Playtime is just for your kids, right? The only reason we engage in it is to entertain our children and keep them occupied? Wrong.

According to Sharon Draper, Psychologist and Director of The Conscious Project, play is usually seen as something you grow out of and when you feel forced to play with your kids, it’s usually met with resistance because we don’t realise how important play really is.

Interestingly, new research by Nutella has found that a third of us (31%) have been spending more time with our family in the morning over the past few months.

With this extra time, we’re having to entertain our kids more and subsequently play with them. Sometimes it can be hard if we’re working from home or running late, but Sharon says that 20 minutes of playtime can not only benefit your kids, but yourself too.

“It has the ability to improve your mood and set you up for a more positive day,” explains Sharon.

Just 20 minutes playing with your kids can have a positive effect on your day.

With this in mind, Nutella has just released colourful jars to reflect morning attitudes, one of which is a green ‘Family Hugs’ jar to promote moments spent together as a family.

“Play provides a spontaneous, non-judgemental way of creating new and unexpected ways of being, which is the hub of creativity and innovation,” says Sharon.

“For a child, play functions as a neural exercise which regulates the nervous system and how it experiences stress.”

Sharon says “play helps children to learn how to inhibit actual fight/ flight behaviours, so they don’t get stuck in an anxious state, promoting resilience and enhancing the child’s ability to regulate their emotions into a state of calm.”

Nutella has released limited-edition jars to spread colour, positivity and ‘Good Morning Vibes’. The jars come in five colours to cater for every personality.

 

For adults, Sharon explains that when mum or dad play with their kids in the morning it helps boost their mental wellbeing in several ways:

  • Play releases feel good hormones such as oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, which helps reduce stress, increase happiness and improve your mood.
  • It helps adults practice mindfulness by staying in the moment.
  • Starting the day with laughter and feeling calmer helps manage stressors when they crop up.
  • It can boost your creativity as it gets your mind working.
  • Increases the bond between yourself and your child by enhancing trust, reciprocity and building a more secure attachment for your child.

Nutella’s findings also unveiled that Aussies are feeling calmer (42%) and are more positive in the mornings (31%) as the majority of respondents said they had more time to themselves (48%) or were less rushed (43%).

This is refreshing to hear as it’s obviously been a challenging time for all. Starting your morning on the right foot and adding playtime to your routine can go a long way in keeping you motivated for the day.