So one of the things that drives me crazy is sending my kids to bed when I’m grumpy. I hate feeling like the last thing they get from me before they go to face their nightmares and dreams is that mom was upset or annoyed with them. Instead I would hope they could feel love and happy as they slip into sleep.
To go along with that I have found that with all that our kids do these days, it is hard to find time to play with them. In the mornings it is a rush to eat breakfast, get dressed for school, make lunches, find shoes and get everyone out the door. They are gone to school for most of the day at which point they come home with lots of homework. Hopefully we have after school snack. Then they have their chores, their piano practice, dinner, bath time and reading time. Plus there is Gymnastics, Ballet and choir and other activities. When are we supposed to play?
I teach my kids to be independent and find activities to do on their own while I make dinner or other various housework, and they don’t need me all the time to play. However, if I set aside just a little bit of time for playtime with me each day they are able to look forward to that.  Then I get to hear that I am “the bestest mom in the world” and it was their “best day ever.” (Except for days at Disneyland. They always throw in that exclusion at the end:)
So to help myself remember to do our 30 minute playtime each day, and to make sure it actually happens I am compiling weekly lists of 30 minute activity ideas to do with my kids. Some take prep and others are last minute “I didn’t have time to prepare, but still want to try” activities. Here is this weeks list:
Mini Pillow Fight: I love the idea of playing tag with bean bags, but when you throw them at each other they are too hard for my sensitive little girls. So instead we made our own bean bag size pillows. You just fill the bean bag with cotton stuffing instead of beans or rice. They are still small and fun to throw, but they won’t hurt anyone or hopefully damage anything. We hide behind furniture, run through the kitchen and living room, occasionally jump on couches and have a ball.

Sock Wars: Each player needs two long socks on their feet. Do not pull the socks all the way on. Leave at least 4 inches of sock flopping on the floor at the end of your toes. The goal is to try to step on the other players socks and when they move their sock gets pulled off. The last person with at least one sock partially on wins. We look crazy hoping and jumping around trying to stay away from other player’s feet or step on their socks first, but it is super fun and great exercise to boot.

Uno: My kids are starting to get into games, and I like this one because we can play and have fun while teaching my 4-year-old her numbers and colors.

Cartwheel Practice: All of my children have been or are currently taking Gymnastics lessons. I have not. They love showing me how to do their flips and skills and critiquing my cartwheels.

Crawl Tag: It’s like regular tag, but you can only crawl. This one is particularly fun to play at our house because we have a 16-month-old baby who likes to participate. He tries to walk/run and we all crawl and he giggles like crazy.

Intstant Dance Recital:  For this one we turn on our favorite Pandora station, usually a Disney kids station or Owl City for my ballerina.  Then when a song comes on, someone gets to do an instant dance for the rest of us.  We take turns until all of us have had a chance to perform.

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