Find peace amongst the chaos of parenting young kids
If you’ve ever felt unsure about what to do with your little ones, you’re not alone. I’ve been there too, and I totally get it! Playful activities for kids took a little time.
Not too long ago, I found myself in a frustrating place, trying to balance a happy home while raising three energetic boys. Paw Patrol became a frequent companion, leaving me feeling anxious about my parenting abilities and stuck in a frustrating cycle.
But, like in any great story, a turning point came when I realized I needed a reset button—an easy way to bring peace and joy back into our family life.
That’s when Days with Grey (and our famous Breakfast Invitations) were born – an idea born out of my determination to find that balance and make parenting an enjoyable adventure.
Days with Grey started with a momma (me!),
three boys, and a yearning to find more peace
while parenting young kids
Hiya! I’m Beth—a mom, a 13-year veteran teacher, and a proud owner of a Masters degree in teaching reading. And guess what? Even with my educational background, I faced the same challenges you might be experiencing right now. That’s when I discovered the magic of play-based learning.
Days with Grey is here to help you add more play and joy into your days with your little ones. Over time, we’ve assisted hundreds of thousands of parents in connecting better with their children through play-based learning, all while sneaking in some well-deserved breaks!
At Days with Grey, we understand that parenting can be a rollercoaster ride, filled with ups and downs. And that’s precisely why I want to extend a helping hand to you. We offer play-based learning resources, including courses, guides, and activity ideas that tell you exactly what to do and say! So go ahead, enjoy that cup of coffee while your kids play independently nearby – yes, hot coffee is now a reality!
Join our welcoming community, and let’s embrace the chaos of parenting together while discovering peace through playful moments. Days with Grey is here for you every step of the way. Together, we’ve got this!
In our story, you are the hero, and we’re the guide, providing you with the tools and support you need to turn parenting challenges into a joyful adventure. So let’s embark on this journey together and create a beautiful story of love, laughter, and growth with our little ones. Are you ready? Let’s go!
Play-Based Activities for Kids and Preschoolers
I am a mom of three little boys. When the boys were toddlers and preschoolers, mornings were not my favorite. I felt overwhelmed by cranky kids watching morning television. Turning on was great! Turning it off was awful.
TV seemed to zap their imagination for anything that followed.
The truth is, I just wanted to wake up being able to drink my tea HOT and have children that use their imagination and play. I had a baby in one arm, toddlers at my pant legs, and stepping on LEGOS as I tried to make breakfast.
IT WASN’T WORKING. We needed a new routine to help us connect and begin the day with more intention.
So I dug deep into my teacher’s brain and found a solution.
We all crave a balance between taking on parenthood and enjoying the days that come with that tall order. With Breakfast Invitations, we had finally transformed our days into more play for them, and more planned breaks for me.
And this transformation is achievable for you as well.
We have been busy here! I bought a set of your activity cards to try and jumpstart mornings without tv, and it has been awesome!More connecting, less tantrums and my husband has been ableto get involved in the activities as well, thanks to your super clear directions and objectives (even the language to use – so helpful!!)He said he “wishes he could buy 1000 of your cards!Thanks so much for all you do.– Erin D.
I am intentional about keeping activities low-prep
As a busy mom, I don’t have time to cut and paste activities. We all know that the more prep work we do, the less likely our child will engage. (thank goodness we can keep things simple!)
When creating kid activities, I think about the items many of us already own. If you pop in my house mid-day, you may even see me carrying a muffin tin to inspire a new play idea for kids. (tbh, my brain is basically an activity-creating machine)
Your cards are hands down one of the best investments I have made! I truly mean it, Beth. These activities definitely have been well thought of, and he loves them. Having them physically in the form you provided really helps me easily put them to use. Thank you!Anitha R.
How to invite more play into your day
Ah, play. We know it’s essential for our child, yet it can also lead to frustration when kids are bored, or there are blanket forts with painter’s tape all over your living room walls. (just me?!)
When my children were toddlers, I quickly discovered that young children don’t just run off and play for long periods. Concentration is typically one more or double the age.
If you build a glorious playroom in the basement and spend most of your time in the kitchen, chances are it will go untouched. Kids like to stay close.
What I discovered is I needed to set the stage.
And this makes sense.
I am more likely to work out when I change into workout clothes first thing in the morning. When I wash apples in the fridge, they are more likely to get eaten. It makes sense that we also need to set the stage for play.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to invite more play:
- Playing Calm Music: Amos Lee on Pandora was a game-changer for us! Find something everyone enjoys and have it humming in the background.
- Leave Out a Familiar Toy: Do you know that basket you collected with toys you will pass on, and then your kids remember it is the best toy they’ve ever seen? This suggestion works the same. – Leave a familiar toy on the kitchen table before breakfast; I guarantee it will be played with.
- Read in the Same Room: When my boys were toddlers, I needed to stay closer than I can now. A simple trick was grabbing a book and sitting on the couch reading as they played around me.
Playful activities for kids are learning
We all know that play is learning. So how do we create more space to take in the information?
Before you go down the rabbit hole with kindergarten readiness, I want you to remember one thing. NO ONE starts something new knowing it all. (including us adults!)
What your child knows and doesn’t know helps teachers set learning goals that will encourage your child to grow.
As a former teacher and now a mom of a rising kindergartner, I can confidently remind you that there is no reason to feel the pressure to bring out the workbooks in the final hour.
Instead, let’s focus on some soft skills.
The soft skills your child learns at home invite more space to retain the information at school.
Soft skills may fall into the categories of:
- Building confidence
- Calming strategies
- Conflict resolution
- Critical thinking
- Creating connection
- Decision making
- Growth mindset
- Listening skills
- Preparing for new things
- Regulating emotions
- Team building
And you know what? These are skills that we all work on for a lifetime.
So instead of feeling anxious or rushed, let’s get really good at one at a time.
I love guiding families to feel success
Guiding families for more play and parenting breaks to catch their breath during the day has become my passion. I am committed to sharing the best ideas that not only entertain your child but also help prepare them for life.
Welcome! I am so happy you are here.
Engaging Toddler Activities for Learning and Fun
You can spend a million hours looking for ways
to fill your days and ensure your child
is learning everything he needs to know.
Or you can let me take the weight off your shoulders.
Step 1: Grab the Starter Kit
Step 2: Start tomorrow morning.
Everything is set up so simply that you can literally start tomorrow morning.
Step 3: Enjoy more days with your children.
When you begin the day with play, there is more room for creativity and connection.
Start with the preschool and toddler activity called Find Your Name. Place white paper on the table and add the names of family members in different colors throughout the paper. Ask your child to find thier name and circle it. This toddler/preschool activity is excellent for hand-eye coordination, holding a steady hand, making circles, name recognition, and pencil grip. Bonus, it takes seconds to set up!
Teaching preschoolers how to be independent and providing opportunities to problem-solve will help them become better leaders. Have conversations with your child about the books they read, chat about your experiences together, and get to know people, unlike your family. Throughout the day, count objects, rhyme, sort, and classify as it comes up in daily life.
I believe a simple set of supplies is best. My top five kid activity supplies are a white paper roll, a fresh pack of markers (I keep a pack for myself), painter’s tape, counting bears, and dot stickers.
Playing independently is a skill that takes time. Children can typically hold attention twice their age. For example, a two-year-old may focus for four minutes, and a six-year-old may focus for 12 minutes. Begin with a predictable routine that lets your child know when playtime happens at home. Keep the playtime at home consistent. When children know what to expect, they are more likely to take risks and focus on a skill longer than when rushed from activity to activity. My Startup Guide for more play will walk you through age-appropriate activities where you can learn exactly what to expect and what to say.
Days with Grey has been featured on Good Morning America, Parents, and People Magazine, and online for Today’s Parent, Tiny Beans, Good Housekeeping. We have also worked with the History Channel to give back to military families. I was also selected as a parent ambassador for the American Association of Pediatrics.
I do! I have a Masters Degree in Teaching reading and over 13 years of experience in the classroom teaching Kindergarten, First and Fourth Grade, and as a reading specialist. I continued my education after leaving the classroom focusing on early learning with toddlers and preschoolers. Understanding toddlers, preschoolers, and Kidnergarteners is my passion that will be with me for a lifetime.
Throughout my dedication to Days with Grey, I developed a program called Breakfast Invitations for families to begin the day with play and connect. Breakfast Invitations are simple learning activities for children to explore hands-on learning through conversation and problem-solving.
I do! I lead workshops for caregiveers and preschool teachers to better understand the pedagogy of learning through play. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.