Incorporating play into family time

Don’t get caught up in your family’s hectic schedule and forget to incorporate play time.

Playing with your child each day can make a big difference in his/her growth. Photo credit: Pixabay.

Playing with your child each day can make a big difference in his/her growth. Photo credit: Pixabay.

As many of us know, life happens and it can also get extremely busy.  Often times families have their schedules jammed packed full of extracurricular activities.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 59 percent of married couples with children in 2012 were both employed.  This means that more than half of married couples with children are juggling jobs, household responsibilities, sports, school schedules, etc.  This becomes very hard to handle and, according to Michigan State University Extension, often times important things are overlooked such as simple play.  A lot of parents may feel like they don’t have time to sit down and have some good old fashioned play time with their children.  Research from Parents as Teachers shows that play for children in the pre-school age range is an important part of development and that playing with your child each day can make a big difference in his/her growth. 

One of the ways in which families play together is through celebrations.  Traditions, rituals and customs are a few ways that you can celebrate and play at the same time.  Traditions are specific things that are passed down through generations and rituals are based on always doing certain things consistently the same way; customs are important too.  Customs come from culture and are often concepts many people do in the same way.  They communicate the values of a certain culture and give children a sense of belonging to something larger.   For example, it may be a custom in a Hispanic household to have a Quinceañera for the daughter when she passed from childhood to become a young woman.

All of these things make a family unique and special, and can make children feel safe and secure. Most families celebrate, so play and celebrate together!

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