Let’s talk relaxation. I don’t know about you, but it takes work for me to relax, have spontaneous fun or move at a leisurely pace. Thankfully, I have play pros living with me! They know how to turn every task into a game, sleep deeply after playing hard, and live life slowly. I’ve been taking copious notes as I study how these little people live and here’s what I’ve noted:
- Don’t miss the details. On walks they notice cracks in the sidewalk, holes in the ground, water pooled up on sprinkler heads, and the color of the sky. When we read books they study the tiniest of details in the illustrations so they can recount the story by themselves later on. Their playtime is filled with intricate discussions built with bits of life gleaned from observing the world around them. They don’t rush and their lives are rich from the slower pace.
- New isn’t necessary. My children don’t have many toys and what they do have is simple. I have avoided screen devices and a lot of the plastic toys that make noise. Instead they have things that fuel their imagination and provide endless possibilities for stories and adventures of their own making. I often slip into thinking that i need to replenish their toys with new items but rarely does that prove necessary. Simply rotating toys from the toy box to their shelves is all that is needed. Contentment comes with the familiar.
- Responsibility makes playtime more fun. In our home, morning chores must be completed before the day’s play begins. It’s not unusual for me to hear, “But I don’t want to do my sweeping right now. I want to plaaay.” Needless to say, when the reply to that complaint remains consistently, “you may play as soon as you have finished sweeping,” and the sweeping meets mom’s approval, playtime is more satisfying and holds little minds’ attention much longer than if it had been entered into at their first whim. All work and no play may indeed make Jack a very dull boy, but some work makes his play much more appreciated.
This weekend I plan to slow down, revisit some old pastimes and relax, knowing that my responsibilities for the week have been completed with satisfaction. How do you plan to savor your free time?