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Press Play

Can you feel it, see it, hear it? Its happening! My community and neighbors have begun a slow and cautious re-emergence from one year of quiet. Soon family voices will fill parks, playgrounds, libraries, museums and streets and we can all begin to heal.

I am preparing to 'press play' in my own family and I'm being deliberate about how we re-emerge. I'm decreeing play and unstructured downtime a non-negotiable for every member of my family. I know it could be easy to get sucked back into our default 'busy' culture and to spend our days in a frenzy, working and shuttling kids from activity to program to activity.

Instead I challenge you to 'Press Play' in your family. Instead of purchasing enrichment activities, play and sport FOR your kids, I challenge you to focus on creating enrichment activities, play and sport WITH each other. I encourage you to take this moment to re-invent what family time is for you.

'Press play' in your own family.

1. Reflect: What does your family like to do together? Watch movies, kick a ball, draw, invent, cook or hike? Choose four things you'll definitely do together this month.

2. Schedule Play: If it's not on the master calendar at my house, it doesn't happen! Start scheduling time for play and downtime.

3. Plan for Play: Gather a basic play kit for several types of play. (When we say basic, we mean basic! We always have: Play clothes: old clothes that can be stained and ripped, A ball, chalk, crayons or markers, scrap paper, scissors, sturdy tape, water and our recycling bin. There are ENDLESS play possibilities with these simple supplies.)

4. Say NO to something else: Our time is precious and limited. You can't 'Press Play' without pushing pause somewhere else. Resist the temptation to join a travel team or audition for a drama production and

leave precious space and time for family play.

5. Play: Have fun together.

Play, family and community connections will help us to heal and ensure we thrive. Let's build time into every day for play. You're not alone in this time of redefinition. PopUpPlay is here for your family as you Press Play! Let us know how you're playing together.

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