Monday 18 March 2013


It's just what I always wanted!
I am starting to have to think harder about ideas for my blog. Until now, I've had a quick (or sometimes more lengthy and nostalgic) look at my millions of pics of the boys when they were small, and a topic has jumped out at me. But now they generally fall under one of the random categories I've already wittered on about.
The thing is, there's one whole area I've steered away from, and that is TOYS. This is partly because I wanted to blog about ideas that didn't cost much, if anything. I'm basically a thrifty person and I'm also well aware that there are lots of parents out there bringing up kids in a much less privileged situation than I am lucky enough to be trying it.
But you can get hand-me-down toys for free or car boot/ charity shop toys for nearly nothing, so it's not just that. I think it's because I don't actually rate most toys that highly. It's funny, our house is quite littered with the things, and a few of them have been well loved, but playing with them only seems to account for a very small proportion of the boys' lives. I think it's because most toys are something, so they can't be anything else. Once they've been it, they've had it.
My blog is about encouraging curiosity and creativity, it's about learning new things, it's about being active and being outside, and I guess there are just not that many toys which can really fulfill this role in the same way that something like mud can!!

The boys aren't massively consumerist, they don't pester to have all the latest things, but when Christmas comes round they do now have pretty clear ideas about what they'd like. As a parent it's hard not to feel like you'd do anything to make them happy, even if you realise that the joyful moment when they open that perfect gift will only last until they've discovered that actually making something out of the box is more interesting than playing with the toy again. We don't go mad. We don't spend more than we can afford and we have no qualms about telling them if the object of their desire is more than we're prepared to spend. But we do sometimes buy them presents that we know in our hearts are not going to be the life-changing acquisition the child has built it up to be. I guess the look on their faces when they open it up is an irresistible gift for us.

Of course, there are toys which do encourage creativity. Zac's ability to spend hours making combine harvesters, aeroplanes, Thunderbirds etc etc out of random pieces of lego makes me love the stuff, despite its ability to invade the whole house and the agony of stepping on a brick in the dark. Danny's endearing and enduring love of some of his soft toys also makes me happy. The way he talks to them and takes them on adventures is fantastic for imaginative play. So I reserve the right to mention toys in my blogs of the future, as with my posts on wheels and balls, but for the time being I'm going to try and stick to the more free-form types of play.

Let's Lego!
Soft toy joy!

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