We had been awake for half an hour and it was time for me to organise breakfast when my toddler very excitedly asked me to go on an adventure with her. Usually my answer would be "absolutely I'd love to go on an adventure with you, BUT.... I just have to get our breakfast first and then we can go, OK?" Now this is fine because it is breakfast time and obviously as parents we cant always drop and stop everything because our kids want us to play BUT we also need to not let housework and other work always stop us from playing.... it's a big juggling act and its about finding a balance, a healthy balance.You hear people with older children saying "oh enjoy it because they grow so fast, I remember when my kids were that age"... and we shrug the comment off as we hear it so often, but you know what.... its so true and one day we will wish we listened more to that advice because time does absolutely fly.
SO IN ANSWER TO MY TODDLERS REQUEST TODAY......
I didn't say my normal response, instead I looked at my kids and thought WHY NOT???? 10 minutes more to wait for breakfast will not hurt anyone. Funnily enough the first thing that came to my mind was Dora the explorer and Were going on a bear hunt book, haha. What I then went on to say, "killed two birds with one stone" as such because we had our adventure while trying to find breakfast (we all know parents are great multitaskers). It panned out like this....
- "OK lets start our adventure and find our breakfast treasure but first we need to get through this long grass.... swishy swashy swishy swashy" and off we went doing the actions and walking around the play room.
- We then went through the mud (squelch squerch)
- over a hill
- past the jungle of teddies (aka- toy chest)
- we tip toed through the hallway heading towards the kitchen
- we did a few loops around the kitchen, then I asked "whats that? Can you hear? something calling out and asking if we want toast or porridge?" my toddler laughed and said toast. So now we needed the toaster and we were all having a blast so our adventure continued.
- "where do you think the toaster would be hiding?", we opened every cupboard with a fast swift movement and said "rah" as we opened each door and drawer and finally the toaster appeared and it was treasure time.
- I made our toast and we all sat together discussing our fun adventure and what our favourite part was.
- SUCCESS.... happy toddler, happy mum, SPONTANEOUS PLAY achieved!
Other ideas to be spontaneous and unstructured include-
- grabbing a couple of snacks, drink bottles, the nappy bag and heading out with the pram, or on bikes and scooters and walking around the block, or any where walking distance that gets you out in the fresh air. Heading out for half an hour to an hour, will be a great time for the kids.
- heading down to the local park or oval to throw around a ball, kick a footy, play grip ball or have races together.
- have a picnic- grab a blanket, a couple of teddies, some plastic cups, plates and a drink bottle. A few snacks or easy finger food like sandwiches, cheese and vegetable sticks and throw it all in a basket or bag and off you go. It could be on your lounge floor, in the backyard, on your veranda or down at the park. The kids wont care where, they will just love the picnic.
- make your own postcards- CLICK HERE TO SEE POST
- dance- put on some music, wear comfy clothes and dance your hearts out. You will all feel great, hearts will be pumping and your all keeping fit at the same time.