Up several times in the night, the school run, work deadlines and a house that looks like a bomb has hit it. Some days I feel like I’m struggling to manage being an average mum, let alone a fun one. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not because I’m not trying or I can’t be bothered, it’s just that sometimes it can all feel a bit overwhelming and a lack of sleep can mean that the thought of doing the fun mum stuff seems almost impossible. Over the last week I’d been set a challenge by Petits Filous and at the end I was asked to share my experiences with parenting expert Anita Cleare, during our chat she asked me about the change I’d made – did it make having fun more easy? Did I feel more like a fun mum? And she was right, I did, and it had been a super easy change to make and one that you can make too.
A couple of weeks ago I posted about the Petits Filous Play Free campaign, something that they’ve set in place to try and encourage free play more. I love their video which they shared on their Facebook page, it shows how easy it can be for kids to learn about cause and effect, spatial awareness and imaginative play just by having fun!
Free Play teaches those things that just can't be taught #petitsfilousplayfree
Posted by Petits Filous on Saturday, January 13, 2018
My challenge was to try and make sure that I had more free play with my daughter, with two kids I often find it easier when both are at home as they (mostly!) play nicely together but on those afternoons when it’s just me and my youngest post-nursery? Well, I know I was directing what we did. Did we go to 100 classes and organised activities? Nope, but I do tend to suggest ideas for what we could do – tea parties with the dolls, crafting or baking. And I thought it might be a good change to let her take the lead instead of thinking of things to do being yet another thing on my mental list of stuff to do.
As it turned out she had a lot of ideas of things we could do, she was a singing superstar bouncing on the sofa, a doctor, a princess fairy. In my talk with Anita we discussed how young kids often flit between lots of different activities and that’s a good thing – it allows them to follow their own ideas and there’s actually quite a deep level of thinking involved to see the potential in doing more. As grown ups we might have the tendency to say ‘hey, don’t you want to play doctors for a little bit longer?’ (especially if there’s another outfit change involved!) but for kids it’s a good thing to do what they want when they want. As a parent I know that I wouldn’t have suggested doing that many things but she loved it and was bouncing around happily from one game to another.
Was I still tired? Yes, frankly I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t knackered but I’m guessing it was pre-kids. Here’s the thing though, up until right at the end I didn’t notice it quite as much because we were having more fun, it was playful and silly and I didn’t have to be the boss or think about anything more important than whether the princess fairy was turning me into a frog or a toad. At the end, just before school pick up when I was totally knackered and the need for caffeine kicked in I lied down on the sofa and we played at being puppies lying down, problem solved.
How can Petits Filous help?
Petits Filous is a great snack that kids can enjoy either out and about with the Petits Filous pouches or at home with the Petits Filous little pots and it contains calcium and vitamin D which are needed for healthy bones. Our bodies don’t make calcium but it’s needed for giving strength to bones and teeth so kids need to get it in their diet. Sunshine is the main source of vitamin D but it can be hard for kids to get enough sun during the colder months, Petits Filous is fortified with vitamin D which helps the body to absorb calcium from food. A glass of milk, a piece of cheddar cheese and on small pot of Petits Filous fromage frais can provide children with the calcium they need each day.
By simply embracing free play and letting my daughter take the lead we had much more fun, I felt like more of a fun mum and I know my daughter had a great time too. It’s something I’ll make sure that we do more of in future and I’m certain that we’ll all benefit from that.
I’m working with Petits Filous and BritMums promoting the #PetitsFilousPlayFree campaign about the importance of free play.