“Let’s play Fox and Geese!” My five year old is referring to a new game that we learned from The Playful Pioneers. It’s a version of hide-and-seek and they LOVE it. We pick a home base (usually our couch) and I pretend to be a fox while they are the little geese. I count to twenty as my two girls scamper off giggling to their favorite hiding places. When I’ve finished counting, I make a big scene of sniffing for delicious geese snacks. I can practically hear their little hearts beating with anticipation. If I pass them, they run to base. More often than not, I do catch them. I envelope them in a hug while giggles and laughter ensue. Our hearts are connected.
My husband joins in these games, usually in the evening after dinner has been put away. It's a way for the girls to get their last wiggles out before bed, but more importantly a way for them to connect with their father. They play Fox and Geese and more recently “Mad Dog” as Laura and Mary played with Pa (Little House in The Big Woods). My husband gets on hands and knees, acts like a ferocious dog, and chases the girls. Usually somewhere during this time he changes into a dragon, play swords are brought out, and the girls have either defeated or tamed the dragon (depends on the day).By the time they are through hearts are pounding and there are smiles all around. Connections have been deepened and warm, sweet memories have been tucked away in their hearts.
Whole movement play has such a unique way of uniting our hearts together as a family. The laughter that echoes and the connections that are made are too important to just let slip past. Right now it’s play that speaks to my daughters' age and ability. So it’s games such as Hide-and-Seek, Mother May I, and The Floor is Lava (the kids LOVE hopping across couches and pillows!).
The play possibilities are endless. It just takes some time to brush off the dust settled on our memories of childhood play and jump in there with our kids. It’s tiring, but invigorating and the memories made are worth it.
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