By Rebecca Lemar
Here are five ideas to get down and engage in one of the best parts of life: to play! And kids are grand masters of play. It does not have to rambunctious, but some of the best moments are. The trick is to let go of time and spend a few moments with your kids really seeing them, touching them, goofing around with them. It will be the best part of your day!
Line tracing – Bodies are covered with lines and angles: Straight, curved, parallel & convergent. Look at your palms alone. Take a moment with your small child and say, I have something to show you. And touch and trace the lines on their palms slowly. Show them yours, let them trace yours. Do it eyes open, eyes closed. This is a lovely calming down activity.
Head to Toe – Right before bed, I tap my fingers gently on my daughter’s head then rub her head a little and say, I love you alllll the way up here to alllll the way down…and I run my fingers down her body, igniting sensation in her neck and shoulders and arms, down the sides of her stomach, down her thighs, calves, ankles to her itty bitty toes where I squeeze the toes…all the way down here. And once usually isn’t enough. She asks for more again and again.
Feet in the air – Touch is so important for children. They observe and connect to their world through touch. Lay on the floor or on the earth together. Get comfy lying on your backs and put your feet in the air together, connecting them until, with little effort, your legs are elevated. Just hang out there and see how long you can keep them up together. Laughing makes it even more fun.
Swallowing Water – This seemingly small activity is captivating. Take a sip of water, listen very carefully, you can hear each other swallowing. Be dramatic. Take turns. Ask for the moment you hear the water go down the throat.
Belly Laughter Game – Have a big family? Lay on the floor together on your backs, each person puts their head gently on one person’s stomach so that you are in a cluster with your head on someone else’s belly and someone’s head is on your belly. One person starts laughing which triggers laughing from the next person and so on. It’s a lovely little laughing line.