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How to make the everyday playful

06 July 2022

A great starting point for having more family fun is to think about how you can make each day a little more playful. Here we share our top tips.

For our Creating Happy Memories campaign this year we’ve focused heavily on play, doing deep dives into the theory and practice of how play is vital for young people and adults alike. But we know how it is… sometimes you don’t want that. Sometimes you’re just tired and need some inspiration for how to have a bit of fun right now, or how to entertain the kids for ten minutes during boring household chores. With that in mind here’s a bunch of mini ideas for how to make each day a little more playful. 

Piggy backs for tired/reluctant walkers – try getting children to shout instructions or point where you’re going, as they love it when they get to be the boss 

Spaghetti slurping competition for fussy eaters – remember though… If there’s a few of you everybody gets the “prize” of ice cream afterward! 

Races to the bathroom when it’s time for bed – This can help defer the dreaded bedtime blues! 

Bed Picnic – For a change it can be a nice idea to eat lunch in your child’s room – just have a vacuum on hand for crumbs afterward! 

Raspberry blowing competitions – just make sure you explain that this is strictly a game to be played in the house, as it can be seen as rude outside. 

Speed dress – This is a good game to play between caregivers and children, and you can get a lot of mileage from pretending to put clothes on the wrong body parts to make them laugh. A word of warning though… This game can cause tears if played by competitive siblings. 

Music on and dancing while tidying up – does what it says on the tin and, to be honest, is just a good idea in general whether children are involved or not! 

The car colour game – if you’ve got a boring drive somewhere then it can be fun to see if somebody can spy a certain colour of car or van. Start simple with grey or white… You’ll be surprised how few purple cars you see! 

The bag packing game – This is a particularly good game for people taking multiple children shopping. After you’ve bought your items, they can sit with a bag each and sort the items you pass them into soft/hard or light/heavy items, and place them in their different bags. It’s also a good way to avoid squashed bread and bruised fruit! 

Juicy reader’s club – If you’ve got slightly older children who don’t like doing reading homework then take a satsuma and break it into segments, and then reward your child with a segment for each correct word. It works! 

Making the bedchildren enjoy putting pillows into pillowcases and helping you put the sheets on the bed, but a word of warning… This is not a way to get the job done fast! The best bit, however, is when you put the duvet on the bed. Get them to lie down and throw it high into the air so it billows down on them… Their laughter will make it all worthwhile 

Doing the gardening – If you’re the green fingered type it’s a nice idea to give children their own space in the garden. This can be small… it’s just important that it’s theirs so they can dig it up, plant things and landscape while you mow the lawn or do the weeding. 

Over the summer we will be sharing practical guidance from our child development experts on how to create engaging play spaces and fun, simple, low-cost activities that the whole family can enjoy (including the adults, we promise!) and small actions you can take to help you and your child get the most from it.  Follow us on Instagram or Facebook  to enjoy and benefit from our summer of play. If you’d like to receive guidance and play activities from our child development experts direct to your inbox, please sign up to our newsletter.