All play should be no work for children

With Christmas just behind us, I am sure that many of you are swimming in new toys like we are around here.

Each Christmas, we have a tradition of preparing for the influx of toys that is about to make way into our dwelling.

We box all the toys up that are still in good, working condition, but are no longer played with, and we contact friends with younger children or make other arrangements to donate these items.

Despite all the attempts to keep the toy clutter away, these kids have grandparents, which means we will always have more than enough toys for as long as they have a say in this matter.

All you grandparents out there know how this goes, and I wouldn’t dream of asking you to do any different.

“It’s a grandparents’ right,” or at least that’s what the grandparents in my life tell me.

All picking on grandma and grandpa aside, we have all these new toys and games strewn about our house and what are we to do with them?

Now some people may already be viewing this as a complaint of the things we have been blessed with.

On the contrary, I am proposing that we actually enjoy these things, along with the young children who own them.

Spend some time playing those new games that your children got for Christmas, with your children. Read a book with them. Teach them how to play that card game that one of your relatives taught you so long ago.

Get out the science kits that they received and be scientists together. If they didn’t get any, check out a science experiment book from the library, or find some on Pinterest.

We live in a time with such readily available resources, yet they tend to distract instead of being used in a positive manner.

One goal that I have for this new year is to live a less distracted life.

Along those lines, I am aiming for more significant playtime with my children while they are young.

The ages that they are currently at are so much fun, and I couldn’t bear the thought of missing out on these moments with them.

Don’t give in to that mindset that would make you think that kids are the distraction from more important things. They are lives with endless possibilities, for us to invest in, not to simply put up with while counting down the minutes to bedtime.

I’m not saying that there aren’t challenging days. Anything worthwhile and worth investment has its challenges.

Children and parenting are both meant to be enjoyed, which is significantly easier when we put our heart into it, laugh about things and try to make the best of every situation.

So ask your kids to show you how to play with their toys, how to build their legos, or help them create some play-doh dinner entrees.

All of these things cost little to no money, but just a bit of your time, and you will be all the richer for it.

Cheers to 2019! Here’s to a year of living more purposefully, in the moment, and undistracted from real life and our loved ones.

As always, thanks for reading, and wishing you a most Happy New Year from hbk!

Katy Wise is a Fredonia resident.