Let’s face it – many of us sometimes forget about our playful sides. With so many pressures and responsibilities facing moms and dads these days, sometimes it’s difficult to set your serious grown-up self aside keep in touch with your inner kid. But a playful parent is usually a happier parent, and a happier parent is a better parent, caregiver, and teacher. We set our kids up to be as successful as they can be, and that is a full time job leaving little time for fun! So how do we get playful again?

Below are a few simple things we can all do to help get in touch with our inner kid – and just in time for Take Your Parents to the Playground Day (Sunday, May 20)! So, take off your tie (heck, take off your shoes and socks, too!), step away from the computer/phone/tablet, and learn to let go like a child again. Your mental health will thank you!

1. Go to the playground!

Inner Child Playground

Sure, we take our kids to the park. But how often do we really play? You won’t believe how exhilarating swinging can be or how fun the slide really is. Try a game of tag or set up an obstacle course. When you get tired, park it and challenge your children to a staring contest. You might be surprised at how much fun you have and you’ll get a chance to see your kids at “work”, doing their business of learning, growing, navigating, compromising, strategizing, communicating, and imagining.

2. Get messy!

Inner Child Play

Grab the kids, a bunch of paint and get to creating! Finger painting is a fun stress reliever that gets you in touch with your artistic side! Don’t worry about the mess for now, just have fun and get those hands dirty!

 

 

3. Sing!

Inner Child

In the car. In the shower. In the kitchen! Stumble across a long-lost-but-not-forgotten-favorite jam and belt it out, as loud as you can! You’ll find that you can’t stop smiling!

4. Dance like no one is watching!

Inner Child Playground

Have chores to do? Turn on some tunes and dance while you do them. Invite your kids to join you. Impromptu dance parties make for seriously great family memories and showing your kids your silly side is a great way to get closer.

5. Get Silly!

Inner Child Play Silly

Try replacing one lecture a day (toilet not flushed, socks not in hamper, dishes not in sink) with a funny face. Seriously. Stop yourself from saying whatever it is you say every time something goes undone, make eye contact with your kiddo (or your hubby), and make a silly face instead.

 

Yes, it’s tempting to load the dishwasher and put the laundry away, and those chores do have to get done, sometime, but what would you RATHER be doing? Our kids are busy learning and growing but they’re also busy having fun. So, learn from example! Let’s get playful!