When you spend a lot of years wishing for motherhood, your attitude about things changes when you finally have a baby in your arms. Despite a solid career as an accountant in the public sector, I made the decision to become a stay-at-home-mom. I walked away from a job with good pay and great benefits because I being a mother means more than just having children.
As you can tell from our many, many stories involving the kids, we’re very hands-on. We play games together, travel, attend movies, support each other and find time to bond. This isn’t something that just happened. It’s been this way since the beginning. Family has always been a priority for us and we’ve reaped the benefits of who it has helped our daughters develop intellectually, socially and emotionally.
When the girls were little, I used to take a lot of pictures and videos of them, but also sing and dance, read to them and get on the ground and just play. Not because I was bored. Not because I needed to entertain them. Not because it kept them from crying. I did it because it was fun and it was good for them… and for me. Play at any age is more than just, well, playing. It’s an opportunity to engage with others, strategize, evaluate as well as strengthen the mind and body.
That’s why it’s so important to spread the word of the importance of play and Toys”R”Us is doing that by partnering with Save the Children, a nonprofit agency committed to ensuring all U.S. children have a healthy start. The #PlayWithPurpose campaign is not only a fundraising effort, but also designed to drive awareness of the need to provide for kids in impoverished regions of the country. Creating opportunities and providing resources to integrate purposeful play into their everyday lives; a factor proven critical in children’s emotional, physical and cognitive development and future growth.
Here are a few reasons for their joint mission:
• 15.5 Million U.S. Children Live in Poverty; Many Lack Playtime in Their Daily Lives
• 10 Minutes of Play Improves Children’s Performance
• Play Enhances the Progress of Early Development by 34%
The #PlayWithPurpose campaign is designed to support Save the Children’s early childhood development programs. From now through April 24th, Toys“R”Us will provide Save the Children with “play packs” filled with toys that build key skills and encourage socialization, along with informational materials to educate parents on the benefits of engaging with their children during play. During this campaign, individuals can also support the Play With Purpose campaign by visiting the page on the Toys”R”Us website. Donations will support Save the Children’s early childhood development programs, which help children in some of America’s most underserviced communities thrive.
Did you know it doesn’t take a lot of money to play? Learn to be creative and your children will also. We used Popsicle sticks to create roads in the living room one day. Another we filled glasses to different levels to create music with a spoon.
Even a simple laundry basket is transformed into a boat! (Which may or may not have been used as a sled on the stairs…)
If you’re interested in learning more about the campaign, how caregivers can engage their little ones in developmental play as well as the importance of play, join Toys“R”Us and Save the Children on Tuesday, March 29 at 2PM EST. They’ll be hosting a Twitter Chat with Judie Jerald, Senior Advisor for Early Childhood Education Policy at Save the Children Action Network.
If you’re interested in learning more or supporting the cause, visit the campaign page. If you have questions, be sure to tune in for the Twitter chat!
Regardless of their age, do you take the time to play with your kids?