Sometimes I go to my friend's houses who have little girls, and I am in awe. The pink, the princess castles, the dress-up clothes, the crafts.... things I will likely never have in my house. As a boy mom, my days are instead spent cleaning up Legos, race car tracks, Legos, action figures, Legos, spit, Legos and Legos.
In talking with these friends about the differences between having little boys and little girls, a few things always come up: the abounding energy that little boys have, and their need to be outside.
It can be hard for moms to play with boys, unless you grew up as a tomboy or really into sports. I, on the other hand, grew up wearing dresses and pretending I was Laura Ingalls Wilder or Anne of Green Gables (who both were a little tom-boyish, but I definitely wasn't), so having two boys has definitely been a learning experience.
Regardless of a mom's experience or lack-of, little boys love when their moms get on their level and play. Here are 10 ways you can play with, and connect with, your little boy:
1) Put on superhero capes for a few hours. In everything you do, "fly" there. Have fun pretending that you have superpowers. Maybe you've seen this picture floating around online - so cute! But moms can be superheroes too!
2) Get dirty. Go out and play in the mud with him. Boys love to dig holes and fill them with water. It's really not all that complicated, just messy. Let him bring a few toys outside, like small cars, and build racetracks.
3) Make racetracks inside, too. You don't have to use cars; you can use marbles too. Pinterest gave me the idea to cut a pool noodle in half and use it as a race-track. We had fun seeing whose marble could race the fastest.
5) Have a scavenger hunt. It can be as simple as drawing or writing 10 items on a piece of paper, and sending them into your backyard with a bag.
6) Get active. It doesn't really matter what you do, as long as it's active. Boys have lots of energy to spare, and I feel like my boys need to get outside for at least a few hours a day. They love when I'm out there with them playing basketball, throwing baseballs to them, or running through the sprinklers. Sure, it's easier to watch, but they seem so much happier when I'm playing with them.
7) Find nature. Living in the city, it can be difficult to find nature. Make an effort to find nature around you - parks, gardens, etc... When my husband and I lived in a city with little greenery (in L.A.), we decided to visit every park in the city throughout the year to find the ones we liked best. Richard Louv has written a book called Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, which so aptly shares the reasons our kids need to be in nature.
8) Build. Build forts, build Legos, build castles out of cardboard boxes, build tents out of sheets, build whatever you can. Boys love building anything.
10) Read. Read with your boy - action books, Bible stories, silly books, joke books, etc... Reading with your child is such a comforting experience for them, and helps you to be actively involved in their learning. Reading also opens the door for so many great conversations.