Thursday 1 July 2010

There's no better toy than your imagination

My niece and nephew from Vietnam are still visiting and this morning we took them to Lil-lil's favourite place – the aquarium. Lil-lil loves sharks and has been asking for ages to go back to the aquarium, so what better time to go than with her cousins.

It's funny though, you pay your dollars (and many of them) to get in and the kids barely look at the fish. They're having too much fun playing with each other. It's a nice reminder that kids don't need fancy attractions or endless stimulation. They can have the best fun with your imagination and a couple of mates.

We are lucky enough to have a lovely park across the road from us and the neighbourhood kids gather there every afternoon to play. It's so nice to know that you've always got somewhere to go, someone for the kids to play with and someone to catch up on the local gossip with. Recently, after numerous requests from locals, the park got a brand-new playground.  Everyone was so excited that the kids would have fancy new equipment to play with. A week on, I heard one of the mums say: "It was quite nice when we didn't have the playground. The kids played with each other and used their imaginations."

My girls have their fair share of toys, but more often or not they're cast aside for some sticks and a pile of dirt in the backyard. They each have their favourite stuffed friends that they cook for, make camps for, put on shows for. So you won't see me elbowing anyone out of the way at the toy sales this week. Their imagination is richer than any plastic toy that will end up in a council clean-up. Someone I know has banned their child from having toy guns, which is fair enough, but this little boy loves them and turns any stick, object or his finger into a gun at any opportunity.

I love seeing them create their own worlds and scenarios, cause it reminds me of all the fun I used to have doing the same thing. I encourage it as occasionally they let me play along too. In saying all that, I'm sure there is a little miss who will be in open-eyed wonder at the toys she receives in a couple of weeks.


  1. Hear hear!! There ain't nothin' better than a cardboard box. My kids once had a cardboard box for two weeks (much to my annoyance at trying to clean the place) which was a space ship, TV set (they cut out a square and sat inside to read the news), a roller coaster, a house, a car, a boat, a caravan, a go cart, a wardrobe, an oxygen chamber (!?!) and a time machine.

  2. OH!! And we have a trampoline outside worth hundreds but apparently it isn't as good as my bed ...

  3. My children can get lost in their imaginations as proven by their mumbling and babbling to themselves.
    I love that they can live within their own heads and entertain themselves...I was the same way as a child.

  4. Summer is such a great time to forget the toys indoors and do other things. I love watching my guy play with other kids when people visit!

  5. My kids would spent weeks with huge cardboard boxes from appliances. They would create entire towns out of them and had so much fun!!


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