Momma Told Me: Exploring the #GeniusOfPlay + Blast Zone Magic Castle Bouncer #Giveaway 9/11

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Exploring the #GeniusOfPlay + Blast Zone Magic Castle Bouncer #Giveaway 9/11

Today's Genius of Play discussion was sponsored in part by GeniusofPlay.org. This Blog POP! Magic Castle Bouncer Giveaway was sponsored by Blast Zone and in not way affiliated with Genius of Play.
Momma Told Me: Don't just sit around like a bump on a log!

While Summer may be coming to an end, and most of the littles are back in school, I'd like to discuss the importance of  continuing playtime year-round. As a parent or caretaker you may struggle with the notion of playtime being a Summer or Weekend activity. The focus of school and studies seems to take priority and we, as the adults, seldom have time to schedule in the giggles and games kids crave in between homework checks and fixing dinner. Or, perhaps, you feel guilty leaving your children to play in the yard or their room on their own, as though you're somehow neglecting them. Momma was the first- always no nonsense studies and sleep on school days- but The Genius of Play is here to make an argument in favor of kids.
You may not know but taking time out of the day for free play can be integral to your child's mental, physical, and social growth, and a case can be made equally for solo play, social play, and family activities. They all hold their own unique benefits.Of course, living in sunny Southern California, we take the chance to practice any and all of these outdoors whenever we can.Our D.I.Y. Lawn Twister idea is still wildly popular with the neighborhood kids and even inspires adults to get out and get involved when this colorful game board hits the grass.
Naturally, children with siblings have constant access to group play benefits, but those who don't should be encouraged to interact and play with children both their own age, and those outside. Learning to work respectfully among your peers is just a valuable skill as learning to look up to those older and wiser than you, or learning to guide those younger and less experiences. All valuable skills for school, the workplace, and life. Make believe play and problem solving are also important skills developed during free play activities involving make believe. While your child will naturally create scenarios and stories for their playthings, sharing the creative vision, and watching it evolve, with other children and adults is a true learning experience!
Outdoor and active free play is simply good for the body all around- from the stress relieving benefits of play to the decreased risk of heart disease, that most often caries on into adulthood behaviors, physical activities are a major win. In fact, studies show that children naturally gravitate towards active play with a whopping 20% choosing to engage in physical free play through no other prompts but their own. We like to set our bounce house up every Friday and let the daycare children lose. Because ages vary from 4 to 10, there is a variety of negotiation and verbal skills constantly in use- and we've found the younger kids tend to push the older ones to be more active through unique games and imaginative scenarios!
But you don't have to have a bounce house to make play time fun. The beauty of play is that there are no rules. (Well, there are safety rules, of course.) Anything can be anything- a twig turns into a magical sword, a ball pit turns into a magic castle, and when props and dress up get involved superheros turn up to save the world in the most unlikely of ways. Studies show children as young as 3 learn to understand the real world though direct pretend play and that similar free play helps develop more creative personalities.
Whether the benefits are cognitive, physical, emotional, or social, it doesn't take an expert to see that free play is beneficial to everyone. If you feel guilty about turning a child loose with their own toys and friends then schedule family play time several nights a week to help reconnect and grow with your child. You're likely to learn a wealth of things you never knew about a child during free play time. Experiment with different types of play, pretend, creative, and physical to help develop a variety of skills and truly nurture your child while having fun. (Us adults can be pretty sneaky, eh?)
You'll discover tips to schedule and encourage free play, as well as more facts and information about the benefits of free play at The Genius of Play. And, while they're all about the benefits of playtime for children, I argue that these benefits do not stop simply because one has become an adult. Make sure to take time out to play and grow for yourself as well. Those benefits of stress reduction and heart health apply to big people too! Take the Pledge To Play and be a part of the Play-volution today. I promise, it'll be the easiest, most fun, pledge you'll ever commit to! Now, tell me, what was one of your favorite free play activities as a child? If you have a child of your own, what is they favorite free play activity?

What Daughter Says: While it may be easier to sit around like a bump on a log the benefits of engaging one's mind and body through free play are clearly overwhelming.



In the spirit of fostering free and active play, we're giving away a Blast Zone Magic Castle Bouncer! Once you've entered continue hopping along to our other amazing Blog POP! School Rules giveaways!

Hop along to all of the other amazing Blog POP! School Rules giveaways below!

61 comments:

  1. Kick the can was always a favorite! Or we walked our cat (cats hate being walked) and we would let him off the leash at the top of the alley and race him back home. Clearly he always won! haha!

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  2. The Buccaneer Inflatable Water Park looks so awesome!

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  3. My kids (4 girls, 1 boy)...well, the girls all love being in the kitchen to learn about cooking, baking. My youngest kids love the outdoors and are out there often with neighbors riding bikes, hide and go seek, etc.

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  4. The Shark Park 10-in-1 Inflatable Play Park is awesome, would be so cool to have also

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  5. Love the big ol bouncer. .. a tried and true one

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  6. I love to work worth my girl to create geocaches and to find geoches too

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  7. My granddaughter and I do scavenger hunts in the back yard. We take turns making rhyming clues and hunting the items to make it a learning experience.

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  8. I think the Spray N Splash would be a great summer activity!

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  9. My favorite is the ULTRA Croc 13-in-1 Inflatable Water Park.

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  10. My favorite is the ULTRA Croc 13-in-1 Inflatable Water Park.

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  11. My grandsons and I love to hit foam balls with the tennis racket in our driveway. The way our driveway and backyard fence are set up, our game is to see how many you can hit over our tall wooden privacy fence!

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  12. We would most love to own the Shark Park 10-in-1 Inflatable Play Park!

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  13. My family would love the Buccaneer Inflatable Water Park!

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  14. "Dress-up" was always a fave with my kids when they were small

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  15. Love the Shark Park 10-in-1 Inflatable Play Park!
    mcfallsk8er[at]aim[dot]com

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  16. My twin sister and i use to make forts with blankets and anything we could find. We would draw pictures of windows and make a club name.

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  17. I love the Shark Park 10-in-1 Inflatable Play Park the best.

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  18. My grandkids love playing in the little pool that we got them several years back. And they also love running through the sprinkler.

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  19. The spray and splash 2 water park would be so much fun. They would love it.

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  20. Old as I am, we used to play hopscoth. My grandkids love water sports.

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  21. The favorite item for bouncing is the Big Ole Bouncer Inflatable Moonwalk.

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  22. We would love to have the Spray and Splash water park 2.

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  23. I love the Misty Kingdom Commercial Inflatable Combo.
    my daughter loves them all.
    kayleefaith1228@aol.com

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  24. I'd like to get the ULTRA Croc 13-in-1 Inflatable Water Park :) My great niece and great nephew would love this :)

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  25. I loved riding my bike as a kid and my kids have followed in my footsteps. ;)

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  26. I would love to own the ULTRA Croc 13-in-1 Inflatable Water Park the most.

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  27. I like The Pirates Bay Inflatable Play Park

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  28. I love the ultra croc 13 in 1 water park! I think I would love it as much as the kids!

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  29. My daughter loves to play with her watertable

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  30. I really like the Sidekick Bounce House, Ball Pit, Slide and Hoop.

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  31. I liked playing dress up as a kid.

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  32. I love the Shark Park 10-in-1 Inflatable Play Park the best.

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  33. I loved riding my bike around the neighborhood!

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  34. I love the ULTRA Croc 13-in-1 Inflatable Water Park

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  35. Oh we love to set up miniature golf course in the backyard! We find things in the garage and toys...and make it strange but fun! Got the idea on Curious George! :)

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  36. Oh my favorite is the Shark Park 10-in-1 Inflatable Play Park because Carter LOVES sharks! :)

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  37. Marnie G (Derrick Todd)September 5, 2015 at 12:13 AM

    My favorite bouncer would be the ULTRA Croc 13-in-1 Inflatable Water Park. It is amazing! I can even imagine the hours and hours of fun to be had with this.

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  38. Marnie G (Derrick Todd)September 5, 2015 at 12:14 AM

    As a child, I used to like going outside in the snow and making snow forts and castles. We also made snow furniture to sit on. It was great for the imagination and for free play.

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  39. i want the ULTRA Croc 13-in-1 Inflatable Water Park

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  40. As a child I loved playing Red Rover and thumbs up. I still enjoy playing those games with my girls today. I love the water park.

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  41. Fostering play means getting out of the house and away from distractions. That means the adults involved ALSO stays off the tech stuff. It can mean playing with sidewalk chalk, going for a bike ride, playing at the park or even an event like going fishing, Fall "play" could be leaf collecting and identifying the different shapes of them. nature is a kids playground!

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  42. NOt sure if we'd have room for this one in our yard but I know a 5 lil' grandkids who would favor the Sidekick Bounce House, Ball Pit, Slide and Hoop! That, or any of the items would be a blast to pass around to our families with kids!

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  43. The Rock Crawler Bounce House and Ball Pit looks awesome!

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  44. Growing up on a farm, I spent most of my play time exploring, making up elaborate stories and visiting with the farm animals!

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  45. Play Palace Bounce House looks so fun!

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  46. I loved playing tag and red rover when I was little.

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  47. I want the Magic Castle Bounce House XL 10!

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  48. I loved to play freeze tag as a kid!

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  49. I loved to play Hop Scotch when I was a kid and now my kiddo's love to play it too! They didn't know what the game was, but I taught them and drew a board with sidewalk chalk and they love it!

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  50. All the bouncers are awesome, but the one I would love to own for my kids is definitely the Princess Palace Inflatable Combo With Slide! I don't know if my son would get on it, but I know my daughters would love it and probably never want to come in the house!

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  51. Heather Hayes PanjonSeptember 10, 2015 at 6:16 AM

    An Activity I Loved As A Child Was Hide N Go Seek, My Friends And I Would Play This For Hours!

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  52. Heather Hayes PanjonSeptember 10, 2015 at 6:18 AM

    I Like The Misty Kingdom Bouncer, Ball Pit & Water Park

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  53. For free play we build with legos and blocks. Also a nature walk helps.

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  54. For free play we build with legos and blocks. Also a nature walk helps.

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  55. One of my daughter's favorite free play activities is when we tear apart the living room to make it into a big fort! We grab all the blankets in the house and pillows and then watch a movie!

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  56. We would love to have the spray and splash 2 water park!

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  57. Parents can rent our bouncy castle in any festival for making kids happy. Also if kid's looks very lazy, bouncy castle will make them active.

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