What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10Find out more
How can I enjoy playtime?(11 Posts)
I have two dds (4yr and18 months). I am often quite tired as youngest doesn't not yet sleep through.
I know how important playtime is for the dc's development and also for bonding with them, yet I am ashamed to say that I find playing with the the dds often incredibly boring . Dd1 wants to play endless role play type of games and I have to say she is really imaginative and comes up with a lot of ideas.
But I have to absolutely force myself to play with her and often just sit on the sofa watching her/them play by themselves or with each other. I know I am letting them down so wondered how I can start enjoying 'playtime' with my lovely dds.
Any ideas would be much appreciated!
Oh, just not to drip feed, I generally get very little time to myself as I am a sahm at the moment. Oldest is 15 hrs at preschool. I am going back to work p/t in September.
I don't think there is anything wrong with sitting on the sofa watching them play together I think that's quite cute! Plus everyone tells me I should have another baby so they have someone to play with! You have two so them playing together is surely a good thing?
I set aside 5/10 minutes in the morning, after his morning nap, ten mins after lunch and ten mins in the evening, where I just play with my LO one on one, tickling, building bricks, ball pit silliness etc but I can't muster a whole day of playing I'm not a nursery nurse, and don't have the patience. So I would set aside little chunks of time then it feels less boring.
My mum says she used to start off a game for a few mins and let me and my sister play, then go start dinner etc, there are two years between us. So similar to your little ones.
I felt the same (DD is older so there is less pressure now) but I either just forced myself or I played games that were slightly less boring for me - I personally liked trains, lego/building toys, books, jigsaws, outdoors (but not playgrounds) much more than "playing babies" or other role play.
On a wet day giving her long bath in the middle of the day was a godsend.
I also involved them in what I was doing (cooking, baking, cleaning, tidying) wherever possible. I discovered that if what I was doing was boring, she would wander off and amuse herself, whereas if I tried to sit down to relax she would bother me silly.
I sit on the sofa and watch! Is that bad?!
I have been trying something I read about on here, which is 10 minutes of real attention and playing with your DC in order to win back 20 mins or so of them happily playing by themselves. It seems to work quite well.
Children do need to learn to amuse themselves, so if they aren't actively begging for your involvement, it's absolutely fine that they are playing by themselves.
Here's how to enjoy it:
Kidding. I think it's very hard unless you are naturally inclined. Takes a lot of creative energy.
I am exactly the same. DD wants to play doctors and dentists and hairdressers and cooking dinners and I lack the patience to sit still while she plucks my hair out with a round brush pretending to be a hairdresser! Or force feeds me plastic food for hours on end "eat it mummy! It's yummy! Eat it!!"
She's almost 3 and dd2 due in May so ... Not sure how many more years until they can play together?!
I try to organise play dates. She goes to nursery 3 days and plays with all of her friends there so that eases my conscience a lot.
When not at nursery we do craft clubs, ballet, music clubs, swimming (yes... I do probably pack out schedule a bit too much!) but she loves having a full day and she's becoming very well rounded and confident.
I saw a mum at a crèche recently being pirates with her little boy of about 4. She was so breezy and confident to engage and introduce new ideas for imaginative play. I was mentally taking notes! Lol
My eldest (also aged 4) also loves role play (pirates, goodies and baddies, etc) and when I was pg with DS2 I often used to just put on a pirate hat, sit on the sofa and say 'arrgghhh' at various points - and he was over the moon :-)
Often our sofa is a ship, a car, a castle. I think role play is one of the easiest games to join as you can shape the narrative so that you never need to leave the sofa (I best stay with the ship, captain....) and DS1 is happy to go off and dig for treasure and bring it back :-D
It doesn't matter if you find it dull on the inside (I love lego, but my son's obsession with it at times, tests even my enjoyment!) as long as you smile and make it look as though you like it. I tend to find even if I'm bored playing with his superheroe figures (again!) watching how happy he is tends to help me have fun (fake it until you make it and all that).
Like pp, I also like to try and get them to do stuff that I like if i'm feeling a bit 'can't be arsed'. So, I suggest getting his big paints out, or his train set, or going to the park or playing football in the garden. He usually takes up one of my suggestions and then I get to do something I like too.
Having said all of that, it's also good for your kids to learn to play together (and by themselves) so don't feel guilty about watching them play - that sounds nice to me, and you do need sometime to yourself too.
I'm on mattie leave just now so home with my 4 year old and 10 month old all day, and when my youngest goes for a nap, I do enforce a 20 minute teabreak for me (whereby I get to sit at the table, have a cup of tea and chill). I usually offer him a snack and some tv at this time, it gives me some time to recharge and then back to lego.... (again...) :-D
I struggle to play with my two in the house. Often feel like I should be getting something done. So we go out, even if it's just to jump in puddles. My 16mo now fetches his own shoes and points at the garden though so I get even less done.
I wouldn't get yourself worked up about it
They will play with each other, they are cared for, warm, fed, happy
Why not do a little timetable for yourself to make you feel less guilty and schedule in your own breaks like you would if you were at work.
So say an actvity between 11 and twelve inc any clean up/nappy and then feel happy about being on the sofa with your phone or whatever.
You can't be taking part every moment and DD1 needs to be able to amuse herself a while as she gets older. When we weren't out and about I liked to sit and watch my DCs but pre MN I tried to balance that with housework zzzz.
It's nice to join in but sometimes you just need to referee and let the little ones co-operate. They sound like they get along well
Other posters have come up with good ideas and if there are chances to socialise, without breaking the bank, well and good.
I knew a family who had something happening every moment, they were always dashing off some place and every spare hour had to be filled. In the school holidays the parents were in a flap about how to entertain their DCs.
I am quite shocked that people think 10 minutes here and there is enough attention for a preschooler.
I often feel like screaming 'No I do not wan to play Octonauts', 'No I do not want to play Frozen, these games are bloody boring'
I don't. I realise the importance of play for development and tut various tactics - fake it till you make it, 20minutes of high quality full on play dispersed throughput the day.
Join the discussion
Please login first.