When was the last time you played with your young children? I don’t mean when was the last time that you sat on the floor while your kids played and you checked your Facebook messages on your phone. I also don’t mean when you kids played at the park and you checked you email on the park bench. When was the last time you truly engaged in play with your children?

Every once in a while I need to give myself this reminder. That little hand that is tugging on you to read a book or do a puzzle is soon going to be a 15 year old that doesn’t necessarily want you around (unfortunately).

Here are some tips to help you truly “play” with your child:

  • Plan a technology free night-no television, computer, games, phones, I-pods for anyone. Turn this into a family night where you play board games, read books together, go to the park or other age appropriate activities without technology.
  • Turn the sprinkler on in the yard and run through it! Your kids will absolutely love the fact that you are getting wet and being silly.
  • Make a recipe together, make sure you choose a kid friendly recipe where they can truly be involved.
  • Create a special 30 minute “play date” each day. Again, put away all technology and just truly engage in play of some kind.

The key to truly engaging in play is to turn your brain off and only focus on your children. This can be extremely difficult in our “hands on” world. Hands-on meaning we have our hands on everything technology, career, money, fixing the car, mowing the lawn, etc. Take this as a reminder to turn your “hands on” world to being more hands on with your child for a portion of the day. This time passes way too quickly to let it go without create special memories with your children.