Legacy Of Fun

If Your Kids Aren't Acting Out, Maybe They Should Be!


acting out

I need a bandolier that holds books.

My daughter flies through books faster than you can say your ABC’s. She loves me to read books to her.

While I love reading to my daughter, the latest literature aimed at 3 year olds is great at one thing:

Putting me to sleep.

The only thing worse than having to read “Goodnight Moon” for the 15th time in one hour is the guilt of having her wake me up with “Daddy! Read with your eyes open!”

The solution? Acting it out!

I came up with a solution last week that ended up being a load of fun for BOTH of us!

Instead of reading yet another book, I decided we would try acting out the book!

I grabbed “Runaway Bunny” and told her she’d be acting as the runaway and I’d be acting as the daddy trying to find her.

We acted out each scene, with me making up props on the fly. And then she wanted to switch roles and do it again!

Examples from Runaway Bunny

Here’s some quick examples from each scene in the book:

  • Fish: I grabbed a carrot from the fridge and tied some string to it while she acted like a fish.
  • Mountain: I piled pillows high on a chair and had her hide in them
  • Garden: I put a ton of flowery hair clips on her and had her hide
  • Bird: I stood behind a house plant and had her flap her arms and run to me
  • Sailboat: I filled up the sink and put a sailboat toy in it and we took turns acting like we were the wind blowing it around
  • Circus: The same string from earlier became a tightrope and I helped her “swing” between furniture, my arm acting as the trapeze
  • Boy: I had her go outside and ring the doorbell to let me know she was home
  • Bunny: She has some bunny ears, so had her put those on and cuddle in my lap.

It’s more fun for them when we have fun too

We’ve only done Runaway Bunny, but I plan to do more. It was great for so many reasons!

  • It was fun for me trying to find ways to act out the story and make props on the fly
  • It was fun for both of us to pretend
  • It was active
  • It made the time go by faster

I know some parents don’t think they are good at this type of play.

If that’s you, I’d love to help! Maybe you’ll need to plan ahead a bit at first.

If you need help with ideas, let me know!

In the comments if you’re willing, since our ideas might help others. Otherwise, contact me by email and I’ll help if I can.

How are your kids “acting out” these days?

Are there other situations where you’re having a hard time making it fun for you and not just the kids?

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Lindsay McPhail

Nov 07,2010 @ 03:28PM

such a good idea.. you’re so creative! I’m going to have to buy that book so I can steel you ideas… I have mommy brain 90% of the time and consequently cannot think for myself:):):)

Mike Mitrovich (author)

Nov 07,2010 @ 07:08PM

Haha, I hear you! I have to highlight my creative moments on this blog to cover up things like when I let my daughter go 6 hours without a diaper change…


Nov 09,2010 @ 08:20AM

Since your last comment about the diaper change, I realize you ARE a real dad. I was beginning to wonder, because there is no way I could play with my kids like you do very often. When would they get fed or the house get cleaned? My kids are a bit older so they do more play-acting w/o me involved. They like to go exploring in the woods or along the creek. They love all things pioneer/western. Little House on the Prairie has helped their imaginations immensely, along with Old Yeller, etc. It shows them a simpler way of life that I can’t show them. I love to see how they go out and incorporate what they’ve seen into their play. A couple of years ago we were studying pioneers and patriots in out homeschool studies and then I encouraged the kids to go outside and act out the story of Pocahontas.

Mike Mitrovich (author)

Nov 09,2010 @ 09:44AM

A whole lot of it is timing in my life right now too. A couple months ago I had the terrible/wonderful experience of being laid off and am looking for work right now.

I need to get a job, but am loving the extra time I get to spend with my daughter right now.

This is certainly not “normal” for us, but I sure wish it could be.

At the same time, my wife is working just as hard as ever, since when I’m not playing with our girl, I’m on the phone/computer looking for work (or taking a short break to type up a blog entry).


Nov 09,2010 @ 10:44AM

I’m sure sorry to hear about your job situation, but glad you are getting the time with your daughter. I hope you are able to find work soon. What kind of work do you do?

Mike Mitrovich (author)

Nov 09,2010 @ 11:46AM

For income, I’ve mostly done technical support of one kind or another. I was a “Business Intelligence Support Engineer” at Amazon.com before I was laid off.

And did training, tech writing and escalation management for the tech support staff at Atari before that.

I’m also a “request-a-rhyme” poet at pepperspollywogs.com, which I wish paid a lot more money since I LOVE doing it!


Nov 10,2010 @ 05:42AM

Atari is still around? I’m having a flashback to my childhood days.

I love hearing about jobs that I never knew existed like “request-a-rhyme poet”. How cool. I would not be good at that as it would require too much concentrated thought. My mind goes so fast and my ideas are ones that I can snatch from the racing stream of thoughts. My rhyme would end up something like this:

something something dog
something something log
yadda yadda yadda frog
yadda yadda yadda I need to do laundry
my, it’s nice out today
“don’t hit your sister”
“I’m not kidding!”
“Don’t make me start counting”
“Please don’t make me…ooops! Supper’s burning.”

See? I don’t think you ever have to worry about me taking your job! :o)


Nov 10,2010 @ 05:48AM

BTW, I’m having trouble with the comment function. I see the preview and hit the submit button. It goes to a white screen that says, “Nice try.” (very funny, btw). So I hit the back button and hit submit again. It shows as only a preview screen, so I hit the submit button again. Now it shows that it is still just a preview, but if I scroll up my comment has been left. It just started doing this yesterday, to me. I didn’t have this problem last week. Has anything changed or am I doing something wrong?

Mike Mitrovich (author)

Nov 10,2010 @ 07:25AM

Hmm… nothing has changed code-wise. I wonder if maybe my host was having some issues.

Thank you for letting me know!

I’ll take a closer look and see if I can find the culprit.


Nov 10,2010 @ 11:37AM

I’m guessing by your lack of comment on my poetry skills that you are overcome with emotion and need some time to collect your thoughts? It’s ok. I’m used to rendering people speechless. It’s a gift.

Mike Mitrovich (author)

Nov 10,2010 @ 02:09PM

HAHA, I wasn’t saying anything, because I didn’t want anyone to know I was going to start using your work as a rhyme template!

something something dog
something something log

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