I received this infographic in an email a couple of months ago and have been pondering it for ages. I remember reading an article in 2010 about how parents found playing with their children quite boring. I find that tough, really. I don’t find doing things with my girls boring – in fact, it can be really fun – but unstructured play or going to the park, or just ‘being’? Yes. I find that dreadfully dull, largely because I’m always thinking about what I could or should be doing!
I was reading through the information below and trying to see where my thoughts and I fit in compared to the rest of Jo Public, and well, it’s a little stark.
It’s reminded me again to say no less, and yes more.
What do you think of these stats?
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How Much Time Do You Spend Playing?
That’s a very thought provoking infographic. I found it hard to play with my kids when they were smaller but now that they are older we can do a lot more together around the house and out in the garden.
I do think that’s a really valid point. And kind of goes to prove the whole imagination thing. Maybe as they get older they enter into our comfort zones more?
I don’t really spend much time playing with my children. I spend a lot of time hanging out with them, talking, going to fun places, planning adventures, reading stories, making art work. Being asked into their games is a big responsibility – not to try to use it to teach them, not to put adult preconceptions on it, not to twist the game to fit adult ideals and ideas. It feels intrusive when I try, and they find it frustrating when I’m passive. There are many opportunities to be with them and enjoy time with them without butting in to the naturally adult-excluding world of imaginary games.
I do find it sad that the apparent average story time is only 16 minutes, though. I must easily spend an hour PER CHILD reading aloud in the average day. My nearly nine year old still loves to be read to – I’m reading Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters to her right now, even though it’s easily within her own reading ability.
Thanks for your comment! I wonder if the age of the children make a difference. My 3yo gets three to four books a night, but they are little books and only take about five minutes each. Then she’s ready for bed. I wonder if the study took ages into consideration.