lego hex maze
I have a friend who has this amazing talent. She can sit and play with her kids... forever. It's her idea of a perfect day.
I very much envy her.
One of my shortcomings as a parent is my nearly minuscule attention span for play. Or certain types of non-goal driven play. I can roughhouse and wrestle as long as my muscles hold out and I can craft until the sun goes down, but when it comes to picking up the toys and moving them around, to my eternal shame, I Just. Can't. Do. It.
I don't know if this something that is just me, but I suspect that many parents almost develop ADD whenever they try to sit and play with their kids. Either a there is a sudden need to check in on their social networks (I've read Facebook status' that read: Playing with the kids! :)) or the lack of sleep that goes hand in hand with parenthood comes knocking and they almost slip into a coma. For myself, I usually end up taking an involuntary nap if I have to push around the action figures or dress up the Barbies and engage in dramatic action in a pitched battle between enemies or a date with Ken (sometimes the same thing).
Even when I was young I wasn't a big fan of this type of play. I'd bargain with my friends by giving them an hour of playing house and they give me an hour of wheat field fort building or riding bikes. I suspect that that may be one of the reasons why I've never been popular with the ladies.
But still, now, my kids. They love to play with me. And I want to play with them. Its been my ongoing challenge lately to play with the kids in a way that doesn't induce sleep in me or a desire to turn play into a Project.
Just, you know, play.
While I still can't quite manage Barbies, I have found that if there is some component of construction or creativity (beyond dramatic dialogue), my level of interest and engagement is much higher, which translates into more time on the floor and more fun for all of us.
Legos are brilliant, aren't they? While I've never had even the slightest urge to build a robot or transportation device, I love putting together houses, playgrounds and mazes. The kids have found ways to incorporate their toys into the Lego-scape and we all can play for quite some time before I wander off to update my Facebook status (Playing Legos with the kids! :)).
How do you guys feel about play with the kids? Who loves it? Anyone dread it when junior asks you to play dress up? What's some of your favorite games?