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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Happy House: 11 Ways to Boost the Playability of Your Entire Home

Photo by Jeff Kubina (Flickr)

If you're a regular visitor to my blog playground (I hope you are!), you know my kiddos and I LOVE the grand outdoors. Whether it's having a picnic outside on a dazzling day or taking a bike ride around the neighborhood, we treat the open air like a member of the family. There are countless benefits to playing outside, but sometimes, circumstances like weather befuddle our nature-bound adventures! But worry not, because...

Play can unfold gloriously indoors, too! A playful house is a happy house. After all, having fun is essential ingredient to happy and healthy mindsets in kids! All it takes is a splash of creativity inside the home and you'll be able to unlock a playful new world for you and your ducklings to enjoy. We call it playability; this literal movers and shakers movement is creating environments that enable and encourage play. You can take part right at your doorstep.

Here are 11 ways to boost the playability of your entire home:

  1. Shoot Some Hoops: Laundry baskets double as hoops! Swoosh your way to smiles by challenging your kids to some basketball. Sort clothes into color coordinated baskets or assign a basket per family member. Invite your kids to arrange them about the room, creating imaginative challenges.
  2. Hopscotch Indoors: This idea is simple and super affordable! Tape some quirky hopscotch designs on the floor of a heavily traversed hallway. These small bursts of movement add up to plenty of playful exercise throughout the day!
  3. Swinging Around the House: Ready for a daring and ambitious playful home idea? Install a rope swing in the house. You can do this in an open area like a den or living space. Just be mindful of the surroundings; you wouldn't want family fun time to hit a brick wall... literally. This a wonderful idea for the living room since it makes watching TV a more kinetic, engaging experience!
  4. Active Cleaning: Washing dishes. You feel icky just thinking about it, don't you? Let's ban boring chores! Try doing the dishes on a step climber. It'll entertain onlookers and provide a quirky leg workout. How about hula hooping while dusting? Skateboarding while sweeping? Okay, those might be a tad extreme, but I hope it gets the creative juices flowing.
  5. Dive Into the Ball Pit: Isn't it every child's (and adult's) dream to leap into a ball pit right at home? It's not such a far-fetched idea! Google DIY ball pits and you'll discover a creative medley of ways to make it happen. Animal pens filled with balls can also provide an impromptu dream come true.
  6. Play With Extra Space: Do you have a room that you're not quite sure what to do with? Fill it with play! A small room can transform into a playability paradise with bean bag chairs, balls, bouncing balls, cushioned flooring, and yoga mats. This colorful space would be ideal for kids to productively release energy!
  7. Fold-Up Games: Board games, hopscotch, indoor horseshoes, puzzles, and hallway bowling are just a handful of ways your family can play on a rainy day! Play banishes the cloudy blues and gathers us together as a family. What's your favorite way to indulge on a rainy day?
  8. Build Something Special: Building objects builds brawn and brains. Announce an eco-friendly building contest! Participants can gather natural objects and recycled goods to construct the next world wonder! It's great imagination food and provides entertainment in a frugal, engaging way.
  9. Hot Lava: Fire up this high-stakes game by playing epic tunes or decreeing absolute silence. My girls like to transform the entire house into Middle Earth, using skateboards to glide across areas with no furniture.
  10. Treasure Hunt: Treasure hunts are rich with potential! You can propose themes, such as 10 objects that are green (granted they return them to their rightful places afterwards). You can also make them productive, like cleaning 10 objects in dire need of TLC!
  11. Don't Forget About the Yard: I've witnessed too many neglected yards! A patch of land, no matter how humble or grand, can be a playful wonderland. Consider playground equipment or a little garden. No matter what you do, know that kiddos are capable of imagining any place into a playful place.

We don't need outrageous sums of money or time to create playful opportunities for our little ones. What have you done to make your home more play-friendly? I'd absolutely love to hear your ideas!

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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