Part Three: To a Child, Love is Spelled T I M E

Spending Time in Active and Physical Play:

There’s a saying that it’s the little things that count and the littlest would be kids. To them, spending time is what counts, not our expertise. That’s good news for other parents and caregivers that are like me, that is athletically challenged.

physical and active play with kidsGames like giddy-up, chase and catch, and kick the ball don’t need amazing skills. Nor do other games like Ring Around the Rosie or Simon Says. These can be used with toddlers and older preschoolers. Throw and catch are a little trickier and require some coordination. A big soft ball makes it easier or one with a knobby texture. We may not be able to twirl a hula hoop but we can hold it for kids to run in and out. To stand and be still while kids run to another spot and then back to us means we get to have a minute to catch our breath.

young children and risky playSometimes space might be more of issue than skill, or lack of. Parks and playgrounds have more space than backyards and balconies when we need it. Equipment is made for bodies smaller than ours but we can push swings and catch at the bottom of slides. Sometimes, our participation isn’t even needed as along as we are watching from wherever we are and using encouraging words.

Besides parks and playgrounds, communities have other facilities like skating rinks and swimming pools. There may be times available for families to use gyms at schools or centers. Check if there are programs for parents and kids so you can spend time with your children and with other adults. Parents need t I m e too.

We do not need to be sports stars to play and have fun with kids. Our enthusiasm and being there gives us a top score with children.

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