How much time do you spend playing during the day?

Stephanie - posted on 02/13/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Wondering what the norm is for time spent playing with the kids during the day for a sahm.
I have a 14 month old and most of the playing we do is me reading to her. We also play outside sometimes.
What activities do you do with your kids during the day? How much time on average do you spend playing games or reading to your children?

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J is in school now. I miss having him home sometimes. I am SO looking forward to this summer when we can do things together. When J was little, we played here and there throughout the day. I'll be honest, my attention span for playing was short--I got bored very easily unless we were doing something pretty structured, and J liked to switch from activity to activity way faster than I could keep up, so we sort of played all day, but in short bursts of play with rest/cleaning in between. These were my favorite ways to "Play"

1. We went to Story Time at local book stores and libraries. We did the little songs and dances together that I would not have done at home. That was at least an hour a day (Yep, went pretty much every day--I needed to get out of the house)
2. I did read to him a lot--he didn't sit on my lap to listen, he usually played while I read, but I know he liked me reading because if I stopped he would want me to read again, even though it didn't look like he was listening. As he got older, I started to notice that he was acting out scenes in the stories I read with his toys, and that was very cool to see.
3. We Danced. We still love to dance, and i liked it because it had a definite end if I wanted it too--I could say "Just 3 Songs." or we could dance all day if I wanted (It's great exercise too) (We'd average anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours dancing in a day)
5. Drawing. I love to draw, and so does J. I left an easel set up in a corner of our living room all the time. Anytime he would wander over and start drawing, i would join him with my sketchbook or just sit by him and make up stories about what he was drawing. It was also fun to play music while he drew and see how it influenced what he did--even at 1 year old, if I played slow music he would choose cool colors and make longer lines, fast music brought out warm colors, and short, sporadic lines! All of the different musical styles had different effects, it is wonderful!! We drew at least an hour every day, sometimes more, but not all at once--usually 5-10 minutes here, then 10 minutes later on, and so on throughout the day.
6. Blow bubbles and let him chase them. Loads of fun, and not too messy.
7. Building blocks. I love the wooden ones. My son wants to be an architect, so he still loves the wooden blocks, but he loves legos as well.

All together, I'd say we had at least a couple of hours of play each day when he was 1 year old. As he got older, I started to replace some of the play with deliberately educational play, and educational play slowly morphed into lessons, but I kept them fun.

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One is not too young! Don't expect anything more than scribbles, but she have a blast with those scribbles!

At one year we had those big fat crayons. I took the papers off so it was just a long stick of crayon--that way he could use the sides too, or whatever he wanted to do with it. I bought the non-toxic crayons, and J never tried to eat them, but do keep an eye out if she's still in the put-everything-in-her-mouth stage. If you have a ton of small or broken crayons, you can melt them on the stove and pour them into candy molds (you can buy the reusable molds for about $2 at craft stores). When they solidify, pop them out. These were the easiest for J to hold, and he could be a lot more creative with the kinds of marks they made.

We also used finger paints at one, but only outside when I was with him (for obvious reasons! lol).

Stephanie - posted on 02/14/2013

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Thanks, Kelly, for your response. It sounds like you and your little guy have a great bond.
I thought that 1 year old was too young for drawing? What kind of medium were you using at that age?

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