how to give the gift of play for free - biddleandbop blog

How to Give the Gift of Play - for Free

Feeling guilt over "boring days"? Here are 5 tips to help see the calm, unstructured times with delight:

  1. Remember that downtime is a necessity: "mental breaks increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories and encourage creativity." (read more)
  2. Grow their independence:  Stepping back brings bold new achievements and pride for children learning to handle ups and downs on their own. Home, a safe and familiar environment where you are just a shout away, is the perfect place to practice. 
  3. Lead in secret:  Setting the stage can help encourage hesitant children into new levels of play, or help them find new ways to play with old or forgotten toys. Set up an invitation to play at night when they are asleep, and let them find it in the morning. (find more inspiration)
  4. Set an example:  Children copy what they see. Inspect your own habits and make small changes to model happy, carefree play and interest. Use phrases like, "this is challenging, I will come back later," and "I'm really enjoying this!" even if what you are enjoying is carefully stirring milk into your coffee.
  5. Allow for wonder: the less is more principle - on a hike, children are drawn to sticks and pinecones and rocks. They are happy to find a bridge and toss things over, watching them float by beneath their feet. Stars and clouds, when we give time to lay and look up, are magical. Budget time for these endlessly valuable practices.