Children’s Play: Reducing Family Stress
It has rained for days with little time for the children to play at the park. Today is my babysitting day for my three preschool grandkids! I arrive at my daughter’s home early in the morning. My daughter plans to spend her time completing a tutorial on her new computer. I plan to take the grandkids on their weekly trip to lunch, the park, and on errands. I then ask if I can purchase the 14 month old twins’ first pair of shoes and drive my grandson to preschool after taking him to his doctor’s office for a shot.
All at once, my daughter looks at me and states that she will play hookie from work responsibilities. My grandson will take a day off from preschool. It will become a day of reduced family stress as we plan for our great adventure! The twins take their morning nap and my grandson picks up all of his toys. I clean-up the kitchen and plan for our trip; packing lots of food snacks and emergency supplies.
The Play Outing
We leave the house excited about our great adventure. After visiting the doctor’s office, we stop at our favorite cafe for lunch. The staff knows are family well and laughs as the twins toss their food onto the clean floor. We next travel to the shoe store and learn that they do not have size 3 1/2 E shoes for two sets of feet. The twins are so excited about trying on shoes! My grandson loves the pocket toys that are available for sale at the department store.
We stop at the toy store to buy another deck of Go Fish playing cards. The grandkids have destroyed or lost most of their first card deck. This deck of cards will be kept in my car for our next rainy day play.
We then walk to the park. My grandchildren are so excited to have their mom with them. They show off when swinging, playing in tubes, and while climbing on play structures. My grandson tackles every climbing structure with skill. He excels with mom’s supportive love. The twins are babbling a mile a minute as they swing! One twin is giggling while saying tickle tickle. The other twin is making animal noises as we sing songs.
Lessons for the Day
On our way home, all three kids are noisy and rowdy. They keep each other awake beyond their afternoon nap times. Once home, they are tucked into their beds for naps at 2 p.m. and sleep until after 4 p.m.!
The lessons from this great adventure include:
- Stop and play!
- Life is too short. Our children will be grow-up in no time.
- These trips require energy and added support.
Happy children’s play!
Similar types of toys described in the blog can be purchased from Amazon.
- Step2 Naturally Playful Lookout Tree House
- Step2 Neat and Tidy II Playhouse
- Pop Up Children Play tent with tubes by Playz
Copyright (c) 2016 by GenParenting
Mary Ann Burke, Ed.D., Digital Education Expert, is a substitute distance learning teacher for Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California and the author of STUDENT-ENGAGED ASSESSMENT: Strategies to Empower All Learners (Rowman & Littlefield: 2020). Dr. Burke creates digital language arts and substitute teaching K – 12 activities for teachers and parents. She is the Cofounder of the Genparenting.com blog. Burke is the former Director II of Categorical & Special Projects for the Santa Clara County Office of Education that supports 31 school districts serving 272,321 students in Santa Clara County. She is also a previous Director – State & Federal Compliance for Oakland Unified School District, the former Director – Grantwriter for the Compton Unified School District, and was the initial VISTA Director for the Community Partnership Coalition in southern California. Much of her work focuses on creating innovative digital trainings and partnership programs for teachers and families to support students’ learning. These programs were featured as a best practice at a National Title I Conference, California’s Title I Conferences, AERA Conferences, an ASCD Conference, the NASSP Conference, and statewide educator conferences.