How to Make the Most of Playtime When You’re Insanely Busy

playtime with girls
Photo by

It can be tough to find the time to play when you have a to-do list a mile long — and busy moms know that feeling all too well. However, ensuring you get the time to have some fun with your kids is important, both for you and for them.

Playing with your kids is essential for their growth and development. Help your little ones learn about their world and how to interact with others by making the most of your time together. Schedules may be packed, but you’ll never regret spending too much time with the ones who grow up so fast.

Here are a few ways to maximize that playtime when the schedule is crowding in:

1. Schedule Playtime

You schedule other things onto your calendar, so “pencil in” your kids with designated time to be together as a family and have a good time. There can be a variety of things you can do — go for a walk, have a dance party, paint or find sticks and branches to create an artistic masterpiece.

It doesn’t really matter what you do — but if the time is added to your calendar, you’ll also be more likely to make sure it happens.

Read Next | Green Parenting: Doing One Small Act

2. Be Present during Playtime

Part of the reality of living in the world today is the constant connectivity with people through social media, email, phones, etc. Though it’s great to be connected, always being connected may be reducing the quality of the time spent with people face-to-face.

Give your kids your full attention by limiting contact with electronic devices. Designate time to putting down the electronics and devoting your time and attention to those closest to you.

3. Invite Play into the Mundane

It’s not always possible to escape from to-dos. When that happens and those mundane necessities take over, bring a little play to it all. The grocery store is a great example. Though grabbing supplies for the week’s dinners needs to be done, it can be a little easier for everyone when you turn it into a game for your little ones.

See who can spot the peanut butter first or read the next item on the list. Time yourselves in certain sections or let your little ones help load the items onto the conveyor belt. Play a guessing game for how much money you’ve spent — which will result in giggles and teach your kids the value of the dollar.

Even tasks like laundry can be fun when introduced as a game.

3. Lighten the Load

Americans are notorious for working long hours with few vacation days. But all of this running is exhausting and — well — just unnecessary. Look at your schedule. If it’s jam-packed with no downtime to enjoy just existing as a family, it will be hard to enjoy playtime because you’re going to be thinking of everything that needs to get done.

It’s like watching a red light when you’re already late — you’re just waiting for the green to get going again. That’s not really fair to your little ones, or to you, either. Take some pressure off your schedule by unloading items that really aren’t working to improve your quality of life.

On the Playground

4. Delegate Where You Can

For the activities and chores that just have to get done, figure out what can be delegated. If you can hire someone to clean your house once a week — or even once a month — do it. If you can work with another mom to transport kids, do it. If you can share PTA responsibility with someone else, do it. There are ways to work with the people around you to help share the burden. Don’t be afraid to ask for help — you’ll be surprised with just how many people will be grateful for the opportunity to work together.

5. Make Playtime Mobile

There are days when you and your kiddo are on your way somewhere, and you’re stuck in stop-and-go traffic. What can you do to ease the frustration? Play! Make playtime mobile by introducing a variety of car activities that can be done together. Singing songs can be beneficial for your kids’ vocabulary and is a great way to pass the time. “Wheels on the Bus” and “Twinkle Little Star” are always a hit.

There are also a variety of travel games like “I Spy” and the alphabet game that are great for older kids.

Just remember that when prepping for travel playtime, it’s important to make sure all of your safety precautions have been taken. As one in four car seats are installed incorrectly, it’s better to be careful and go through a safety checklist every time you get into the car with your babes.

6. Let Go of Perfection

Nothing is perfect, though some things get pretty darn close — like snuggling in a blanket fort at the end of a long week. Perfection, however, is subjective. It looks different to different people, which means there’s some wiggle room in there for interpretation.

If you ever feel uptight or overwhelmed by getting things done the way they “should” be done, it may be time to step back and reevaluate the importance of what you’re doing. Yes, dishes need to be done, but will the world collapse if the dishwasher hasn’t been started right after dinner? Nope. It absolutely won’t. Enjoy the time with your little ones now. They grow up, after all, and there will always be more dishes.

Like what you read? JOIN the Mommybites community to get the latest on FREE online classesparenting adviceeventschildcare listingscasting calls & raffles, and our Parents With Nannies Facebook group. SIGN UP NOW!

Jennifer Landis is a writer, blogger, foodie, yogi, runner, and mama. She loves drinking tea, Doctor Who, and dark chocolate.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.

Have a Nanny? Read These Articles!

Mommybites is one of the best and most trusted nanny resources in the New York area.

Tags: , ,