giving back

Play Time: Meredith Sinclair Plays @hoo_dee_hoo

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Play Time—Meredith Sinclair is yet another fabulous mom to feature in our column about moms who are making a difference. The challenge is not finding these fabulous moms, instead, it's doing justice to their lives and contributions in 500 words or less. All I can hope to do is introduce you to them, and let you get to know them better, should you wish to, through the link love. Meredith was an Ignite speaker at Evo '11, so if you didn't get a chance to imbibe of her spirit there, now's your chance.

Her mission is to "shout out about "modern motherhood," which she does at hoo-dee-hoo.com, a vlog, and ChicagoParent.com, a blog. Her professional training and experience is in elementary education, so she blogs about kids' crafts and activities and "small plastic kid junk," about hair highlights and wine, and other stuff she loves. Because her husband is a local TV producer and likes to be behind a camera, her posts are primarily in video format. This medium allows her fun-loving, energetic vibe to come across better than it might, say, in just the written word.

At Evo's Ignite night, her passion for play was evident, as was her zeal for teaching other moms to relax and learn to play. She says it was a life-changing moment for her when she discovered this quote by Emerson: "It is a happy talent to know how to play." "Pure play," she says, "is apparently purposeless, free from awareness of time, and characterized by a state of diminished consciousness."

She goes on to share 10 ways to play better, her favorites being: "skip, skip, skip," become a nerf gun sharp-shooter, and never passing up an opportunity to play hopscotch. You can view the whole list and speech below.

In a related post on play on hoo-dee-hoo, commenter Nicole Feliciano summarized the importance of play we all try to get at: "I gather with my 6 roommates from Vanderbilt to play every year. It’s a must to stay fueled and be the full-tank-of-gas mom I strive to be." It is a very easy trap to fall into to forget or purposefully deprive oneself of playtime, and the more one does that, the harder it is to get one's self out of that trap. To rally those "play-mates' who may have been neglected, to carve the time out of a jam-packed schedule, and then to truly relax and enjoy your playtime, is a skill, a talent, "a happy talent," indeed. Perhaps that's why Meredith's point during Evo was to think of play as a catalyst, "the stick that stirs the drink," so to speak, but not the whole drink. Sometimes, it must be more a state of mind than an activity we tweet and Facebook about.

You can get to know Meredith better at hoo-dee-hoo.com and on Twitter @hoo_dee_hoo.

How do you add fun to your life? As a parent, what are simple ways to add more play time to your life?

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