The Joys of Playing With Kids (and Their Toys)!

girl playing with Barbies

I love watching my kids use their imagination while they play, there is nothing like it, and they are each unique.  My girls love to play dolls because it’s their way to escape for that little bit of time and become whoever or whatever their heart desires.  

When children play, they grow.  Playtime is critical to a child’s social development and helps them with several other skills that are essential in their development and I get that.  Yes, it’s important to me, but I can think of 100 things I’d rather do than play with my daughter.


I know, I’m a bad mother, right?  No, I am not because no matter how bossy she is or how hard it is to play with her I do it.  Regardless of how un-fun it may be and how difficult it is to take orders from a 5 year old, I do it, because that is what playing with her consists of - doing what she says, being what she says, and ONLY saying what she tells me to say.  See, I don't ever get to be anything or even play with a Barbie, I'm always the driver!  Seriously, I admire my daughter Vayda so much because somehow she can play with (take orders from) Mattie for hours lol.  I love Mattie to pieces, but she does not make it easy to play with her.

Okay, so Mattie got the Barbie® Saddle ‘N Ride Horse™ AND the Barbie® POP-UP CAMPER, I admit they are cool.  I was a little excited to play with her when she got them, but all that has gone out the window.  See, I didn’t get to play.  Our day consisted of Mattie telling me what to pretend, imagine, do, and we never got to play anything.   I never got to be Barbie, the best horse rider in the world as I wanted to be because Mattie said I had to drive the camper.  JUST DRIVE the camper, not say anything!

“Okay mom, grab that Barbie camper and come on and pick me up,” Mattie tells me.

“Okay, here comes the camper.  Hi there Barbie we’re here to pick you up,” I say when I stop to pick up Barbie.

“Mom, don’t say anything.  You’re not supposed to say anything, pretend like you’re a camper driver, but don’t say anything this time,” she tells me.

Back to my start spot I go, and I say nothing, just push the camper over to where she was only to find out I arrived too early.  Back to the spot I go, about three more times and I finally got there without saying anything and on time, only to find out my work was done.  She fired me; she was going to take over driving the camper once Barbie was in. 

I was a little heartbroken, but quickly got over it when I realized Mattie had forgotten all about her Barbie® Saddle ‘N Ride Horse™!  Yepie, I can finally be Barbie, the best horse rider in the world!  I should have known it wasn't going to last long, as soon as I said something I got the look.

"Mom, you can't just do that," Mattie informs me.

"Why not, he was just sitting there all alone." I responded.

"OMG, mom he is resting from his championship," she quickly responds.

"So what in the world am I supposed to do," I ask.

“Nothing mom, just chill, I might have something for you to do in a little bit," my 5-year-old daughter, WHO ASKED ME TO PLAY WITH HER, INFORMS ME. 

See, every now and then I might get a small speaking line, but for the most part I just pick her up or pretend what she tells me, but I never get to PLAY anything.  I never get to be anything. I only do what she tells me. How fair is that, especially when she KNOWS I want to play with her new horse?  She makes things look so fun, she goes on awesome adventures, but never takes me with her unless she needs a ride.

I love my daughter and I try to play with her, but she really doesn’t make things easy. So, I play with her cool toys while she is at school and make Instagram videos to show her when she gets home.  Is that wrong? 

My daughter received the Barbie® Saddle ‘N Ride Horse™ AND the Barbie® POP-UP CAMPER (yup, she is sitting on the camper it's so darn big and awesome)!  They are awesome, and I would love to play with her, but she is far too bossy, lol.  This is why I play with them while she is away, which of course gets her a little upset because I makes sure there is an Instagram video with all the awesome tricks I taught Barbie to do on her horse, like the below video. 

I love Barbie® Saddle ‘N Ride Horse™. Barbie’s ready to ride with her horse.  All you do is push to activate, and Barbie swings onto the horse’s back and then starts walking all on her own.  The motion is surprisingly smooth and makes for a whole lot of fun pretend playtime.  I have tried explaining to Mattie that Barbie was NOT this cool when I was younger, but she has a hard time imagining Barbie even being around when I was younger lol. 

It’s cool; Barbie is wearing pink (Mattie’s & my favorite color) pants, patterned tunic with a denim jacket, and brown riding boots.  Her trusty horse has a pink Saddle and reigns and only needs four AAA batteries to take Barbie for a ride.  It’s AWESOME, and every day when Mattie gets home first thing she does is make a beeline for her new Barbie Saddle ‘N Ride horse playset.

She also got the awesome Barbie® POP-UP CAMPER, which, believe it or not, is THREE full stories and sleeps four sisters.  There is even a hammock, Barbie glam touches, and this bad boy transforms!  Yes, the pop-up features are off the hook and adds the two additional stories for extra fun playtime for kids, or for moms like me when the kids are away.  Oh, and the front cab also converts into a bathroom, and the back opens up into a kitchen.  OMG, and there is a slide and pool too, it’s seriously awesome. 

The other day the girls took their Barbie® POP-UP CAMPER outside so they could play with the waterslide and my husband told them it was time to get things put up and nearly fell out of his chair watching the girls transform everything back into a camper to take it inside.  He freaked out when he learned there was a slide and pool with water.  I don’t think he will EVER be happy with a camper again unless someone makes one like this Barbie® POP-UP CAMPER for people, lol.

Shh, don’t tell Mattie, but I’m SUPER excited for Christmas because I have tucked away the Barbie® Dreamhouse™.  She is going to FLIP OUT when she sees this three story house with real-world inspired modern details – rooms, classic house details, furniture, and there is even an additional piece-count for core house play.  Yup, that’s seven rooms – bathroom, bedroom with a walk in closet (every mom's dream lol), living room, new pet room, and even a garage playroom.  I'm telling you, I can’t wait to check out the Atrium window that changes into a swimming pool, to see the working elevator with access to all three floors, and the “Smart” electronic module with plug-in themed pieces that actually activate sounds, motion, and lights.  OMG, I am going to have so much fun when Mattie is at school, be on the lookout for Instagram videos, lol.  I mean... Mattie is going to love playing with her new Barbie Dreamhouse™ and creating fun videos using mom's phone, lol.

Regardless of how much I don’t enjoy playing with my daughter because I NEVER get to play anything, I continue to do so because I love her and value every moment I get to spend with her.  Okay, so that and I also know that when she goes to school I can play with her toys and tell her all about my awesome adventures when she gets home, lol.  Maybe, just maybe, one day we’ll be able to play together because she has all the bomb toys!

How do you play with your kids?

Jenn Worden is a lifestyle writer who shares her love for life, family, technology, food, and more on Jenn’s Blah Blah Blog.

Image courtesy of the author

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