No toys, no worries!
Updated: Dec 30, 2018
… you don't need "things" to have fun.. The best toys cannot be bought. The best toy will always be YOU!
Belated Merry Christmas and early Happy New year folks! 2019 is nearly here and I am definitely soaking up some rays on my holidays. Don't ask me what day it is, as everyday feels like Saturday and I'm quite okay with that.
The holiday season differs for everyone. For me it's all about family, food and fun. For those with kids, it can be tough having to cart around all the extra Christmas presents as well as the trailer full of "just in case toys." I get it. Sometimes you couldn't be bothered arguing about the fluffy penguin, blow up pony and pink cow all needing to come on your family holiday...but just keep this in mind: you don't need "things" to have fun or be content. The best toys cannot be bought. The best toy will always be YOU!
Shiny new toys will be shiny for the first 30 minutes. Then it will need to be charged or another cousin will steal it. Or, it makes that much noise that the crazy uncle will conveniently hide it. Regardless, YOU will be the common denominator. YOU will be who they rely on and ask for attention from. YOU are the most fun and interesting thing to a little person.
Here are some of my favourite games that don't need any apparatus AND supports language development:
# Word association
# Hide and Seek
# Games played on their hands and feet - "This Little Piggy" "Heads and Shoulders, Knees and Toes
# Simon says
Then there are the "of course they like playing with that" toy. Or as I also refer to them as, the "packaging toys." These toys are the ones that the kids absolutely adore. The box. Or the bubble wrap. Not to mention the crunchy tissue paper cushioning that new mug of yours. Yep, all the pretty bits and pieces you rush to throw out are usually crowd favourites! So keep them. Make a craft box and made it easily accessible. You'd be surprised how often the box will be visited and used. These also offer wonderful opportunities to build conversation and generate creativity. Again, YOU are the common denominator. Take advantage! Because one day they'll be off visiting their partner's family and you'll miss chatting to them. And I guarantee they'll miss the jovial conversation, not their toys from years before. I'm living proof. It's not the gifts, it's the jokes around the table and the banter I miss the most.
Embrace each and every opportunity within your power. Talk about your family history, your traditions as a child. Or why Aunty Mildred is known for her rum balls. You'll be constantly using new language and that is how children thrive. Their minds are like sponges, the more interesting you make it, the more engaged they will remain.
Less is more my friends!