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Tips for finding more playtime for your preschooler

Molly Cerreta Smith loves writing about all things mommy, parenting, food, health and travel. When she's not staring into the face of her Mac, she loves to hike, read, do messy crafts with her kids and compete in BBQ competitions with he...

Make time to play!

Is it possible that we've packed our preschoolers' schedules with so many activities that they don't have enough playtime? Such is the way of the world these days. But we encourage you to clear your preschooler's packed schedule and make some time for good old-fashioned play. SheKnows presents these tips for finding more playtime for your preschooler.

Mom and preschooler doing yoga

1ACT out story time

Help your children bring their storybooks to life by encouraging them to act out the timeless tales. Go all-out with costumes, funny voices, and even a "stage" -- anything to turn story time into legit playtime. However, keep this playful story time as a daytime activity. Bedtime and naptime stories should be reserved for the bedroom or a comfy couch to set the tone for relaxing, drift off to sleep time. At least we hope!

2Turn off the TV

Countless hours can be wasted in front of the television before you even know it. Instead of allowing television to be a regular part of your preschooler's daily routine, make it a treat for a special occasion or use it as an "in case of emergency" back up plan -- for example, when the dog's just grabbed a dirty diaper out of the trash, the clothes need to be taken out of the dryer and guests are coming for dinner in 25 minutes. Sitting junior in front of one commercial-free, preschool-aged cartoon gives you time to deal with the crisis.

3Set a date

Schedule a regular play date with one of your preschooler's best buds. Have several fun activities planned, but let the kids take the lead when it comes to what they want to do and when. Remember that preschool-aged children have short attention spans, and may only want to do a specific activity for a limited amount of time.

4Solo time with each parent

Sometimes moms play differently than dads. While mom may take to story time, singing and gently play, dad might zoom the cars around the carpet, or give your child a piggy back ride that will send him into a fit of giggles. So play fair and give your other half some solo-time to play with your (and his!!) preschooler. Your child will enjoy the bonding time with dad, as well as a balance of more active play. And this gives mom a much-needed break to go potty alone (ah, the luxuries of a mother!), or get dinner on the table.

5Learn a new sport

Get out there and try something new! Think your child isn't athletic? Perhaps she simply hasn't found her sport of choice yet. Think beyond softball and dance classes. Why not karate or youth yoga? There are limitless sports to try -- all guaranteed to give your child some great playtime as well as important life lessons such as team work, sportsmanship and practice makes perfect!

More activities for preschoolers

Plan a messy art day for your preschooler
Put down that cell phone! 5 ways to engage with your preschooler today
Indoor activities for when its cold outside

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