOVE some fresh beat band. loco legs!!! ;)