5 Ways to Be a More Playful Parent

Have you noticed how much fun your kids have when they're at play? But just because we're all grown up doesn't mean we have to miss out on some fun and frolic. Mighty Mommy has 6 ways to put some more "play" into your parenting regime.

Cheryl Butler
2-minute read

If you're tired of watching your kids have all the fun, it's time to move off the sidelines and join in the fun.

Here are 6 ways you can become a more playful parent:

  • Tip #1:  The next time you're at the playground or hanging out in your own backyard, hop on a swing and ask your child to push you.  Your kids will delight in watching their parent swinging high up to the stars (if safety isn't an issue!) and not only will you be spending quality time with them, they'll take notice that you want to spend play time with them, which menas you've chosen play over chores or work.

  • Tip #2:   Play games with your kids before homework and chores. They love spending time with you, especially when you join in on what they love to do. Some kids like outdoor, physical activities, while others prefer card games and board games. Some like to sit quietly and snuggle with you as you read a book together. Follow their lead.  Hide and seek is especially fun no matter how old your kids are.

  • Tip #3:  Have a sense of humor about yourself. Teenagers are drawn to parents who don’t take themselves too seriously, and this way teenagers can learn how to have a sense of humor about themselves as well.  So, if you burn the cookies you were baking for your kids, make light of it and tell them that batch didn't have enough chocolate chips anyway. So you're glad you get the chance to start over.   

  • Tip #4:  Dress up in a fun costume and surprise your kids when they come home from school.  Do it when they would least likely suspect it - say in March or on a random early fall day, and be prepared for lots of giggling.

  • Tip#5:  Create a zany menu for the family to order from at dinner.  Get your imagination cranking by coming up with some crazy menu items, like monster mash potatoes with chimpanzee coated chicken fingers, or grilled cheetah sandwiches and chocolate moose juice.  Design the menu on your computer with some funny clip-art photos and then your family can have real menus to use and a fun keepsake to keep afterwards.

  • Tip #6;  Drive the carpool while wearing your bathrobe and PJs.  Your child might have a quick moment of embarrasment when she sees you pull up to the movie theatre wearing your super-fuzzy Garfield bathrobe, but once your eyes lock  and you both burst into laughter, there's no doubt she'll be telling this story to her own children one day (if she doesn't turn and run).

Check out more tips on practical parenting at quickanddirtytips.com/mighty-mommy.

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Cheryl Butler Project Parenthood

Cheryl L. Butler was the host of the Mighty Mommy podcast for nine years from 2012 to 2021. She is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. You can reach her by email.