How much time do you set aside each day for playtime with your kids?

August 6, 2019

How much time do you set aside each day for playtime with your kids?

Have you seen Hasbro’s #SaveTimeforPlaytime
? It shows some South African kids chatting about what they’ll do to try to convince their parents to spend more time playing with them. Do me (and maybe you) a favour – watch it until the end.

According to the most recent World Health Organisation (WHO)
guidelines, active play is prescribed for kids under five to increase their mental and physical wellbeing as they get older. The United Nations High Commission for Human Rights recognises play as an essential right of every child and playtime is being prescribed by doctors stressed, depressed children and their highly strung and always-connected parents. When kids and adults play together, they’re bonding and often communicating, and it’s mindful and “present”.

The video got me thinking about how I seldom play with my children for 30 minutes each day without something distracting me – work, organising things, cooking and whatever’s on my phone. And it’s not good enough.

But instead of saying it’s not good enough, I’ll be reworking my thinking and my routines to incorporate more quality time, and it will probably start with me putting my phone in another room and letting go, something I often forget to do. My kids love piggy rides, chase, hide and seek and catching and throwing balls. My little one loves playing with dough and building towers and putting puzzles together. My son has started playing chess more seriously, and loves boardgames. And we like going to the park.

Alongside the video, Hasbro is encouraging South Africans to make more time to play, and have launched #SaveTimeforPlaytime pledge, with a pinkie promise, which asks kids and parents to suggest ways to make playtime a priority – and then commit to making this happen.

If you’d like to make your pledge and share ideas on how you can #SaveTimeForPlaytime or get some tips from parents visit Monopoly South Africa on Facebook and click on the Save Time for Playtime Pledge Page.

Here are some tips that Hasbro has shared to incorporate more play in the day:

  1. Make the morning rush fun:
    The usual chaotic panic of getting ready for school can put everyone in a spin. Make the morning rush fun and ‘gamify’ getting ready with points for helping with breakfast, getting dressed the fastest, etc. The kids can redeem the points for playtime later in the day once homework is done.

  • Skip the shops:
    Grocery shopping takes time so why not skip the store and buy online once your little one’s in bed. You’ll not only save on time but fewer in-store impulse purchases will also be kinder on your pocket.

  • Ditch the extra episode:
    Watching one less episode of your favourite series means an extra 30 to 60 minutes to play! Have a family board games night, competing over the classics, like Monopoly or Jenga or get extra active with Twister.

  • Cook up a storm:
    Turn Sunday nights into family meal prep time. Encourage everyone to lend a hand to prep meals and lunchboxes for the week ahead. A big pot of stew or soup can be stretched across several meals, make two lasagnes at the same time and freeze one – this will go a long way in saving you time during the week.

  • Picnic time
    Turn one meal a week into a picnic night. Set out a picnic blanket in the living room and serve dinner picnic style. It’s a great opportunity to break the monotony and combine mealtime and playtime as the setting allows you to play a few games during dinner as entertainment. 

Visit the Hasbro YouTube page to view the #SaveTimeforPlaytime video and Monopoly South Africa /Save Time for Playtime pledge page on Facebook ( to make your pledge.

Disclaimer: The Play-Doh featured in this blog post was bought by me.

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