Thursday, 22 May 2014

Play


Binoculars, magnifying glasses, glasses of water, empty jamjars with lids, a stash of coins... these things have been keeping my almost-6-year old entertained in the last few days. Oh, and the sofa cushions and a tripod.  I don't know what's going on in his head as he plays with them, and I don't want to know. Right now he's whispering and messing at the windowsill with an improvised hammer made from a bodhran beater. I know the second I ask him "Honey, whatcha doin'?" he'll get all self conscious and realise he's being watched. He'll probably then say he's bored, and ask to play Minecraft. But for now, he's in Flow. That magical state where his imagination takes over, he is absorbed in his own world, and his logical brain is switched off. He just waved a plastic scythe around and I think I caught the word "superhero" in his last whisperings. He's now using a pirate sword to kill imaginary baddies, and jumping on and off the furniture in his shoes. I'm saying nothing. I want this to go on as long as possible.
His baby brother is sleeping on my lap, a rare nap for this almost 3 year old. He had us awake at 6am for some reason, actually he woke and apologised to his bro-bro for being mean yesterday "I not mean to you, I happy to you now" which woke his bro-bro who said "I'm happy to you too" and fell back asleep. Mama got up and brought both boys out to buy warm croissants from our local shop, which we ate while speaking French/gobble-de-gook, and then mama got back to bed for 4 hours while dada did the morning shift. We had lunch and now dada is sleeping the afternoon away (he's in work tonight) and I'm working online while my babas play and sleep on me.

I just had to recall the spell "wingardium leviosa" for my big boy, and now he's back in dreamland, playing away with a stick as a magic wand. Please tell me you get the Harry Potter reference.
I'm just going to list the toys I can think of that get NO playtime whatsoever these days, which I would dearly love to siphon out to a charity shop, but I'd be in the doghouse if discovered:
  • a huge box full of plastic animals
  • a drawer full of plastic characters
  • all the Fireman Sam stuff from THAT phase
  • electronic toys with buttons and lights, for the under-3s
  • jigsaws of every size and subject
  • soft toys of every description
The classics that have remained popular for years are the:
  • wooden train track and blocks
  • guns / swords
  • cars
  • marbles
  • balls
image c/o mightyape.co.nz

The current fads here are:
  • Skylanders (for the characters, less so the actual video game itself)
  • Trash pack (only bought yesterday, may be short-lived)
  • Guns and secret clubs with their friends
  • Music, the drum pad is a big hit, and has revived interest in the guitars
We are surrounded by so many toys, so much clutter, it is probably hard for the kids to focus on one for very long. As soon as they get down to retrieve a dropped toy from under the sofa, they come face to face with ten more, and get distracted.

I'd love to start again, minimalist, and only keep the things they really love and use. Though how do you know what's going to entertain them until you try? Ah well, I'll keep bagging up the unused stuff in secret and hope it's not missed.

What do your kids enjoy playing with? What was a waste of money and space, I'd love to know!
Nee x

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