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Thursday, December 22, 2016

New Year's Playvolution: 10 Ways to Jumpstart a Playful, Creative 2017

Photo by "G" jewels g is for grandma (Flickr)

As I reflect on 2016, I marvel at all the fun play times my girls and I have shared. I'm also looking forward to making a New Year's "playvolution" and enjoying even more play this next year. Here are 10 activities, resolutions, and ideas that will jump-start our playful, creative 2017. Will you join us?

Buy a YMCA Membership

Our entire family will have an easier time staying active year-round when we join the YMCA. It offers a variety of community play and fitness opportunities for all age groups and fitness levels.

Give Active Gifts

It should come as no surprise that my favorite holiday gifts promote play and activity. Bicycles, snowshoes, jump ropes, and other fitness-oriented gifts can motivate everyone on your gift list to play and explore.

Babysit Other Kids

Whenever I spend time playing with kids, I find myself relaxing and having fun. I also learn new games and love how kids have a different perspective on life. Volunteer to babysit at local community activities or offer your services to your neighbors to add more play to your life.

Take a Group Class

I love my yoga class! This year, I'm also committed to taking a Zumba class, and my older daughter wants to learn how to line-dance. What type of group class would you like to try? Check your local rec or community center for affordable classes that interest you.

Make Art

There's something about art that brings out the kid in me! We always have a stocked art supply box with crayons, clay, and other supplies, and it sparks our creativity. As you and your family finger-paint self-portraits, create collages of your favorite things, and draw unique animals, remember to have fun and not worry about coloring outside of the lines as you create.

Learn a New Game

My dad was the jacks champion in his childhood class, and he was thrilled when my girls asked him to teach them how to play. What new games could your family learn to play this year? Ask grandparents and friends for suggestions and find new games at your local toy store.

Set up a Neighborhood Sports League

What games do your neighbors enjoy playing? Start a neighborhood football, basketball, soccer, or hockey league and meet regularly to practice and play. You'll have fun, build community relationships, and stay active as a family.

Train for a 5K

Several charities in our community host 5K races to raise funds. We decided as a family to train for these races and get active as we support good causes.

Adopt a Shelter Animal

If your family is ready to adopt a pet, visit the local animal shelter and find a new furry friend. Caring for and loving a pet encourages physical activity, relieves stress, and builds responsibility.

Schedule More Play Time With Your Kids

On New Year's Eve, I sit down with a glass of sparkling cider and my planner and record birthdays and other important events. I also schedule time to play with my girls every day. Prioritizing play is important to me, and I'm more likely to make sure it happens when I see it printed on my daily schedule.

This year is going to be the biggest play year ever for my family! I'm so excited about my New Year's playvolutions. Which of these 10 ideas will you use to jump-start your playful and creative 2017?

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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