One simple step to having more fun with your kids

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.

free play doctor

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!

Petits Filous Play Free

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.

free play singing

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.

petits filous free play fairy

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.

petits filous big pots

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.

16 Comments

  1. 5th February 2018 / 8:12 am

    I love this campaign, I think there is such a lot we could all learn from it. We should definitely make more of an effort to have fun x

  2. 5th February 2018 / 8:33 am

    What a wonderful way to spend quality time with your kids and enjoy it too. This campaign sounds a good idea and so useful as parents we often get bogged down with chores and miss out the quality time we should spend with our kids.

  3. hannah
    5th February 2018 / 11:55 am

    This sounds like a really fun campiagn. There is no such thing as having too much fun

  4. Helen
    5th February 2018 / 7:26 pm

    What a wonderful campaign, free play sounds like so much fun for little ones! It’s so easy to get so busy with work and household things that we forget how important just playing is.

  5. 6th February 2018 / 4:46 pm

    What a great activity. For me this is an important activity for the kids. Bonding time and creating memories with them is such a quality time. It develops their interactivity skills as well.

  6. 7th February 2018 / 8:52 pm

    I love the idea of this campaign, and it’s great your creating such fun memories x

  7. 7th February 2018 / 9:34 pm

    It sounds like your daughter had a wonderful time with her free play, especially the bouncing on the sofa! Allowing children to freely flit between ideas sounds like a really positive technique! Petits Filous sounds like the ideal fuel for playtime too, I have such positive memories of those yummy pots from my younger days!

    Abbey x

  8. 11th February 2018 / 9:12 pm

    I love the whole idea behind ‘fun Mum’. I used to feel like that, when my son was small, but since having my daughter I struggled to just let go and enjoy myself with the children. This campaign gave me an excuse to do just that! It sounds as though your daughter was a never-ending source of ideas for fun.

  9. Thena Franssen
    12th February 2018 / 2:00 pm

    Simple steps and doable! Love it. We all need that time to be young again and have fun again with our littles!

  10. 14th February 2018 / 1:09 pm

    At times I do feel guilty when my children say they are bored.

    This campaign is really valuable not only to highlight the importance of play but to reassure us as parents too.

    It’s made me realise I don’t need to step in, suggest or direct like I do and moving forward I will be much more aware of this.

  11. 14th February 2018 / 3:39 pm

    Fantastic challenge, free play is so important.

  12. 16th February 2018 / 3:37 pm

    Gorgeous photography and sound like you all had a fantastic time with the challenge. We took part as well and loved it, made for great quality time

    Laura x

  13. 16th February 2018 / 11:19 pm

    Oh goodness me your images are just incredible! It was such a privilege to sit back and observe throughout this challenge , you’ve really conveyed my feelings here. Brilliant post!

  14. 19th February 2018 / 10:31 pm

    We have learnt loads by being involved in this campaign. I am definitely trying to give Monkey more free time to choose his own play ideas away from the screen!

  15. 23rd February 2018 / 12:18 pm

    This is such a great campaign. Children need to be encouraged to play free more. Thanks for taking part. Commenting on behalf of myself and BritMums.

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