Long before I was married and had children, I worked with a lady who would talk about her daughter and granddaughter. With great affection, she would talk about what adventures they had been up to at the weekend. You see, her daughter worked full time during the week, with her granddaughter attending nursery whilst she was at work. The weekends, however, were theirs. A time to dedicate two full days to fun, adventures and everything else. Cramming in as much as possible into the time they had together.
After I married and became pregnant with Roo I knew that I would need to return to work. Financially we could afford for me to reduce my working hours to part-time, however, we weren’t in the position for me to give up work entirely. Whilst planning my maternity leave, assessing how to make my part-time hours work and looking at nurseries for Roo I remembered the chats I’d had with my former colleague. Instead of thinking about the time that we were going to be apart, I opted to look at the time we had together and how I could make the best of it.
Making Time For Play
With adventures planned for afternoons and weekends, we would head off to the park, a walk along the beach or head out further afield. Something I have adopted with all three of my children. Although I no longer go ‘out’ to work and currently work from home (with the odd journey to London), Piglet does attend nursery. Only a few mornings a week but this gives me the time to dedicate to my work and gives her the opportunity to interact with children of her own age. With us enjoying one-on-one playtime in the afternoons and the days she isn’t at the nursery.
Weekends Are Family Time
However, it is the weekends that we look forward to now. With Roo and Tigger at school all week, the weekends are family time. Whether we are pottering around the house discovering forgotten games, watching movies together or simply just making a mess. Heading outdoors to the local woodland, attraction or cinema. Or even venturing further afield together to theme parks, aquariums or visiting family and friends. If we are honest, it doesn’t matter what we are doing as long as we are together. Spending time as a family, annoying each other, laughing together and strengthening our family bond.
Recent research conducted by Kindernauts.co.uk revealed that parents beat superheroes and superstars as the top playmates for children. The kids’ activity website Kindernauts found that when it comes to the ultimate playmate, mum and dad are the top choice. In fact, parents (50%) are more popular when it comes to sharing playtime adventures than friends (17% or toys (a mere 5%), according to the nation’s children aged 6-12 years.
Kindernauts Activities // Get Iron-On Badges In the Post
For those who know Roo and Tigger, they will confirm just how competitive they can be – especially when it comes to achievements, certificates, and rewards. Partly my fault for introducing a reward system at home, but it does make them excel on projects and school tasks. The Kindernauts.co.uk website has a great way to continue this outside of school. Alongside the wealth of different activity ideas available, they have a rewards system that children can take part in.
By exploring the Kindernauts map, they are invited to complete at least one of the monthly activities in order to receive a special iron-on badge through the post. With different levels of difficulty available for the activities listed, it makes it perfect for all age groups. Simply complete an activity, share a photo of them taking part via Twitter or Facebook for the chance to win one of that month’s iron-on badges.
What do the experts say?
Tanith Carey, best-selling parenting author says:
“It’s so heartening to hear that mums and dads are the people children most want to spend time with – even more than with friends, celebrities, and superheroes. As a parenting author, these findings underline how essential spending time playing with our kids is to the parent-child bond. Term time is upon us and family life will get busier, therefore it is great to see the research also highlights the importance of setting aside more unhurried time for adventure which allows our youngsters to get really absorbed. That’s when their imaginations really start to flourish and as adults, we can enter into their worlds and understand how they think.”
With 12 new seasonal themes across the year, Kindernauts.co.uk is a brilliant place to visit for ideas that add a touch of adventure to outdoor play.
How do you make time for play?