Last year, the LEGO Foundation\u00a0released its \u201cPlay Well Report,\u201d\u00a0a survey of over 12,000 adults and children exploring the link between happiness and time spent playing together\u00a0as a family. The results revealed\u00a0a strong link between the number of hours a family spends playing together and an overall sense of family happiness.\u00a0For children, play is essential to healthy physical and emotional development.\u00a0It teaches them how to interact with others, how to think\u00a0critically\u00a0and problem solve effectively.\u00a0Play offers them an opportunity to establish their sense of self, expand their imaginations and foster creativity, as well as learn to cope with difficult emotions in situations\u00a0they can control.\u00a0For adults, play helps to relieve stress, stimulate creativity\u00a0and improve cooperation, among other things.\u00a0And\u00a0for families, play\u00a0is\u00a0fundamental for good communication skills, teaching empathy and compassion, and building trust. But we know this already, right?\u00a0So why\u00a0are we\u00a0not\u00a0playing more? Time spent playing for kids has been declining steadily since the 1950s, especially time spent playing outdoors.\u00a0Researchers have even created labels for this trend \u2014\u00a0Play Deficit Disorder and Nature Deficit Disorder\u00a0\u2014\u00a0and have cited dire consequences,\u00a0such as\u00a0an\u00a0increase in anxiety and depression among children.\u00a0Decline in play for kids can most certainly be linked to the increase in scheduled activities, introduction of electronics and social media, as well as intensified focus on academic performance, to name just a few.\u00a0And the current hectic pace of our everyday lives as parents only furthers the issue. But\u00a0play is important!\u00a0It is important for our children\u2019s development,\u00a0it is important for\u00a0our own mental health, and most of all,\u00a0it is important for\u00a0the well-being and happiness of our family.\u00a0So,\u00a0let\u2019s be\u00a0intentional\u00a0about finding more time to play with our children.\u00a0Here are a few ideas to help. Gamify Household Chores We have to do this stuff anyway,\u00a0so why not make a game out of it?\u00a0For example,\u00a0race to see who\u00a0can be the first one to put away all their laundry.\u00a0Or\u00a0allow each family member to pick and prepare a\u00a0meal for everyone in a cooking-show style. Schedule Family Play Time Our days are filled with numerous scheduled activities already, so why not\u00a0schedule specific time for play?\u00a0Easy ideas include Friday night\u00a0fun\u00a0night, spaghetti Sundays or\u00a0whiffle ball Wednesdays. Play Video Games\u00a0with Your Children Know any\u00a0parents\u00a0who\u00a0seem to\u00a0not\u00a0be in a constant struggle to reduce their children\u2019s screen time?\u00a0In the spirit of play, if you can\u2019t beat them, join them.\u00a0Find a\u00a0game that the\u00a0whole family can play together, or\u00a0ask your child to teach you how to play their favorite game. Switch Your Phone to Silent It is just that simple. Put down your phone and see what happens.\u00a0As our kids often remind us, something magical\u00a0takes shape\u00a0when we let fun materialize out of boredom.