5 Reasons Why Play Strengthens Family & a Give Away!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Quaker Oats for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Play Strengthens Family, Strengthen family, mymommystyle, quakerI have a strange, wonderful family. The kind that I can call upon to play Harry Potter characters for a birthday party, invite to a Dog’s first birthday party, or play hours of “Would you Rather” with. We host Christmas parties that others are adopted into, we love to be silly, and we adore the opportunity to teach a newbie how to water ski or wake board. I have reflected on this love that we have for each other and pondered on WHY we are such a strong family. We work together. YES. But we also PLAY together. I fondly think of years that I spent every Summer on the boat with my family or times that we ran through the trees playing games or hide and go seek.

My husband’s family also grew up playing together, but in a much more traditional, sporty way. Growing up in a family with 7 children, 5 of them being boys, they would rush through dinner time in able to get out to play ball together. To this day it is still a very strong part of who they are as a family and what we do when we get together.

According to the Harvard Planning Family Research Project, “Children from strong families have the best opportunities for success. Families play a key role in seamlessly connecting communities and have the greatest influence on young people’s development.” Children will benefit so greatly physically and mentally if you give them the opportunity to play with you and together as an entire family unit. I was so excited to host this family play date with Quaker as I am so passionate about this topic and believe strongly in the benefits of family time.

1. Time to laugh.

So often as parents we can get wrapped up in the “to-do’s”. There is laundry to be done, practices to attend, homework to complete, and tests to prepare for. If we give ourselves the chance to let go and have some fun with our kids it will be much easier to engage them in the working part if they feel like they can re-charge with you in the playing part. Relieving stress as a family through play is one of the best ways to come together as a family unit.

“I believe that if people can get more laughter in their lives, they are a lot better off,” says Steve Wilson, MA, CSP, a psychologist and laugh therapist. “They might be healthier too.”

Yet researchers aren’t sure if it’s actually the act of laughing that makes people feel better. A good sense of humor, a positive attitude, and the support of friends and family might play a role, too. WebMD

2. Break Down Walls.

There is something about the medium of play that breaks down social barriers among people; whether you decide to play a boardgame, basketball, or charades, these types of activities seem to loosen people up. You may find your teenage son a lot more likely to want to talk about friends and school during a fooseball match rather than just sitting face to face. It works.

3. Create Traditions.

Children crave familiarity and routine. If you think back to some of your favorite childhood memories they probably revolve around a favorite dish, music, time of year, or a time that your family PLAYS together.

4. Stimulate Creativity

Children learn best when they are playing and a part of the process of learning. The same goes for us as adults and will give you the opportunity to learn and engage in a relaxed, fun environment. Problem solving skills are developing for children during times of play and this is a great opportunity as a parent to talk about different ways of looking at things and coming to a solution. If your child develops confidence during play time that will also translate well to decision making and thinking outside of the box in different areas of life as well.

5. Cooperation and Team Work

There are so many social skills that can be gained through play including how to “play nicely” with others—to work together, follow mutually agreed upon rules, and socialize in groups. If there is one thing that I have hoped for my family it would be that we are each other’s number one team mates cheering each other on.  Just this weekend we were playing a board game as a family and my son really struggled with set backs and not being in the lead. The lessons we were teaching him that day had a lot to do with being a gracious winner as well as a gracious loser and being genuinely happy for your teammate who wins. I am sure this lesson will take a while! 🙂

I try really hard to get together with my siblings and their children at least once a month. Quaker was so generous in hosting this play date for us and we had such a great time! I sent out invitations for the time and place, we had our get together at a local park ready to play some games and eat some snacks!family play time, my mommy style, family, play, quakerThis is three of the five of us, my older sister Janae and my older brother Dan are missing, they live a little bit farther away so they couldn’t make it! I wanted to make sure to get a picture of the three of us with our families so you could see which little one belongs to which family. We were lucky enough to have our children all really close in age to each other. Dave’s family:Gourley family, family play time, my mommy style, family, play, quakerScott’s family (with my Mom in the picture as well)Family play, Family play, quaker, play date, strengthen FamilyAnd my family:Family play, quaker, play date, strengthen Family, Walker FamilyThe kids had a ball learning how to play Bocce. I had never played before so Amy taught them how.play time, family play time, my mommy style, family, play, quakerBocce, family play time, my mommy style, family, play, quakerThe kids loved kicking around the ball and playing with sidewalk chalk.play, run, family play time, my mommy style, family, play, quakerchalk, family play time, my mommy style, family, play, quakerBefore too long the rain kicked back up again. Thankfully we had a covered pavilion and decided this would be the perfect time to pull out our Quaker® Chewy® Granola Bars, that have 8 grams of whole grains in every bar and because they come in so many yummy flavors everyone was happy! I love Quaker granola bars as they are easy to pack and don’t make a big mess. They are also a healthy snack and that always makes a Mom happy. My nephew has a peanut allergy and even he found a few that he loved and could eat with no nuts in them!Granola bars, snacks, family play time, my mommy style, family, play, quakergranola bar, healthy snacksbubbles, family play time, my mommy style, family, play, quakerThe bubble maker stole the show and was definitely a favorite! The kids were dancing to the sound of the rain and thunder as they played in the bubbles, it was quite magical!IMG_4424I am so excited to tell you that one of you lucky readers will win this entire play date family kit from Quaker! It was such a fun kit for us to play with as a family and I know you and your family will love it! Simply enter the rafflecopter below. Be patient as it loads, it can take a few minutes to do so.Nerf, family play time, my mommy style, family, play, quakera Rafflecopter giveaway

You also have the chance to win the grand prize  the Quaker Keep Playing! With Chewypromotion by visiting  www.ChewyKeepPlaying.com and enter for a chance to win $25,000 to make over your family’s favorite play space. To enter, submit a photo of your family’s favorite play space and share how you would like to see that space made over and why! 

See www.ChewyKeepPlaying.com for official rules. #KeepPlaying

Quaker is providing the prizes for this program at no cost to me. This program is not administered or sponsored by Quaker or its affiliates, but solely by My Mommy Style.

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  • May 27, 2015 - 8:40 am

    Taralyn - We have dinner with my family once a week and my husband’s family once a month. Love having the time for my kids to play with their cousins!ReplyCancel

    • May 27, 2015 - 8:53 am

      Camille Walker - What a fun tradition! Your children will always be best friends with their cousins I am sure!ReplyCancel

  • May 28, 2015 - 3:17 am

    Laura - We go on lots of hikes together! Love spending time with each other outdoorsReplyCancel

  • May 28, 2015 - 7:25 am

    David - We have a great trail system in my area, so we go on family bike rides. I know it is just a matter of a few years before the kids will be too embarrassed to be seen out riding bikes with us, so we have to take advantage now.ReplyCancel

  • May 29, 2015 - 7:08 pm

    Lauren - We like to play basketball together.ReplyCancel

  • May 29, 2015 - 10:14 pm

    Rachael Canfield - This may sound a little dumb but our favorite way to play is going on walks. My husband and I have different schedules and our baby is 7 months old so when we can go on walks and show her what’s going on outside and to talk to each other it’s the best.ReplyCancel

  • May 29, 2015 - 11:39 pm

    Kristin Goodson - We love to play outside in the sprinklers! My son has a little ride on tractor that he loves to ride around on. He follows the dogs around and plays in the dirt. We also love to garden and play basketballReplyCancel

  • May 30, 2015 - 8:51 pm

    Raina DelRio - I love to blow bubbles and draw with sidewalk chalk with my daughter. We recently got an above ground swimming pool, and I also like to play games with her in there.ReplyCancel

  • June 1, 2015 - 3:40 am

    Makayle - We love to play board games, tennis, and go for bike rides. We don’t have any immediate family close by so it is usually just the five of us. But a few times a year we have dinner with extended family on my side. I love getting together with my cousins and that my children know some of their second cousins just as well as their first!ReplyCancel

  • June 2, 2015 - 9:48 am

    Melissa M - We like to play hide n seek.ReplyCancel

  • June 2, 2015 - 10:30 am

    sara haaf - I love swimming and playing in the water with my family.ReplyCancel

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