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How play changes as our children grow

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How play changes as our children grow

This year, I’m working with Let’s Play to encourage families to find creative ways to stay active and play together. Let’s Play is an initiative by Dr Pepper Snapple Group that provides kids and families with the tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority by building and improving playgrounds and donating sports equipment to groups in need. All opinions are my own.

Being a Let’s Play ambassador with Dr Pepper Snapple Group this year allows me to take a closer look at play and how it relates to my family. How do we play? How can we play? How can we play more, together? How does play change as my kids get older?

It’s true, now that my kids are pre-teens, their play habits and desires have changed greatly from when they were younger and smaller. While LEGOs and Pokémon still hold my son’s attention from time to time, he’s becoming more interested in organized sports (both watching and playing). And, while my daughter still occasionally enjoys dreaming up scenarios for her dolls while playing alone in her bedroom, these days she spends more time playing music and hanging out with her friends. My heart knows that wanting to experiment with makeup, following clothing trends and talking about boys will soon grab her attention away from her childlike creative play.

This November, as I reflect on the way play is changing in our home, I want to find ways to keep it alive while cultivating new ways to play that are age-appropriate. Just because my kids are older doesn’t mean they no longer need (and even crave) the benefits of play. Play stimulates their bodies and minds and it helps us stay close to each other. As our kids grow older and our days grow increasingly hectic with more advanced homework and extracurricular sports, I want to be sure we’re still having fun together, playing as a family.

This month, on the Let’s Play site, I’m sharing five ways to match pre-teen interests with play. Check out my new post there and share with me in the comments here how play is changing for your kids as they grow and how you handle it.

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