Seven Ways to Play

Did you know it's unplug and play week? This week, March 23-29, Participaction is encouraging Canadian families to unplug and play outside! Naturally I love this campaign and I sincerely hope that you'll consider pledging, especially if screen time is a big part of your everyday routine.
Participaction is only asking for sixty minutes a day - sixty minutes of consciously unplugging and choosing to play outside with your kids. Play is so close to my heart and I love the notion of playing outside. I try my darnedest to take my boys outside every. single. day. As much as I hope that everyone will try their hand at outdoor play I will not ignore the fact that it can be cold, and sometimes it can seem daunting to bundle up the littles and head outside. So if you feel like pledging to play outside for sixty minutes everyday might be too much, take it down a notch, and just pledge to play for sixty minutes! 
Maybe you're not as familiar with play, so here are seven ways to play with your kids:
1- GO OUTSIDE - I can't say enough great things about nature and children, together! They are meant to be! You needn't anywhere exciting to go or a specific activity in mind - one of my son's favourite things to do outside is to walk from one rock to the next - free, fun and active! 
2 - DANCE PARTY - this is one of my favourite past times, I love music, I love singing, dancing and playing air guitar. You know what else? Kids typically love this too! Push them couches out of the way, crank something good and giver! Our current favourite dance party song is Forever Summer by Paul Brandt, give it a listen, it's hard not to dance to!
3 - SWEEP - this seems like an odd way to play but I kid you not this is one of the best ways to entertain my son! Find a broom, hand one to your kid and find something that needs sweeping.
4 - PASS - one of the easiest activities that we like to play is pass! It's back to basics people, find a ball, or roll up some hockey tape, and kick, throw, shoot, bat, roll that ball back and forth. Spice this classic up with outrageous commentary, you're bound to enjoy your own humour and chances are your kids will too!
5 - LAVA MONSTER - this one is best for kids that are a little older but even my toddler is beginning to understand the rules - it's essentially glorified tag, with a twist. Throw some things on the floor, some pillows, dirty laundry, blankets, pretty much anything you can stand on. These are the rocks. Designate one person to be the lava monster - they are the only person allowed the have free reign on the floor, everyone else must always be on a rock. The lava monster has to try to catch someone when they are not on a rock - and everyone must move around!
6 - JUMP - we have a designated jumping couch and encourage this fundamental movement. When the day is slow or in need of a change of pace we head on up to the jumping couch and give it a go. 
7 - CLEAN UP - who said cleaning isn't fun? This is my favourite end-of-the-day activity and is a great chaser to any of the above mentioned activities. This is a parenting win, it means less work for you once the littles are in bed, it teaches them the fabulous habit of tidying up and it keeps them moving for a while! 
You'll note this list is laden with indoor ideas - being "stuck inside" can be a real buzz kill, so I thought I would try to share our favourite indoor ideas. 
Now get off your dang computer/phone and go play!


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