I think a lot of times in our minds PLAY has to be a structured activity that we plan out ahead of time.
And then what can happen is... some of us feel the PRESSURE to ‘get our child interested in the activity’ that we worked so hard to create or set up.
And then... well, because we are offering activities to children who have challenges interacting and engaging, a lot of times our children might not show any interest at all.
Whew!!! What a ton of work we can give ourselves- both mentally and physically! Half the time when I speak to parents about similar situations, I hear the same two words: “Burned Out!”
I want to encourage all of you to let go of this preconceived model of play, because what play is really about is: Inspiring our children to connect with us and engage with us… that’s it! Hands down the most important piece!! That’s when the learning is accelerated and takes our children in the most wonderful and exciting new directions! Is structured play useful and fun?! You bet! But for the sake of getting the ball rolling and supporting those feeling ‘burned out’ let’s just focus on the simplistic beauty of Unstructured Organic Play: Games and activities that unfold without a plan.
Here’s an example of Unstructured Organic Play from my home earlier this evening...
For about 10 minutes I said the word “LASAGNA” in a bunch of silly voices, I sang it, I said it slow, said it fast, I hiccuped it, I popped my head out from the pantry peek-a-boo style while saying it, etc. (Basically started as I was describing to him what we were having for dinner) We had so much fun laughing and giggling over this ...and then he said “LASAGNA” for the very first time♥☺️
That was play! That was a game! Annnd, that was incredibly unstructured!
Allow yourselves to be free and go with the flow! You and your child will feel the difference!
If a feeling of pressure creeps up on you, notice it, remind yourself you don’t need that feeling to engage and connect with your child, and replace pressure with playfulness