Will You Just Play With Me?

 Pretty sobering moment with one angel-o-mine

sits on the floor and cries and says

Mom! Will you PLEASE just



That’ll get your attention.

I don’t think we should be our children’s source of entertainment all day long.

Kids needs to get creative, use their imagination and entertain themselves.

However, those little angels want our time and our attention.

I deserved the blow to the heart that day.

I’m a piddler you see. And a multi-tasker.

I naturally like to craft, write, blog, clean, organize, laundry, etc.

I start 100 projects simultaneously and cabinets and doors are flung open everywhere.

I don’t like looming “to dos.”

I like to be productive and efficient and busy.

However, I just CANNOT expect a 2-year-old and 5-year-old to roam the house freely and entertain themselves for hours.

That’s just absurd as I type it, but I actually

think they could/should on some days.

I am SHOCKED when they are fighting.

And ANNOYED when I have to intervene bc DERN IT! I’m checking email.

So ridiculous, can’t believe I’m admitting it. Maybe you relate? Anyone?


I’m not that bad everyday, but you get the point.

I deserved the blow.

I should be right there when I can teaching

how to play with kindness, share, etc.

I don’t naturally wake up and want to jump on the floor and play with my kids.

Unless, it involved me in the horizontal position.

Like.. I lay here… you are the doctors or the massage therapists.


That might just get my “stay-at-home-mom” card revoked or something.

I have to be intentional or set a time or remember the PURPOSE of my life/day.

I’m starting to get better about a rhythm or schedule.

Some of you have mastered the structured day.

That’s another post for another day.

So… little angel cried WILL YOU PLEASE JUST PLAY WITH ME?

And, I naturally organized the toys.


I’m not kidding. After I played with her, I promise 🙂

Let me be clear, the point of today’s post is:


 They so desparately want to be with us.

So many things can really wait or stop during our day for them.


I made a couple printable resources for you!

You may have noticed, I’m NOT a designer but tried to make it cute.


is a LIST OF IDEAS for playing with your kiddos

including Play Center, Make Believe and more!


Print it and put on your fridge for those… “what am I supposed to do with these people?” moments.

I’ll share some of those ideas here…


Ok, someone taught me long ago to have “play centers” or activities in a box.


I just updated these this week and made a new space for them in a closet down by the kitchen.

The girls were ‘over’ our old activities so spicing it up has been good.



This is a new box, not a new idea for us. We often play Chick-fil-A.

I used to cut up nuggets and fries out of construction paper.

It hit me the other day to make a box for this and since we dine there

um, almost daily…

I could take home some gently used items and fill our box.

Other ideas: create a drive-through outside and let them ride through on bikes,

use paper bags for orders with misc paper items as food/etc.

USE THIS PDF to cut out some fun food!


Ice Cream Shoppe


We love imagination.

I am often the customer and they are serving up something fun.

I trashed this ole Ice Cream Shoppe stand during the move,

but we used to LOVE pulling this out and re-using it

(after Larson’s 2nd Ice Cream bday party).


Look around and see what “supplies” you have from other uses that can become a toy. i.e. party decor

Beauty Parlor


There’s a theme here. We like pretending.

Daddy’s hair looks amazing after 10 minutes with this activity box.

I guess I need some more “learning” tools.

Thank heavens for preschool teachers! 🙂

Pipe Cleaners

This photo on Pinterest reminded me the brilliant product of pipe cleaners.

Two new fresh packs in their own bin. Also saw idea for making letters with pipe cleaners.

Options, endless!


I got this idea and sweet photo from a follower of Lil Light O’ Mine.

Thanks mother of Caroline, 21 Months. She is precious and that’s a great idea.


My sis has some I love on her porch for her 2-year-old boy.


She said she just gets a 40-lb bag of Crayola sand in red or blue at Wal-mart.


Also at Wal-mart, she gets tons of different beans and let him cook!

Our other boxes right now:

We have an “encourage” box to write and create cards to teachers/friends/etc.

It has glue, scissors, paper, extra envelopes, stickers, pens, etc.

We have a “music” box that makes my head pound but they love a marching band.

And breaking it down when music is playing. Lots of intruments in there.

And, “Play-Doh” box for right now.

There used to be a “paint” box that is in hiding due to new house.


I have the play centers down in a closet beneath stairs.

Upstairs, we have a giant playroom with this closet

(big selling point for me on this house).


In the closet, we keep our one “boy” activity in the basket up top.. TRAINS!

We keep our books, barbies, doll clothes and dress up clothes.

MISC games, toys and box of DANCE GEAR (tutus, leotardes, crowns, heels) up top.


Girls always love the kitchen.

And, those Costco bears are HUGE and precious.

Sweet gift from Aunt Ruth & Uncle Todd.

Just a warning… they are about 9 times larger than they appear in the store. Once in your home.

Girls love them.


Each girl has a side of the room for their artwork to be displayed from school.

They love playing “homework” and “school” with the desk.

Kelli taught me to put names of stuff on cards as Ella learns to read.

Blue tags say “lamp” and “desk” and “bed.”

ABC Scripture Cards hung of course.

Rocker that I can’t say goodbye to yet. So many memories in that chair.

Old kitchen chandelier from my childhood home –

handy-dandy-dad hung it there and I dig it.


This is an ikea shelf turned sideways. I had a cushion made for it.

I love the extra storage and the dolls said they enjoy their co-sleeping so much.

Behind them is the ledge of death. Over that are the stairs downstairs.

I have visions of flying dancers. Do they make baby gates that wide and tall?



I also finally realized, dining out and road trips CAN happen

without anyone dying …

if we prepare.

I have a bag in my closet with random coloring books, smal games,

etch-a-sketches, etc. I just grab and go.

This girl on Pinterest had the same thought –

just is WAY organized and super cute.

Love it.

Did you survive the longest post ever?

1. PRINT the ideas

2. PLAY with those angel babies today

3. SHARE SOME MORE BELOW!!! Others want to hear what’s working for you!

4.  Check out my Pinterest Play page here – and I’ll keep uploading cool things I see to that section.

Have I told you lately you’re an awesome Mom and Jesus is more than enough?

Focusing on fruits of the spirt for behavior issues and my own personal crud in my heart – Gal 5:22-23 filled with great stuff.

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  1. I feel like you haven’t heard enough thanks on this incredibly well written, detailed, creative post. So thank you! I also feel like I have a billion to-dos looming when those little voices start to call for me.

  2. Your list printable has the most varied, easy to accomplish list of things for me to “play” with my kids this summer! Stopping here with the search and just gonna do my best at implementing these! You know, sometimes I spend so much time looking for ideas that nothing ever gets done…ya know?! 😉

  3. Found your post while searching Pinterest. Thanks so much for the time, thought, and effort you put into this post. I plan to use it with my three as we reach the end of another school year. Keep shining! Keep sowing seeds to help others.

  4. Thank you so much Courtney!
    This has been an inspirational post and I will be frequenting your website.
    God Bless

    Smile it’s Contagious 🙂

  5. A great refresher course for this homeschooling mother of nine. Though I used to be great at this, I need a reboot and some fresh ideas. Thank you! Young moms give me just the boost I need to keep caring about these sweet things.

  6. Thank you for your post. I have had 2 weeks of emotional, unwell and needy little munchkins. One is 3, the other is 6 months. Your post is right on the money for me today. I have reassessed my to do list and am currently pulling cupboards apart to create a happier space for me and my girls. Thank you for reminding me its ok to have these moments and there are always other options! Wonderful post.

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