Sometimes, you just gotta play.
So we played Pizzaria. I asked the kids to join me at my restaurant and seated them at the table. I brought them menus and drinks, and took their order. I made their pizzas to order, and served them up hot. Then I brought them their bill, and made them pay it (with play money, of course)!
Then, it was Elliot’s turn. HE got to be the server, Mary and I got to be the guests.
What I liked about this activity is that to the kids, I’m just playing with them. But secretly, they’re getting a chance to role-play, learn about some manners (we practiced saying please and thank you, asking for things nicely, listening to others). I also helped Elliot develop a “code” for writing down the orders (GP for green peppers, CH for cheese, etc). It was so neat to see them take such pride in taking orders, making food, and bringing it to us. They really got a kick out of giving us bills and paying for them as well.
But most of all, I really enjoyed a chance to forget about all of my other commitments for a few minutes to really enjoy playing with my kids. I don’t do this often enough.