You can imagine how excited I was, when doing a bit of internet research, I found 3 years worth of reports from the global retail giant, Ikea, all focused on our favourite topic of Play. As I read through the reports, I read and nodded and had so many ‘yes!’ moments, the language they were speaking was music to my ears. I’ve done a lot of research and reading on the topic of play, but to see a big retail giant take Play so seriously and research it the way they have, brings an increased level of focus to the often under-stated but ultra important topic.
We’ve seen first hand, at Habitots, how play can help increase not only kids confidence, but parents confidence in simply playing with their kids. When a mum said to me ‘our art class is my favourite time of the week’, I was surprised. This same mum needed convincing the first time she came in, as she said ‘she wasn’t creative’. She said, ‘I work 4 days a week, so only have Fridays free’. I was happy that she came to a trial class and then continued to come week after week. I never imagined howerver, it would become ‘her favourite thing to do each week’, but I was also not surprised. She found a quiet moment each Friday morning at 10am, to connect with her daughter, to make together, explore new themes, materials, colours and mess. I know it wasn’t only the pipe-cleaner bracelet she wore home or abstract marble painting she carefully carried, but it the time she was able to spend together, on her one precious day of the week.
Allocating time to spend with kids, playing, can be so rewarding. Now play can mean so many things and may tap into creative your side, but it definitely doesn’t have to just mean ‘making stuff’ or doing art. I’m not the most artsy person around but I love what being creative does for me and my kids. How it makes us feel or maybe ‘not feel’, as we enter a world of making cookies, painting or playing Uno together is where the magic is created. We don’t worry about normal life worries when we are immersed in the moment. We just lose ourselves in the freedom of where the activities may take us.
We believe that play is critical for a better everyday life at home. Ikea Play Report 2017
The Ikea Report 2017 goes on to say: “It makes us more creative. It connects us and helps us unwind from modern-day pressures. It fuels our development. Play makes the world bigger for children and grown-ups. A playful approach to life sparks infinite possibilities. Play is so much more than toys and games. It’s a state of mind. It is a way of finding fun and joy in everything we do, regardless of where we are or who we’re with.”
The connection we need to build with our kids is so so important in this age of technology and world of social media. We are hopeful that with our own kids, it’s with this strong connection we are working so hard to build, that they will know that they have a place to turn, when life gets complicated or pressures in teen & adult life feel overwhelming. We are always looking for ways as parents, the strengthen our bond with our kids, to support them, to connect with them authentically. Play is one, seemingly simple way, to forge some strong connections and build a lasting relationship with our kids as they grow up.
Now we know what the pressures of everyday life feel like, how busy it gets, how overwhelming life can feel at times. It’s easy to let them watch hours of TV or play games on iPads, because we are tired and they are happy in front of their screens. We don’t want to make parents feel guilty for letting their kids use the ipad or spend the day watching TV. We all do it, and rely on it every so often. We simply want to help them realise the importance of non-technology based play and help them see how easy it can be for kids to play independently and together with their parents and also understand how beneficial it is for the longterm.
We’d encourage you to read the Ikea report here and learn more about, for yourself. We have a new interview series coming up with some busy, modern parents and encourage you to sign up for our newsletter to be informed of our new blogs.
Interested in finding out more about us? Read here to learn about Habitots and our founder Suzanne and her family, who take play seriously. You can also read up about our proprietary, play-based Creative Learning Program we developed at Habitots.