The age old much time do *you* spend playing?

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by MrsWright, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. MrsWright

    MrsWright Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    As the title suggests, how much time do you spend actively, undivided, playing with your kids?
    I feel as mine have gotten older, they play more with each other than me.  I'm fine with it, I get a lot done around the house and "me" type things but I always wonder if I should be doing more? 
    I would say on average I only spend 1-2hrs a day undivided (meaning no TV, doing dishes, or TS;) while I play with them).  We just did those melty bead suncatcher crafts and now they are all in the basement pretending Hannah's a puppy and the boys are mommy and daddy and I'm grandma.  We read books at bedtime and throughout the day if they want me to help, color and practice writing letters and drawing, and also have screen time 2x/day between TV, Kindle, and/or my phone.
    How about you???  I hate this guilt trip mom thing, I feel like other people are so good at playing with their kids but I'm stuck at this age!!  Give me a baby to play with I'm good, give me an older child who will boss me around more to do what they want in play I'm good....but since the boys turned 3 until almost 5 here, I have a hard time trying to figure out where I fit in at the play stuff!!!!
  2. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Honestly, not much.  I spent far more time playing with my 2 older kids than I do with the twins.  They play so good together, they keep each other occupied, they have fun.  And when all 4 kids get together they really have fun!  I don't think playing with them is "necessary".  Honestly, as far back as I can remember, my parents didn't "play" with me.  Most of the time we got kicked outside to play together!  I think it's just fine if they are occupying themselves and having fun, it's not like you are neglecting them :)
  3. gina_leigh

    gina_leigh Well-Known Member

    I don't play well. I hate pretend play honestly.

    I spend time with them undivided in other ways though- reading, when they help with dinner, and sometimes they'll ask for snuggle time which is usually us just chatting. They also like storytelling, so we take turns adding to a story one of us starts. Things like that.

    Right now they spend most of their non-school time outside riding scooters and bikes and I'm not so welcome then. :lol: So our time together is even less right now.

    I don't feel guilt over it though. It works for us.
  4. MrsWright

    MrsWright Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    ^ME!!!!!!   I just can't get into it.  The boys went to ride in the combine with Andy around lunch so it was just Hannah and I.  I got out her tea set and after the 3rd time of saying "this tea is so yummy! what flavor is it?"  I was bored....we made a cake together and then had to go pick up the boys.  I guess my guilt is that I should be doing something more for them, but I don't know what "more" is.  I need to let it go...I know I do....its hard sometimes though!
  5. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    Not much honestly. They are old enough now for board and card games, so it's increasing. I love playing board games, and so does DH. But I'm not great at pretend play. I'm okay with that. We read. We talk. They play with each other.
  6. monica77

    monica77 Well-Known Member

    I love playing with my kids, but I work full time, and with everything else I don't have that much time to spend just with them. They are 3. Some type of stuff we do when we play together:
    - we play with Play Dough - they usually end up making a big brown ball and they mix a lot of the colors
    - we color, or they ask me to write their names, or other words - and they try to "draw" a letter or a number,
    - we build stuff with their blocks
    - we have some wooden train sets from IKEA and we play with those on the floor  
    - we play with the magnet tiles - they love those and it takes a long time for them to get bored with those
    - we read books - I love reading to them and they like books - at times they make me read all the time - at least 10 books in a row, and at times they don't want to read anything for a whole week
    - we exercise at times - they see me exercise (when I get a chance) and they seem interested in it - I try to show them simple stuff and we all do that on their playmat - then after 5 minutes we end up wrestling on the floor.
    - we play hide and seek - I think they prefer to do this with my DH but at times they do that with me also
    - we take walks in our neighborhood-usually we talk to neighbors and they point stuff to me- they are interested in trees, leaves, houses, cars - right now we go for walks to check out the Halloween Decorations - I realize walking is not playing but we enjoy our walks together
    I don't think we ever had a tea party type thing - not our thing - Vanessa is a tom boy by nature so no playing with dolls either. 
    They are good at playing by themselves also, but I (still) enjoy playing with hem.
  7. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    Not much.  Like several others said, I'm not big on pretend play, and I'm not one to rough-house, which is what my boys want to do.  I also work full time, so our time home together is only about 3-4 hours most evenings since they go to bed at 8pm, and I spend most of that on housework and other household stuff.  I try to make sure I give them some undivided attention each day, but it's usually reading books or cuddling, that type of thing.  DH does more of the rough and tumble, outdoor, imaginative play.  On weekends we always try to do something - park, playground, whatever.
  8. MrsWright

    MrsWright Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    What games? I'm thinking of uno for Christmas but not sure if they'll have patience for whole game!?:)
  9. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    Mine are 5 1/2, and we play Life, Clue, Monopoly Jr., Scrabble Jr., Old Maid, Sorry, etc. They do great with some help reading the cards. My son totally gets them. My daughter needs help sometimes but she has great luck and doesn't card about winning so it works out.
  10. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    This is me.
    I know when I was a kid, I was big on pretend play but as an adult, I hate it.
    My kids are pretty good about keeping each other entertained. Most of the time, I am not welcome in their play scenarios, which is fine with me.  The time we spend together is reading, just chatting, or them helping me make something.
  11. southernmommy

    southernmommy Well-Known Member

    Not very much, I gave them siblings for a reason. :) I played with my older 2 more than the last 5 just because they didn't have the built in playmates right away. I do lots of other things with my kids instead of 'playing' with them. I'd probably just get in the way if I tried to play horsey with my girls. They have very specific names and activities each of their horses do and I'd most likely mess it up and get yelled at. lol
  12. ECUBitzy

    ECUBitzy Well-Known Member

    I don't play with my kids much at all. They've never wanted me to, though! We do other things, but not play.
    Isn't that a perk of twinness, though? Not needing mom and dad for play?
  13. AimeeThomp

    AimeeThomp Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I don't play with mine much either. My husband does more than I do. He will even sit with them and actively watch a kiddy show with them. I'd rather clean the toilet than watch kid tv. But he can't stand reading kids books and if he does he doesn't even read the words he just makes up a different story to go with the pictures. So I guess it's a good balance. I don't mind reading them books.
    Honestly, my 3 kids play with each other a whole lot until they get bored with the place where they are. They woke up an hour ago and have been in the girls room playing the whole time.
  14. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    I like beig around my kids. And I do activities with them and now spend more time on educational things (we homeschool).

    BUT, I never spent much time in make believe type play with them. Personally, unless a child is all alone with no siblings or friends to play with (and even then, it's often not necessary), I think they're usually better serves by using their own imaginations and having self-directed play time. That doesn't mean I always ignore them. And I did play cars with spencer the other day when he wanted someone and all his siblings were busy... that's honestly the exception rather than the rule, though.

    And I feel like that not only served us well at the time, but it's helped my children to grow into kids/teens who don't have to always be entertained, rarely tell me they're bored and play (or "hang out") quite well together.
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