The Family That Plays Together, Stays Together

Family Play TimeThe family that plays together, stays together. Is this actually true? I would say they most certainly have a better chance of staying together than families that don’t take the time for family play time. I feel the meaning of family is getting lost in our society. This is only my personal opinion and I know everyone has their own, I respect that.

But think about it for a minute, how busy are families nowadays? When I look around I see people coming and going, some dragging their kids (some kids very cranky, some just look bored) around and always rushing from here to there. Throw the, “omg, what would I ever have done without it!”, cell phone into the mix, and it occurred to me, do people ever take a break and just play?

Now, this doesn’t include that once a year family vacation or a ball game your kid is playing in. I mean actually having a family play time, where you sit down and play a board game with your kids or play with building blocks with your toddlers, where you build the blocks up, they crash them down and giggle so much they roll on the floor. Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. Kids are only young once and each year goes by so quickly especially in today’s busy society of technology.

Put those electronics away at least one night a week and just play as a family. It can be anything from a quiet coloring time to an all out pillow fight, just play, even if only for an hour. And to take it one step further, pick one day a month to find an activity for the whole family to enjoy together. It can be a day at the beach, a trip to the bowling alley, a hike and a picnic. Let your children help plan. The possibilities are endless and most don’t cost much but your time.

Just remember to make it a “no electronics day”. (Bring one for emergencies, but have it off or on silent and concentrate on enjoying that time with your family.) I can almost guarantee these will be memories they carry into their adult lives and possibly into their own families.

What do you think? Yay or Nay? Do you have family play time?

Reading With Young Children, Is it Beneficial?

Reading With Young ChildrenHow Important is Reading Time with Young Children?

Do you spend time reading to or with your young children? Research shows there are many benefits of reading with young children, especially between the ages of 2 and 5.

I’ve read many articles on reading with young children since noticing many changes in my son after we started making reading a part of our daily schedule.

My son is in Pre-K and his first award included, you guessed it, a book. I love this program our school has! If you get an award for an accomplishment you also get a book geared towards their reading level. Great way to show how important reading is.

 

Benefits include but are not limited too:
  • Speech skills
  • More likely to do better in school
  • Understanding basic concepts
  • Communication skills
  • Thinking skills
  • Learning concentration
  • Realizing that reading can be fun
  • And best of all, a stronger relationship with you, aka, snuggle time with mom or dad, one on one time

My son is now 4 and he loves our reading time. We spend about a half hour before bedtime snuggling together on his bed and reading at least 2 books. Right now it is the same 2 books every night (I know every word by heart, lol), but it is helping him remember the words and he is showing word recognition. Awesome!

He chooses the books he wants me to read to him every night, and right now they are:

A Box Can be Many Things

Barnyard Dance

Sometimes when we are reading together he doesn’t seem to be paying attention because he also has to bring a toy to bed with him (it’s the little things, lol). I’ll stop in mid sentence, and by goodness, he’ll finish the sentence! I do try to get him to look at the book with me most of the time so as I’m sliding my finger across the lines as I’m reading, he’ll notice the words I’m reading aloud.

The other benefits I found with reading to my son are:
  • Part of a routine
  • Quiet time
  • Quality time
  • Getting your child calm and relaxed before bed
  • Helps with sleeping

These are benefits from my own personal experience with my son. He loves our reading/snuggle time together just as much as I do! One major thing I noticed since adding our reading time to the bedtime routine, no more “outbreaks” over going to bed! Added bonus for mommy especially after a crazy busy day.

These added benefits may be different for everyone, but overall there are many benefits that go along with reading to young children that are more than brain development.

How important do you feel reading is with your children?