January 1, 2017 | Claire Russell
Anyone else wake up this morning wanting to write their first blog post?! Nope? Just me then! I've been wanting to do it for some time and even spent the Christmas holidays reading 'Mum Blogging for Dummies'! No joke! So what better time to start than on the first day of a new year.
Hmmm, so what do I write about? What do I know about? What do I want to share with everyone? Well as a full time Mum, I could share parenting tips and advice however I certainly don't think I'm in the position to do so. I'm totally making it all up as I go along and hoping for the best! Plus there are loads of fabulous Mum Bloggers out there already. I'm a big fan of Unmumsy Mum, Hurrah for Gin and the Scummy Mummies. All fabulous Instagrammers who share the realistic side of parenting in a fashionably side-splitting manner!!
Wait, there is something I do know about... PLAY. Play is my thing, I can do play! If you haven't already noticed I'm a big fan of play. The benefits of play, the theory behind play and supporting others to play. Play is already a high priority in this house. I can't help it, I've always loved supporting young children to play since specialising in Early Years at uni. However, I hadn't truly realised my passion until I had Mason and that's what's got me to where I am today.
Despite claiming to know all about play, I still think as a family we picked up some naughty habits and I think now is a good time to make our New Years Play Resolutions. I once saw that you should make your resolutions realistic if you really want to achieve them and psychologists suggest you write them down to have greater impact. So I have made two New Years Play Resolutions that I feel will make a big difference to our play and I actually think we could achieve! (Hopefully!)
1. Just Play. Well that's easy I hear you say and in theory it is. However, in real life, phones, TV's and general life gets in the way. I would like us to play as a family more. Play with no interruptions or distractions. To put the gadgets aside and focus our attention on playing with Mason instead of one eye on the emails. There's no doubt it will be tricky as we still have to run our lives at the same time as parenting but maybe if we really try, we could let those things that can wait, wait and instead, be in the moment. Is it worth it? Yes, I think it will be. It'll be worth it for Mason who will get our undivided attention for a small chunk of time, quality time.
2. Leave it out. Hmmm, so this one could be tricky. We've just had a wall knocked down making our downstairs totally open plan. It looks great and we wish we'd done it sooner however, open plan living looks best when it's tidy. It does not look good scattered in toys, books and sensory box contents. This means I am constantly tidying things away. Nothing makes me happier than a tidy house (sad but true!) but actually in terms of play, this is not good. It's really important to provide children with the opportunity to return to their play. Give them time to digest their thoughts and use their initiative to move their play forward. This cannot happen if they have to start again from scratch and their train of thought will be lost. Nurseries and schools are great at doing this because they have dedicated spaces and time for play. In home life, unless you have masses of space this is really hard to do. So instead, I am going to try and turn a blind eye to 'the mess, take a deep breath' and remember it is his learning process. Rather than regularly changing activities for the sake of my Instagram posts, I am going to leave activities out for longer so that Mason can return to them over time and solidify his learning. I'm really want to try and maintain this but ask me in a months time when I'm knee deep in pasta, paint, trucks and pom poms!!
Happy New Year Play Mates, Happy Playing!