How to Romanticize Ordinary Play to Create Extraordinary Memories

How to Romanticize Ordinary Play to Create Extraordinary Memories

All of the older women at the grocery store tell you. So do the videos you scroll through on Instagram and TikTok.

They say your kids aren’t little for long, so embrace today. Enjoy them while you can.

While many parents may roll their eyes while sweeping a 5-pound bag of flour off of the floor, or cleaning half a jar of peanut butter out of someone’s hair, or asking someone to put their shoes on for 10th time, they know it’s true. The days are slow, but the years are fast.

There is a space where being overwhelmed and tired, but grateful and joyful, coexist. At Smol, we believe you create even more joy in parenthood by being intentional about adding magic to play time.

It doesn’t take a lot. Sometimes it’s just knowing when to seize the right opportunity. Sometimes it’s taking something mundane and giving it an unexpected twist.

Here are 10 ways to slow your day down and soak up the beautiful present:

1. Eat Breakfast in Bed

This isn’t your traditional Mother’s Day morning scenario. On sheet washing day, sneak down to the kitchen with your littles and make breakfast together. The sky's the limit! If you’re in the mood, go big with waffles or omelets. If you’re too sleepy for cooking, bowls of cereal and pieces of toast will do. Put your creations on a tray with everything you need to have a cozy breakfast in bed. Treat yourself! And there’s no need to fret about crumbs in your bed. It’s wash day, remember? Sometimes, it’s fun to break rules.

2. Listen to Nature’s Noises

Engaging your senses turns minutes into hours. Time stands still when you’re focusing on the world around you. Take your kids to a beautiful place full of plant life and wildlife. A nearby park works great, too. Keep quiet and work together to create a list of all the noises you heard. A bird, running water, wind, or an animal scurrying. Your kids will be amazed by the variety of sounds happening all around them.

3. Pamper Yourself with a Homemade Spa

Cucumber slices, oatmeal masks, robes, and bubble baths for your feet. There’s a whole new level of fun that happens when you try to remake experiences at home. Please promise you’ll take a photo of you and your kids with goopy oatmeal sliding down your cheeks and cucumber slices on your eyes. You’ll be glad one day that you captured the smol moments. There’s a good chance no one will keep a straight face!

4. Have an Impromptu Laundry Treasure Hunt

You know that laundry pile that’s been waiting to be sorted for weeks? Use it to your advantage. If it’s not too dirty, hide a handful of small toys in it. As your kids are picking through the clothes to find the toys, have them sort the items they touch. They have fun and you get more done! Look for the opportunities every day to turn annoyances into enjoyment!

5. Put on a Puppet Shadow Play

Huddle into a windowless closet or bathroom and discover the shapes you never knew your hands could create. Prop a flashlight on a chair and aim it at a blank white wall. Then, watch silly stories come to life as your puppet shadows interact and make your closet their home. These small moments are what kids remember forever. 

6. Pretend You’re Somewhere Far, Far Away

No need to wait to check off your bucket list when you can travel using your imagination. Use the Scalloped Tumble to go on the trip of a lifetime to a castle, giant circus, or tea with the queen. This pink dream house is the perfect destination for a fantasy adventure.

7. Turn Your Living Room Into a Giant Fort

Pile together every blanket and pillow in your house. Then, get to work! Let your kids lead the way with their budding architectural skills as they drape blankets over chairs, couches and armchairs. There’s something about retreating to a fort that feels like escaping to a secret hideaway. 

8. Plan a Nature Scavenger Hunt

Fresh air is essential to your kids’ mental, emotional, and physical health. The more excuses you can find to get out, the better–even in chilly weather. Make a list of things in nature you want to find and tease a prize at the end for anyone who can complete it. Get creative! Look for something tall, something silly, something moving, and more. Don’t stick to the cliche nature list. You could also add “trash” to your list and talk about the importance of safely picking it up and throwing it away.

9. Tell Stargazing Stories

Forget about astrology. Stare up at the sky on a starry night and create your own names for the constellations. Feel free to name Orion “Kevin” and tell a story about how his dog ran around him in circles until his leash was completely tied around his waist to look like a belt. The sillier, the better! Those little giggles are some of the most important sounds to enjoy and remember.

10. Have a “Camp-in” 

Give normal activities a new dimension by moving what you do outside inside, and what you do inside outside. This doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s a lot of fun. Take our bounce houses, for example! How fun is it that you get to enjoy an outdoor, high-energy activity in your living room? 

We also love the idea of recreating your summer camping trips indoors. Pitch your Smol Space “tent,” make s’mores in the microwave, and turn on the fireplace. Then, bring blankets and pillows in your tent and take turns telling spooky (or not-so-spooky) stories. 


Romanticizing everyday moments with kids is all about adding a sprinkle of magic to the ordinary. It happens when you’re spontaneous and a little whacky. When it’s play time, you and your kids write the rules. 

The key to get the most out of these moments is to fully engage. Put your phone in a different room. The rest of the world can wait! Your efforts will strengthen your relationship with your kids and shape the way they remember you.