Families Talk: Being Playful

Do you relate to either of these families when it comes to being playful?

By
Amanda Bindel, Toca Magazine Writer
Categories

As parents, it’s sometimes hard to know if we’re playing with our kids enough. Younger kids certainly want and need more involvement from parents when it comes to play — and they may ask for you to play with them constantly! — but older kids often prefer to play with friends or alone. Toca Magazine talked to two families to find out more about how they play.

Family 1

Parent: Alyssa

Kids’ Ages: 7, nearly 5 and 2.5

Tell me about playing with your kids. Do you play with them?

  • I play a lot with my 2-year-old. Tickling, making up funny songs, wrestling, etc. With the other two, I play board games, or I will half-heartedly play “restaurant” with them.

Do you consider yourself a playful parent?

  • I am so NOT a playful parent. I dislike playing with my kids immensely. Not only is it boring and repetitive, but I also normally get yelled at by them for doing it wrong when I try. When I read to them, I do funny voices, and they seem to like that. My son and I love movies and so that is how we connect, and my 4-year-old daughter loves to do makeup and hair, so we play with nail polish and face painting.

Are you satisfied with the amount you play?

  • I am fine with not being a playful parent. I don’t remember the really awesome play experiences in my childhood having anything to do with my mom or dad. The fact that I won’t sit with them and play LEGOs for hours at a time, gives them a freedom to create their own games and made-up scenarios. They also roam the subdivision almost every afternoon, doing something.

Kid: Oliver

Age: 7

Which do you like best — playing alone, playing with your mom or dad or playing with a friend?

  • My friends.

What kinds of things do your parents play with you?

  • My dad plays video games with me and my mom plays with my younger sister and me.

Tell me something fun and playful your mom or dad does that makes you laugh.

  • Sometimes my dad tells me funny stories that make me laugh.

Family 2

Parent: Christie

Kids’ Ages: 9, 6 and 3

Tell me about playing with your kids. Do you play with them?

  • I don’t really play with Ben too much anymore unless we sit down to play games. We also started doing Zentangle drawings where I draw part and he draws part, then we switch. Not sure if that’s “playing.” Cameron also likes board games but he always has a story he wants me to write down for him and we draw and make Rainbow Loom bracelets. I play a bunch with Emily … we draw, play with stickers, play with dolls, stuffed animals, Calico Critters, tea party; she makes me “food” in her kitchen.

Do you consider yourself a playful parent?

  • I used to be WAY more playful … I think I’m old and tired now!!! I think I’m pretty playful because I try to make time to play and I try to keep things light by joking and tickling and kissing on the kids. 🙂

Are you satisfied with the amount you play?

  • I wish I played more … seems like there’s always something else to be done in the house besides sitting down to play. When Ben (the oldest) was little I had all the time in the world to play and had to be creative to pass the time. Now between dropping off and picking up and extracurriculars I don’t feel like I have enough time to just play with my girlie (the youngest of three).

Kid: Ben

Age: 9

Which do you like best — playing alone, playing with your mom or dad, or playing with a friend?

What kinds of things do your parents play with you?

  • Board games … Chess, Monopoly, Rummikub.

Tell me something fun and playful your mom or dad does that makes you laugh.

  • Tickle me.  Tell jokes.  I don’t know!

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