Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Why grown-ups should have a play day!

Play. We all know how important it is for children. It develops creativity, helps them to burn off energy, builds the mind, makes them happy. Play is also beneficial for adults! Of course we have jobs and bills and kids and homes and what feels like never-ending tasks that take precedence over play. But once in a while, it pays to just let go of all the to-dos and have some fun. Several studies in the academic world have shown that play strengthens the brain, makes people more creative, and creates joy. It can also help to prevent Alzheimer's disease, some say. When you play with your kids and really let go of all the surrounding pressures and tasks, something memorable is bound to happen.

We gave the baby hugs and kisses and left him with our favorite babysitter on Saturday so we could take our big girl to Stone Mountain Park for fun in the (manmade) snow. Stone Mountain transforms into Snow Mountain every year with a Snow Zone field for sliding, digging, and rolling around in the frozen precipitation that we do not often get to experience here. The SnoDeck snack shop sells hot chocolate, popcorn, pretzels, and s'mores kits to roast in a nearby area. A gooey, warm s'more pairs perfectly with frolicking in the snow! Snow Mountain also produces squeals of excitement as families zoom down the 400-foot tube runs, either together in the Avalanche Alley family tubes (36" tall or more) or individually in the red Tube Runners (42" tall or more).

I have been at home with the baby for almost every day of the past 11 1/2 months. I have been struggling to keep up with life in general and I was going a bit stir crazy. With the kids sick over the Christmas break, even that "vacation" that I had so looked forward to, was just exhausting.

On Saturday, I played! I giggled with Amelia and held her hand as we walked through Stone Mountain Park. We chatted about whatever came to mind as we stood on the moving belt that glided us up, up, and up. We watched each other's faces as we teetered on the top edge, then zoomed down the family tube run together in the big blue tube. And once we were up again, we raced each other down in the red individual tubes. Later, we tossed icy snow, tromped through the crunchy white snow field, and munched on some popcorn. The weather was chilly but sunny, which also helped me soak in some likely deficient vitamin D. It had been pretty gloomy for a while around here.

It was a day that I really needed. No diapers, no cooking, no watching the clock for naptime, no constant planning for schedules. Just quality fun time with my husband and favorite girl. Stone Mountain hosted 50 local bloggers that day, so I was also able to meet and greet many favorite blog friends. To end our exciting family-bonding experience, we all gathered together for a blogger reception with hot chocolate, frozen popcorn, and other snacks. The folks at Stone Mountain were fantastic hosts, as always. I thank the team over there for making me GET OUT AND PLAY!

Follow StoneMountainPark on Instagram!

Everyone needs to play, and I should focus on playtime more frequently than I have been. Chores can wait, but kids grow up way too quickly.

Anyone in the Atlanta area (or a short road trip away) should definitely try to play at Snow Mountain very soon. It is open through February 22nd. Check the Stone Mountain Park website for specific dates and hours as well as tickets and information.

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