Habitot Children's Museum

SPRING-SUMMER HOURS
April 1 - September 30
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun

9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 4:30
9:30 - 4:30
Private Rentals Only

Closed on Sundays though September!

FALL-WINTER HOURS
October 1- March 31
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 4:30
9:30 - 4:30
9:30 - 4:30

THIS MONTH'S SPONSOR
State Farm Insurance
Berkeley Agent, Gary Eason
http://garyeason.net/



Top-Rated Nonprofits 2014 logo

Best of 2013 Parents' Press logo

Blue Star Museums logo

Best of the Gay
San Francisco Bay Area



find us on facebook

donate now

Habitot is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that relies on community support



Habitot Children's Museum Logo

Habitot Children's Museum
2065 Kittredge Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 647-1111
www.habitot.org


Playful Parenting
One of the best parts of parenting is having fun with your kids. But too often, we don’t leave ourselves much room for fun and games. Our days can be filled with stress, obligations, care taking and hard work and it’s often hard to get into a playful mindset.

Miraculously, play can help relieve these stressors, and shouldn’t be thought of as just another thing we have to do with our kids. Play, with all its exuberance and delighted togetherness, relaxes you and your child, makes your relationships easier and more joyful and accomplishes tasks that otherwise would feel burdensome.

Playful parenting doesn’t mean adding another item to your to-do list; it means you approach accomplishing things in your everyday routine in a playful manner. For example, household chores will always need to be done, but by changing the way we present household tasks – not as mundane, boring jobs that need to be done, but as opportunities for playful activity through song or game– they can be seen as a way to spend quality time with our children. Even discipline becomes easier when we take a playful approach to parenting. It’s harder for a stubborn child to dig in her heels when she’s busy giggling and feeling connected with you.

Here are some tips on taking a more playful approach to parenting:

  • Remember that how you play is less important than being open to playfulness. If you feel you have forgotten how to play – babies, toddlers and children instinctively know and you can follow their lead.

  • Start your day with play. Even just 5 minutes of open-ended free play in the mornings can set the day up for success. It will foster feeling of connection and togetherness, create fun moments and memories, and ease the tension often created by the morning rush.

  • Get physical. Too much worry and work can cause the body to be tense which can lead to more frustration and a serious lack of playfulness. Shake out the feelings with a family dance or an invitation to jump, run, spin or wiggle to music. A game of limbo with a broomstick, or giving rides on a blanket or towel are always fun. Safe roughhousing is also highly recommended – pillow fights, letting kids crawl on you on the floor, and maybe even jumping on the bed.

  • Temporary messes can be OK – building forts with the couch cushions, playing with the packing materials from big box – or the box itself! “Skating” on a box’ worth of cereal accidentally spilled on the kitchen floor can keep kids playing for an hour, and is five minutes to sweep up when they are done. Plus it turns a scolding moment into a wonderful memory of play and family togetherness.

  • Make household chores fun by making up songs while you do them, turning them into a race, or letting stuffed animals “help” get things done. Young kids will be eager to help if it feels like a game and you are enjoying yourself too.

  • Be creative. Not every playful approach you try will work. "You have to be willing to try lots of different things," says Dr. Lawrence J. Cohen, author of Playful Parenting. "I'll have parents ask me 'How did you know just what to do with that child?' and I'll say, 'I tried 10 things and the first nine didn't work.'"
 
Resources:

Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D. Playful Parenting. Random House: New York, 2001.

Julia Deering. The Playful Parent. 2014. www.theplayfulparent.co.uk/

Gina Shaw. The Lighter Side of Parenting: Using Humor and Discipline to Teach Children. 2010 www.webmd.com/children/features/child-discipline

 
copyright© 2014 Habitot Children's Museum