How often do we actually set time aside to play, invent, imagine, make stuff up with our kids?
Time dedicated, purely for that – play – free from other distractions? Perhaps you do it all the time, in which case, bravo!
However, most families are busy juggling work, school, household chores, meaningful activities, exercise, trying to stave off guilt and console themselves with being good enough.
By taking time out for Family Playtime, everyone gets a break, a release from the busyness, into a fully immersive moment where the focus is spontaneity – a workout for the imagination and a bonding experience for the family with fun at its heart.
We all know instinctively the importance of play, that it is just as vital as rest and healthy food for our well-being, for young and old. And we all know, how easily we can drop this off our over-crammed to do lists.
By signing up for a Family Playtime, you can be assured that you have at least one weekly slot dedicated to play and its benefits for all.
What are the benefits? Intergenerational play brings families together, through play we learn new skills, develop confidence and spark curiosity into the world around us, relax and have a laugh. We bond, spark off each other, work stuff out.
Families get a buzz and a boost out of working collaboratively, meeting other families plus the possibility of making new friends.
Children in the trial group reported how much they loved playing with their respective adults, reciprocated by the adults and couples also noted how they loved playing with their partners too.
Parents recognised that despite having the skills to play together, they rarely did. All reported they felt more sociable and grew in confidence over the session. One 4 ½ year old reported feeling ‘nothing’ at the beginning to ‘good’ at the end which his daddy said was ‘high praise indeed’.
In less than an hour, we witnessed the children (and adults) relax, come out of their shells and warm up to the activities, the concept of being seen by other families, interacting with their own family and others’ families.
By the end, we’d seen evidence of spontaneous play (and dress up), everyone had invented a family anthem and been on holiday around the globe, in some cases without getting out of their pyjamas.
‘It made us laugh’, ‘we’d definitely like to do this again,’ ‘a great way to start the weekend – such fun.’
On a serious note, through playing with their adults, children’s linguistic skills are stretched more than playing solely with their peers, that they practise more sophisticated problem-solving and greater creativity.
Evidence suggests that through intergenerational play, children learn more sophisticated social skills, develop resilience by managing emotions and turn-taking modelled by their parents and others. Most of the games require collaborative, quick, creative, problem-solving which helps to develop spontaneity, acceptance of outcome and confidence, thus keeping the brain active and flexible. Play experiences help to generate positive feelings and reduces stress for adult and child; a bonding experience and sense of satisfaction through fun-based activity.
Expect a variety of games in each session, plenty of movement based exercises combined with ones for the imagination all vital to our mental well-being. Though hard to measure, how wonderful to journey with one’s child into fantasy realms discovering that limitations are only self-imposed; and no one knows their child better than you.
Family Playtime helps the adult connect with their inner-child and reveal a different side of themselves with their child.
Every Saturday morning, for 45 minutes – 6 weeks for £60
On Zoom with an online facilitator experienced in child education and development.