The movie “Frozen” brought with it a new princess, song every little kid in the world sung at the top of their lungs until their parents thought they were going to lose their mind and (unknown to many) a game called “Frozen Crazy Eight.” Crazy Eight is a familiar game to many but “Frozen” crazy eight is the version most played in our house. The cards have the faces of all the familiar characters from the movie and the kids love it.
I am not selling the “Frozen” game or movie this morning but rather the opportunity such games give our family to have fun together. Crazy Eight is a simple game that our three year understands and plays well; actually, I think she is the reigning house champion at the moment. For the last two weeks we have had almost nightly family tournaments and each night crown a “Champion of the House.” It is a lot of fun and offers an opportunity to teach our kids how to win and lose well. But the best part of the night is how it brings us together. We are building relationships with one another and learning to have fun without the aid of electronics or a television.
Yesterday, our daughter woke up before her brother or mother and found me all to herself. I had just finished my morning time with God. (Actually, she ended that time with the need for my attention, but I digress.) One of the first words out of her mouth was to ask me if we could play Crazy Eight together. Of course, I went into work a little later than I planned as I took some time to play with her. It was a great time together. She and I laughed, played, talked and had a lot of fun. Its not often she gets me all to herself without a little brother vying for attention. No iPad, iPhone or television just a girl, her daddy and a lot of fun.
I think one of the important lessons my wife and I are learning as we raise our kids is that our children need more genuine face time with their parents. Not “Facetime” but face time. Our kids need our attention. For a little one under ten, giving them our attention might be the most important way we communicate love. They need us.
So that said, I thought I might list a few ways you and your little ones might spend time together. Time in which you might laugh, love, connect and have fun without the aid of electricity!
Ways to Connect and Play With Your Little Ones:
- Card Games — There are a lot of these and many are easy enough for a young toddler to play. Uno, Crazy Eight and Old Maid are some which come to mind right away. Card games can also be a great way to teach math among other important skills. These games are a great way to calmly end the night as well.
- Board Games — Candy Land, Sorry and Chutes and Ladders are games that are both timeless, simple and a lot of fun. Your kids will love the time spent playing them and they offer a good change of pace from card games.
- “I Spy” and “I’m Thinking of Something Blue” — Such simple games can be played anywhere, are fun, distracting (when such is needed) and allow kids the opportunity to be creative. We recently played this while waiting on our food in a local restaurant and it changed our whole night. The kids were tired and cranky but after the game began their attitude and night completely turned around.
- Sports — I am not talking about organized sports but the kind you play with your kid after coming home from work. My son and I have a lightweight rubber baseball we throw in the house much to my wife’s chagrin. We (son and daughter) also have a Nerf soccer ball we use to play our “World Cup” matches in the living room. Rain or shine we have a way to play sports with one another. The competition is fun as is the opportunity to connect with our kids and help them develop fine motor skills.
- Reading or Telling a Story — My kids love books and will sit on the couch to be read to almost anytime. But, I make up stories to tell them at bedtime as well. These are special moments in which our kids are learning comprehension, reading skills and to use their imagination. The local library has no limit to the number of books which can be checked out and we fill up two large canvas bags every two weeks!
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