Kids & Parents

At Play

School ended for my boys last Thursday. As I write this, they’ve been out of school for eight days.

Eight days of near constant sibling rivalry, endless arguments over what to have for lunch (Macaroni and cheese! Crackers! Chocolate cupcakes with tiny pieces of banana on top!), and serious mischief and mess making.

I haven’t been able to get anything done; the boys have been wearing swim trunks since Wednesday (when we ran out of clean laundry), the dishes are undone, and all my plans and tasks -- tabled. 

This Friday my husband came home for lunch (I begged him to), and he went through the usual feel-better statements with me: Take a minute to yourself, breath, be in the moment, blah blah.

Then he said this, “you could try playing more.” 


I am always so busy trying to do grown-up things (the things that need to get done, the things I want to get done, the things I dream of doing), I forget about the power of simply playing.

My husband went back to work, and for the rest of the day I caught pillbugs (for a “rollie pollie carnival”, of course), filled our inflatable pool with balloons, walked to the park (went down the roller slide!), and beat two of my boys in a sack race of sorts (we used garbage bags).

The boys fought occasionally, my mind still wandered to all the things, but mostly I played.

This summer the library is getting serious about just this: PLAY (something DPPL doesn't just encourage in the summer -- but everyday). We will be playing here at the library (with technology, craft and Maker materials, music, and more), and out in the community (rock climbing, bowling, splashing in Chippewa pool, and showing off our Skee-Ball skills). 

So this summer, when your kids are driving you completely crazy (and even when they are not) -- do all the usual things (breath, take a minute, be in the moment), but more importantly:

  • Play peekaboo or hide and seek
  • Get beaten in a game of Madden NFL by your 11-year-old
  • Challenge your four-year-old to a game of Don’t Break the Ice (if you don’t have it at home, we have it for you to play here at the library)
  • Tie Dye 
  • Partake in your child’s story about giant dragon poop
  • Learn a new game
  • Grab an Oaklee's Guide from the library to find local places to play

Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention play is about more than having fun or maintaining your sanity in the summer; it is also proven to be to have a positive educational and social-emotional impact on children (and adults). Don't belive me, read this

Okay. Let's play!

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