Google+ Authentic Parenting: Playful Parenting: 3 Examples and a Bunch of Links (rerun)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Playful Parenting: 3 Examples and a Bunch of Links (rerun)

Welcome to the September Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Through Play
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared how challenging discipline situations can be met with play. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


I am glad to finally be able to participate in the Carnival of Natural Parenting again. The theme for this month happens to be Parenting through Play, which is a topic I have written about extensively throughout the this blog. So I am grasping this opportunity to shamelessly link up everything you can find on this blog about playful parenting. I hope you enjoy and find answers to some of your parenting problems.

Playful parenting is one of the great tools in my parenting toolbox. Especially with a toddler, it makes things a lot easier, and ultimately makes family life more fun.
Play is the way through which children learn, so it is the best way to show them how the world works. Instead of disciplining or getting frustrated, finding playful solutions to parenting problems can be a happy way to come to a mutual agreement.

So how do you implement play in your parenting? It all depends on the specific situation you want a peaceful solution for. Here are three examples:
  1. You are ill
  2. You have to get some work done on the computer
  3. Your children are being loud

Illness and play
It might be hard to imagine that taking part in play might give you some rest when you are sick, but it can. Here are some ways in which you can get your rest and play at the same time.

  • Invite them to be your doctor, you can tell them where you are hurting and they can use a stethoscope to check you, check your tension, feel your heartbeat...
  • Ask them to read to you (even if they can't read yet, they can pretend or invent a story)
  • Play the mummy: you can lie down while they strap you in with toilet paper or bandages.
Image: D Sharon Pruitt on Flickr
Work and play
  • Children love to mimic, so allowing them a few minutes on your computer before you start doing whatever it is that needs to be done might satisfy their need to be just like mommy or daddy
  • Ask them to 'help' you while you work: they can clean the back of your laptop, they can take notes while you work, you can ask them to take a picture of something and then scan it or copy it.
Image: Dreamstime
Children tend to go over the tolerable decibel level. Often this is not a problem, but sometimes it can be too much. Here are a few playful solutions:
  • Play the whispering game: for the next five or ten minutes, everything has to be said as softly as possible
  • Little mice: fall to all fours and play like little mice. You can squeak, but little mice don't make lots of noise
  • Take turns to try to scream the loudest and then try to be quiet as long as possible
  • Hide and seek: energetic children might want to play hide and seek with you, and hiding also mean less noise

If you need some more inspiration, read these previous posts about getting dressed, their lack of hygiene, difficulties of moving from one activity to another, getting help around the household, there is a playful solution to be found to nearly every situation! I've received great guest post on how to make cleaning up playful and another one on cleaning up in harmony. It just takes a little effort and for you - the parent - to get out of your negativity and into a state of joy.

If you start practicing playful parenting, you quickly notice what a valuable tool it is, how much lighter it makes your existence. Things you would dread before now become joyous, parenting becomes fun. And that's how it should be!


For more inspiration on integrating play in your parenting, get the Mindful Play eBook Bundle with 9 whimsical resources for playfulness and three amazing bonuses. Only $14.95, only until Monday, October 7!!


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
  • On being a more playful parent — Isil at Smiling like Sunshine shares how the Playful Parenting book impacted her.
  • Parenting a toddler through play — Alicia at I Found My Feet lists some examples of how she uses play to parent through everyday tasks and challenges.
  • Splashing in Puddles — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter shares how she learned to get dirty and have fun with her little boy.
  • Say Please — Cassie at There's a Pickle in My Life explains how they taught their son manners by "play," showing that actions speak louder than words.
  • No Nanny Needed — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life wishes parenting through play was her only responsibility during the day.
  • I'll Run Away With Gypsies — Nikalee at Spotted Pandemonium maneuvers physical and emotional obstacles while spinning playful tales, jumping through hoops, and inspiring the kids to clean the living room.
  • A Promise To My Daughter — Lindsey at An Unschooling Adventure writes a poem for her daughter promising to use play instead of anger when facing difficult situations.
  • Parenting Through Play — Not Always Easy But Always Rewarding — Amy at Peace4Parents discusses how play hasn't always come easily to her, the power of appreciative observation, and how her family learns together through play.
  • Imagination Plays a Role in Our Parenting — Tree at Mom Grooves shares how parents can use play to set the foundation for communication and understanding.
  • A Box of Crayons — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction talks about how a simple box of crayons has become a wonderful parenting and teaching tool.
  • The Essential Art of Play — Ana at Pandamoly shares some of her favorite lessons available for young ones through play.
  • The Art of Distraction — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro shares a list of distracting alternatives to harsh punishments in tough parenting situations.
  • Grace and Courtesy Games at Home or School — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now has ideas for grace and courtesy games that help you encourage courteous behavior without reprimanding your child.
  • I am woman, hear me roar! — Mrs Green from Little Green Blog shares how one simple sound can diffuse an argument in an instant.
  • Getting Cooperation Through Play — Amyables at Toddler In Tow talks about respecting the worldview of a preschooler by using play to encourage connection and cooperation.
  • Playful Parenting = Extra Energy??Momma Jorje didn't think she had the energy for playful parenting. See what she was surprised to learn…
  • Dance Party Parenting — Laura from A Pug in the Kitchen learned how to be the parent her children need through play.
  • Wrestling Saved My Life — Wrestling is as vital to her son's well-being as babywearing once was, finds Hannah at Wild Parenting.
  • Parenting through play — By playing with her children, Tara from MUMmedia is given amazing opportunites to teach, train and equip her children for life.
  • Parenting Through Play Starts in Infancy — In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Issa from LoveLiveGrow shares that though she only has a 3-month-old, playful parenting has already started.
  • Play Before Sleep — Adrienne at Mommying My Way writes about how playing and singing with her son before he falls asleep helps calm her frustrations that tend to arise at night.



  1. thanks for sharing all these great ideas. I love the thought of my daughter cleaning the back of my laptop while I type LOL! When I used to write letters to friends, I would give her a piece of paper and pen to 'write' on and make sure her scribbles went into the envelope too - it was wonderful to validate her and include her in this way :)

  2. Love that idea! Thanks for sharing

  3. There were more than three examples and I'm grateful for ALL of them! I'm just starting to try to incorporate more play and less yelling into my parenting and the results are already astonishing. I love your ideas and will use them often. I especially like the whispering game. Things tend to get very loud around here since we're all so used to my yelling - it gets modeled a lot. I'm even thinking of whispering when I really feel the urge to yell - hopefully, it'll become a habit!

  4. These are great ideas! We have a serious volume issue in this house. I've been encouraging Daniel to explore ALL the dynamics of his voice (not just how loud it can get) to help with that. I love the idea of playing mice! I'm definitely going to try that one out!

  5. Illness has been a sore spot for me in teh past. I will keep your ideas in mind the next time I am sick and need to rest while filling up my 3-year old's cup with play. He likes to play doctor quite a bit so that one in particular may be useful.

  6. When Kieran was a toddler, he was often satisfied to sit quietly for awhile and tap away at a spare keyboard we have. That let me get a few minutes of work done in peace. Of course now he wants the whole computer ;) TY for the examples mama!

  7. I love this post!! I want to go catch up on your others as soon as I can. I am actually sick today and will implement your ideas immediately!
    I have to add that I absolutely love your blog. Your header is so beautiful!! I'll grab your button a.s.a.p.
    I have to figure out a better place for buttons on my blog.
    Thank you for all these ideas!

  8. I will be checking out your other articles on playful parenting, I need constant reminders!! I got a chuckle out of the idea of having the kids wrap me up like a mummy with toilet paper, they would love that and I may be able to get some down time...ha!!

  9. @teresa: thank you very much. It was done by Jenna Design, you find a link on the left.
    @Dionna: that's a great idea, but I think my daughter wouldn't be satisfied if it weren't the whole computer though. We do sometimes give her the second laptop when one of us is working on the other, I should have included that too
    @Alicia: I'm quite the screamer too, I even have specific posts about the topic. Especially now that I'm pregnant, I can't seem to overwrite the yelling that well
    here's one of them, but you can explore more by clicking the 'yelling' label in my tag cloud

  10. What a wonderful post! I'm going to have to explore all your links, of course. :) I need all the tips I can get!

    I was especially taken with the "playing doctor" idea when you're sick — brilliant!

    Since Sam & I do a lot of work for our business around the house, sometimes it definitely helps to involve Mikko, in whatever way we can. Sometimes that's doing something "real," like putting an actual label on an actual package. But sometimes we or he can make up pretend tasks to do — like giving him labels of his own and a marker, and then he can go to town labeling everything in sight.

  11. Please email me! I have a question about your blog! :)

  12. Great article I'll definitely share this, I also advice parents to encourage their kids to exercise. Thanks.


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