My dad was always the parent that played with my brother, sister and myself when we enjoyed a little family fun. Actually, my dad played with my cousins, our classmates, neighborhood friends playing at the playground, and even stray pets. I will always remember his as being a kid-at-heart. Not quite surprisingly, as a parent myself, we host the overwhelming majority of play dates and are no strangers on the playground. Calling on my inner creative spirit, I keep a virtual plan of action in mind for giving kids the benefits of 7 days of play for health and wellness.
An added bonus to actively engaging in play are the health and wellness benefits. It also counteracts obesity issues facing many children today. During play, kids are able to unwind and release unhealthy stress. The ability to play with others and even solitary play will allow kids to reduce their feelings of anxiety and pent-up energy.
Managing to incorporate play and learning into the daily schedules of our kids as possible may seem counterproductive, however, we are actually preparing our kids for bigger and better achievements. Fostering self-esteem and character development are life skills that kids can best master through structured and open-ended play. Here are some fun ways of giving kids the benefits of 7 days of play for health and wellness.
1 - See & Do Day
Imitation is without a doubt a compliment. Spend a day imitating and role playing favorite stories, characters, people, and adventures.
2- Music & Movement Day
Pop, Rock, Classical, Hip-Hop and International tunes will do just fine. Play it loud, or listen with headphones, keep moving and grooving until the beat stops.
3 - Science Says Day
Visit a Science Museum for the day or even research and perform your own scientific experiments. The world is your lab- use it wisely.
4 - Get Up & Go
No plans accompanied by no set schedule can deliver memorable occasions. Unscheduled and random play days are often my greatest parenting moments.
5 - Pretend Friends
Peek-a-Boo! I see you! Bring along a favorite play friend or two on an adventure. Will it be Snuggles the Bunny, Molly the Dolly, Freddy the Fearless or imaginary pretend friend Lee heading out the door?
6 - Make It & Take It
Be creative, get messy, unveil a new masterpiece created with fun stuff found while out and about. Create a fun photo scrapbook to capture spontaneous artistic genius.
7 - Build, Bury or Bake
Need I say more? Do what you wanna do. Get outside, head to the playground, have fun, and play, play, play.
This post is sponsored by the Voice of Play. The Voice of Play is an education and advocacy initiative of the non-profit membership association, IPEMA, formed to educate and promote the benefits of children’s free outdoor play and playgrounds. Through the Voice of Play website and social media properties, IPEMA highlights the scientifically proven physical, social, emotional and cognitive benefits of play.