Wednesday, October 26

Guest Post: Brittany from Play With Your Family!

Hello! I'm Brittany from Play With Your Family and I am so excited to be a guest on The Paisley Suit! I went to high school with the lovely ladies of this blog and love them both SO much! I am so excited to be blog swapping with them today, and hearing some of their amazing expertise, as well as giving some of mine. Here is a little intro to us and our site: Sarah and I both went to Brigham Young University and graduated in Recreational Therapy! We now have so much fun staying at home with our kids and have found, in our site, a great way to share our knowledge and promote our passion: The Family! The goal of our site is to help you strengthen your family through recreation. Each Monday we issue a Family Challenge that helps us set a goal that will aid us in strengthening our families that week. Throughout the week we post ideas, articles, books reviews, stories, or other material focusing on families. Every Friday we teach you a new game and in our "So What?" section, we share how that game can be used constructively do anything from improving communication to just bringing more laughter into your home. Come check us out! 
I wanted to share a little bit about how to utilize your home to bring your family together. I'll first tell you about some of my dreams! :) And then we'll talk about some practical things. I have a dream that I have a huge house, and I designed it, so it looks just like I want. I have a GREAT ROOM! (This is a must for me in my future house.) I think great rooms are amazing and I love how all of the central family hangouts are in the same place. I love being in the kitchen, so I love the idea of being able to cook while my hubby and kiddos are doing other things like homework, watching sports, or of course playing (although I might have to stop cooking to play).  I also like the idea of pushing everything out of the way and having a huge room to play in. Dancing around on the floor, building a fort, my husband would like me to add wrestle mania...tons of fun things to do in such a big space. Here are some great, great rooms! :)
Recently exploring lots of fun play things for my little boy's birthday, I also fell in love with this set up for my future house:
Now, of course we can't all have the house of our dreams, at least right this second, so here are some ways to utilize your home to bring your family together that are a little more practical. 
  1. Don't be afraid to move things around! The best part about furniture is it can be moved around. But I am not talking about just moving it to get a different look, I am talking about utilizing your furniture as pieces in your game. Move them out of the way to create a bigger floor, drape a blanket over one to build a fort, make a couch the "safe" zone in a game of tag. Furniture is meant to be used in so many different ways. 
  2. Be creative in what you put in each room. In the house we are living in now, our bedrooms are downstairs and the kitchen and family room are upstairs. We decided that instead of having all the toys downstairs and having to always go downstairs to play, we would keep some upstairs. This way our little guy can play right where we are and doesn't have to go down by himself. If you want your family together more, keep some toys out for them right in the middle of the action, don't keep them stuffed in a room every time they want to play. We can be sure that you'll be the one that misses out on all the fun! 
  3. Original artwork. I love going into my sister in law's house and seeing the art she has on her walls. Each piece is an original work of art and is totally free. It's made by her kids! She frames their most recent art work and posts it on the walls for all to see. I can tell how excited her kids get when we point out something that they've done that's on the wall. They feel special and they know their parents are proud of what they've done. 
  4. Post reminders of the things you value. I walked into a home once that had a huge wall full of small black framed photos. In each photo was a picture of their family doing something fun. Everyone was laughing and smiling in every single picture and I knew right away that this family valued each other and doing things together. 
  5. I think one of the most important things to remember is that sometimes you have to let your home go in order to be with your family. Wouldn't it be grand if we all had a perfectly clean house with everything in it's place all of the time? Well, that's just not life. Sometimes we have to leave the dishes to catch that last day before the rain. Your home is important but the people inside it are what really matters. Home is where your family is. So if they are at the park while you're reading this post....What are you waiting for? Go play!

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