It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so take time to PLAY! Research shows that play helps relieve stress for both kids and adults, which is why making time to play together as a family is so important. In addition to spending quality time together, family play helps to reduce stress, strengthen relationships, and encourage creativity and imagination. If you’re not sure how to get started, here are some easy ways that you can incorporate play into the time your family spends together and eliminate your kids using that dreaded ‘b’ word – I’m bored!
- Have some winter fun – Put on your favorite pair of snow pants and warmest winter boots and head outside for an activity like sledding or ice skating at Canalside. Take a trip to your local park and play on the equipment in the frigid weather. Blow bubbles – yes! – Bring your bubble mixture outside and let the fun begin! Let the bubble sit on the wand after you blow it to see it slowly freeze and transform into a crystal ball up close.
- Make some art – Gather supplies and do a group art project. Give each family member a blank canvas and create some new wall art or take turns drawing portraits of each other.
- Host a game night – Are you the all-time Monopoly champion? Challenge your family to a game night. Be sure to rotate who gets to choose the games played each time. I suggest that you play the latest and greatest, Monopoly City of Buffalo. Who will be lucky enough to own Explore & More?
- Take a nature walk – Play can be calm and low-key. Explore the outdoors as a family while walking around your neighborhood or strolling the Boardwalk at Canalside.
- Make chores fun – Turn everyday tasks, like cooking or cleaning, into a bonding moment by doing them together. Find opportunities to make tasks fun and silly to get everyone laughing.
- Build a fort – Grab the couch cushions, some cardboard or even a stack of pillows and blankets and build the hideout of your dreams. Don’t forget the flashlights!
- Dance – Put on your favorite tunes and let loose with the family. Bring back some of your favorite dance moves, like the robot or the moonwalk.
- Have a family photoshoot – Grab some props and costume pieces and let kids direct a family photo shoot.
- Sing – Share your love of music with a karaoke sing-along. Everyone can pick their own tune or have a theme for the night, like 80’s music or songs about summer (Oh, how we miss you!)
- Support imaginative role play – Let kids take the lead by letting them plan the fun. Have them choose what characters everyone will be, then play along as a superhero, doctor or whatever else they’ve dreamed up. I personally, will choose Wonder Woman every time!
It doesn’t matter how your family chooses to play, as long as you’re spending quality time together and having fun. Play has important benefits for people of all ages, so take the time now to make it a priority and see how your family benefits. If you need more convincing that play isn’t just for kids, experience all the fun that we have in store for you at Explore & More throughout the month of December as we celebrate “Holidays Around the World.”
Looking forward to seeing you soon,
Director of Strategic & Community Initiatives