This post titled “Let Them Play” is sponsored by Kohl’s. I was paid for this post and received the included Carter’s clothing as compensation
“Let them play.” These were words my husband gently suggested as I was discussing some of the frustrations with after school time. “Let them play,” are words I have in the recesses of my mind. I whisper them to myself in the thoughtful moments.
After school, reality hits. We have snacks, homework time, reading, chores, and after school activities like basketball and church groups. If there are issues with behavior, we have to deal with those and leave time for teaching and consequences when needed. How could we possibly fit everything in if I let them play?
I grew up in a great family that taught me responsibility. I clearly remember the phrase, “First we work, then we play – that is how we do our day.” While this is a wonderful phrase that trained me how to be dependable, I know my parents also allowed time for play. I remember my childhood full of neighborhood friends – playing Kick the Can, Capture the Flag, tag, building our own forts in the trees behind my house, board games and more. There’s a balance to be found.
After school has been a bit frustrating for me lately. My kids aren’t focusing during homework time, so there’s more reminders to concentrate on their work than actual work time. We waste so much precious time just trying to follow through on their responsibilities.
Let Them Play
Thus my husband’s words, “Let them play.” He is right. I have read the articles. Our kids have had to focus on work and staying still at school for hours. I read about the benefits of more recess, less homework and more play. I have talked to their teachers to promote less homework during the younger years.
However, sometimes I make my to-do list or my children’s to-do lists trump what I know is more important – play. Whether it is active play, imaginative play or board games, there are so many benefits to childhood play. Play contributes to brain development, physical health and mental well-being. It is how kids process their world.
The thought here is not to dismiss responsibilities. I am not advocating neglecting homework so our kids don’t learn the importance on following through with assignments. However, if we give our kids time to relax, play and engage with their world in their own unique ways, their bucket will be full, thus giving more focus to their obligations when it is time to buckle down and get things done. The hope is to not need as much time on correction and discipline because they are better able to focus on their work.
I want to join with Kohl’s and Carter’s to encourage kids to play. Use the hashtag #PlayAllDay to join the conversation. I also want you to know about an upcoming sale – From 3/17 – 4/2 you can get $10 off a $40 purchase with promo code KIDSALE10.
Wanting my kids to play in clothes that make them feel comfortable, we went to Kohl’s online to pick out some new styles. Comfort means something different to each of my children. My oldest is definitely going to gravitate to a more casual style. My middle wants to feel fancy, even while she is riding a bike or playing on the playground. The youngest floats back and forth between stylish button-ups and handsome pants, like the one pictured with the silly string above and comfortable athletic shorts, like the ones with the bike pictured below. I enjoy Carters because of the quality of the clothing as well as the variety of designs and styles to choose from. The price is right too!
Whatever their style, Carter’s has so many great options for all occasions – play time, school time, church time, or rest time. I like to let my kids pick their own clothes, reserving veto power when necessary. It benefits kids to express themselves not only by how they play but what they wear while doing it.
I wanted to share a variety of pictures of my kids playing in their cute new clothes to provide inspiration. When possible, it’s great to have them play outside. They can play ball, different forms of tag, on a playground, on a trampoline, while riding bikes, playing with dollar store silly string, or by doing an obstacle courses. I find they are most inspired when I take the time to play with them.
Indoor you can set up Nerf target practice, an obstacle course, build forts, play board games, do puzzles, color, do imaginative play, make your own movie, create a talent show or build with legos or blocks.
I’m letting my husband’s wise words, “Let them play,” influence our after school hours. I hope you will join me on the pursuit to give our children what they really need.
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