Everything is richer with a plan. Even parenting and play! And the leading expert in my eyes, due to interviewing some of the world’s leading experts in such things (including me ~ hee!) but also to this side hustle of hers called being an awesome mom, is Melitsa Avila from the Raising Playful Tots podcast!
Melitsa was kind enough to approach me to be part of her blog tour to launch this beautiful project straight from her mama heart ~ ~ The Simple Parenting and Play Planner. Check out our mini-interview and how you can enter to win your very own copy of this sweet planner intended for the whole family!
What was your inspiration for coming up with the idea for the Simple Parenting and Play Planner?
I wanted to carve out a special place where we could regularly reflect without guilt.
Moms are finding themselves busy in areas they don’t like and stuck doing the same actions hoping for a different outcome. Somehow both work and household duties have taken over their lives and while they know they are important, they start to feel the squeeze it’s having on their time with the kids- time with themselves- time with their partners.
Writing down what we want to do is powerful.
When we write it, things get done. Same thing when it comes to having the home, family atmosphere, family haven and play you want.
My kids love the game freeze tag. As a group you run around until you’re caught ( tagged). You must stand still. You can look around. During that pause you can see things clearly. Along comes your friend to untag you and off you go in…..the direction you choose. I’d like to think the Simple Parenting and Play Planner is that friend.
I love freeze tag friends! How do you recommend a mama goes about using the planner?
Melitsa: First flip through and see what sticks out to you. Where do you need to be unstuck? Where would you like to dwell more? What would you like to change?
Take that one part.
Keep the ideas small and doable.
It’s easy to slide to the opposite of what you’re doing and get discouraged. Join the Facebook group too so we’ll go through pages together and take inspiration for each other. It’s not a book to read and do cover to cover but a tool for the family. Take only what you need right now.
How often should a mama review her planner?
Melitsa: Oh this is a good question, Kathy.
New things pop up and the family needs to be nimble to make these shifts. We take time to plan our two week holiday on the plane to somewhere lovely in detail. We make sure to plan for everything from safety to fun. But our lovely growing family that’ll be with us longer than two weeks ( often longer than 18 years!) we don’t do any planning at all.
This planner is different because the aim is not to put everything on paper one time and hope you get to it throughout the year or years. There’s space to develop goals that are long and short term and develop them as your family grows. As we use it during our family gatherings it becomes a part of family life.
This planner you dip in and out of. It’s a living and useful member of the family as you refer, write and review what’s there. We all need reminders. This type of planner works because it doesn’t have time to collect dust on a shelf. We use it in our everyday life to keep us on track.
Pencil me in! Why is play so important to plan?
Play is how our children learn. It’s also easy for us to overlook the many different areas of play because of time and our situations. Nothing stays constant in family which is our big challenge as parents. We must be intentional about adjusting our schedules to include downtime, unstructured play, independent play, connection time, family time, clubs and group activities. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut or fall into bad habits and situations . We need our buddy the planner to encourage us. If play is how our children learn and have fun we need to give it the priority and space it deserves in our family.
Thank you Melitsa! And if you’d like to enter the draw to win your very own Simple Parenting and Play Planner please leave a comment over on my Facebook Page on the update for this post sharing how you plan on playing yourself this spring while your kids are out frolicking in the sunshine. I’ll be drawing from these entries on Wednesday, April 15 at midnight PST.
You can also enter to win at some other playful mama-friendly online hubs this week. Check out the sister sites also participating in this simple and playful blog tour:
Tuesday 1 April : The Mom Writes
Wednesday 2 April Rainy Day Mum
Thursday 3 April: Megan Flatt
Friday 4 April: April Pickle Bums
Saturday 5th April: Bliss Beyond Naptime
Monday 7 April A Free Spirit Life
Tuesday 8 April Simple Kids
Wednesday 9 April Mama Scouts
Thursday 10 April Plannerisms
Friday 11 April Raising Playful Tots
And remember, if you simply (ha, ha) can’t wait to start planning some simplicity and fun for the whole family go ahead you can purchase one right now over here for $15 (not an affiliate for this product by the way ~ just love all the love and support she puts out there for all us mindful but busy Mamas!).