As a full time working Mum I understand the pressure of balancing work and family life. I work 5 days a week, and between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm my girls are at nursery whilst I work. I also have paper work to do at home usually a few hours every night. Any time I do therefore get to see my girls I make the most of. I refuse to do house work on the weekend as these are my two full days I get to spend with my girls and so as you may guess on an evening in the week, I'm tired have the house work to do but more importantly play with my girls.
I try to make every second count on an evening. Those 2 hours at the most (after nursery/after work until bed time) are so precious to me. Latest research has shown that on average a busy parent spends just 56 minutes playing one to one with their children, read more here
When I stopped to think about it, during the week this might be true for me, as cooking dinner eating dinner I guess don't count as play although I do try to involve the girls as much as possible in the process. I guess there is no real solution to this, what I do try and do though is make sure the girls are involved with things like my daughter stirring and helping to prepare food or even asking her questions about dinner, what colour is the pepper? What shape is this? It's more about engaging them.
Dr Miriam Stoppard has recently teamed up with Galt toys to develop a new range of toys to encourage play time. Each toy comes with a play guide to provide suggestions and give tips. Which should help boost confidence to play and help release your inner child.
Galt toys sent me the fill and spill barn from the range for the girls and I to play with. The barn is beautifully made of wood and very bright colours. The roof comes off and is very easy to click back on again. The girls and I explore the words on and off and with my eldest I discuss the colour red of the roof. The animals inside are all brightly coloured and a great size for even my youngest who is 1 to pick up. We love taking the animals out and putting them back in again, they even fit through the door of the barn. It helps with co ordination and fine motor skills.
The girls love the barn ever so much and it is what I use to play with the girls on an evening to help us all unwind and have some fun before bath time. As we start to play with the barn our imagination begins to take over and what's great is that both girls can play together with me as I can tailor the game accordingly.