Monday, March 13, 2017

Let Them Be Little | The Importance of Play



This post is sponsored by Kohl’s. I was paid for this post and received the included Carter’s clothing as compensation.

"You can't shoot my army man! He's got a pair-of-chutes!"
- "Pew-Pew-Pew! I got him, Mac! He's down!"
"Oh no he's not! He drank magic juice! He's even stronger now!"
- (in runs the 2-year-old) "HERE COMES THE MONSTER!"
"Ahhhhh! Everybody scramble!"

I could listen to them for hours. Whether they're playing army guys, "family house" or building a fort from couch cushions after I told them for the hundredth time not to, the truth is that it's moments like these, moments when the halls of my house ring with laughter and three brothers can be found deeply invested in their imaginary games, that I dreamed of from the minute I knew each of their tiny souls existed. 

It wasn't too long ago that I myself could run faster than the wind, faster than the fastest cheetah and further than the ends of the world. Don't you, too, remember those days? I know it isn't easy and the memories a bit fuzzy but try hard enough and remember your earliest days. They weren't fancy, they were hardly busy and most of all, they were filled with dress-ups, carefree conversation and the freedom to play.







As for me and the rest of my family, there's no denying our lives are busy. Each day I'm caught in a current of  school schedules and work, sports practices and extra-curricular activities, insurmountable piles of laundry and household chore lists more than a mile long, all of these things begging simultaneously for my time and in doing so, affording me even less time to devote to my children and the importance of play. My children are nothing more than a product of this hurried environment and while lacking the control to do anything about it, they're often swept up in this "glorification of busy," forced to grow up and grow serious well before it's necessary. 

It wasn't until I was two kids deep into motherhood that I realized play was more than just fun and games. It was more than just something to take up time between other activities. Play is crucial to the development of healthy, well-rounded child and Carter's understands this. This Spring Carter's wants to celebrate play our children's magnificent imagination. With their bold, fun patterns, bright inspiring colors and comfortable, breathable fabrics that facilitate easy movement, Carter's is a brand that's made for wild imaginations and creative, carefree kids. 

Between 3/17 and 4/2, you can use promo code "KIDSALE10" 
for $10 off of a $40 purchase. 





As each of my boys grows nearer to full-day schooling, more and more I think about how their days of free play are numbered. While my oldest's kindergarten teacher truly understands and stresses the importance of play during early childhood, there's only so far she can stray from the mandatory curriculum she is to teach. These days Kindergarten looks nothing like it did when I was there- mornings filled with play-doh, sensory stimulation and simple letter recognition have been replaced with full-day hours, level II readers and true arithmetic



"Let them be little" is something I have to remind myself of daily. Not only is it a great reminder for me to let them play more, it's also a great reminder for me personally, to slow down and take more time each day to get down on their level, to engage with them and really listen to the stories they have to tell, no matter how long and silly they may be. To see the magic in the moment and appreciate the joy it brings them to act their ages, to not be so rushed to move onto the next thing, to grow up too soon. To let them make up the words on the pages and read me the story instead of the other way around.

In a world full of constant distractions and technology at our fingertips, it's easy to forget how important tried and true, get-outside-and-just-run play is. The sheer joy that I see spread across my boys' faces when they're running out back in our yard, excising not only their little bodies but also their giant imaginations- well, it's just priceless. To see them barefoot, wild and in their element, creating intricate scenarios of exploration and adventure, of superhero kings and cowboy brothers, unfettered, uninhibited and free- is truly a sight to behold.





   
2-piece Pajama Set / Similar Carter's Pajama Sets

If you're like me and could use the occasional reminder, please let our children be little. Let them choose the pants with dinosaurs on them or the shirt plastered with planes and let them act their age. Encourage them to laugh loudly, to run wildly and to play freely with abandon. It won't be long before they're grown, added responsibilities weighing down the immeasurable joy they once oozed so freely.

Let them be little and above all else, let them play.    



Dinosaur Button-Front Shirt and Pants / Helicopter Printed Button Down / Flat Front Shorts

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