Definition of play: engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose; engage in (a game or activity) for enjoyment; amuse oneself by engaging in imaginative pretence;
Since I make toys – and I’m a mother of a little one – I begin to grow more and more curious about playing. How children these days play, how parents interact and play with them, how can we play in a fun way with them, how playing can help children’s development…
For this interview I have the pleasure to introduce you to Chloe and her family.
Please tell us a bit about you and your family.
Our family lives on the South coast of England. We have four children, two girls, 11 and 4 and two boys age 9 and 1. I think between them we have every interest covered! My husband owns a technology company and works from home and we are lucky that he can choose his hours and location.
We are very lucky to live a couple of roads down from the beach so we can head there most days. There are a couple of good playgrounds down there too and we aren’t near a particularly touristy area so its never too busy which is just how we like it.
In a free day what is your family favorite activity?
We all love being outside the most (although not so much that we go out all day in the pouring rain)! We like nothing better than a trip over to a nearby island in the summer or a walk and lunch in the New Forest in winter.
How do you play with your kids? With what kind of toys?
I think the way that I have played with the kids has been very different with all of them! My oldest daughter got the best of my one one one time and we used to sit and play with princesses and all our knitted food and we would read every single one of her books every day ( and there were about 100 at least)! When my son was born he slotted in and played with us and was very calm and loved his arts and crafts too. My second daughter is also very into making up imaginary stories with whatever figures she can get her hands on, and her and my younger son love playing and making me meals in the pretend kitchen every day. My youngest sons favourite thing is to sit with me and shout the animal noises very loudly every time we pick one out!
What is your favorite toy? And from your children?
It is so hard to pick a favourite! I always love all the wooden and educational toys and puzzles, such as Shusha posting toys and the Kukkia bingo. As for the kids, my oldest daughter most loves taking photos with her polaroid, my son it would have to be lego, my four year old loves her dolls and soft toys and my one year old his Schleich animals, dinosaurs, cars and trains.
When you were a child what did you play and with what toys? What was your favorite one?
When I was younger my favourites were Care Bears, My Little Ponies and Sylvanian Families. i still have all my old toys so the kids always play with them too!
What kind of crafts/DIY projects do you like to do with your kids?
I have to admit we don’t do as much crafts as I would like! I used to be painting, crafting, glue-ing and sticking all sorts of things when there were just two but trying to get all four involved in an activity isn’t easy! I like looking at pinterest and seeing all the amazing mummy crafters out there but unfortunately the things we make don’t look quite as good! We recently really enjoyed making our giant paper fruits from Mr Printables ( a crafting hero of mine)!
Your children prefer playing or watching tv? What they see in television influences how they play?
I think the kids would much rather be playing than watching TV. There are certain times of day though I am guilty of turning on the TV while I try and get dinner etc ready as otherwise I’m required to join in! I would say that TV doesn’t really influence their play, they would never for example, pick TV characters to be in their imaginary play and aren’t particularly drawn to the characters in the shops.
What is your kids favorite book? And yours (from their collection)?
The Wizard of Oz, the Tom Gates series, Knuffle Bunny and My Big Book of Everything are the kids. And my favourite would have to be The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. We still have my old copy and I loved reading it again with the oldest and am really looking forward to it again with the youngest!
Please ask your kids “If you could choose to be a storybook charather what would you be? Why?”
My 4 year old says Red Riding Hood ( her very best fairy tale). She says “because she has a Granny”!? She does love her Granny! I think my one year old would probably be a pig in three little pigs as he loves trying to scare the wolf away!
Do you know how does your children play at school?
The older kids go to school out in the countryside at a forest school so have fields and woods to play in and lots of traditional outdoor games, and a focus on letting a child be a child. They make camps, jumps, swing conkers etc.
Your kids prefer playing indoors or outdoors?
The kids like playing inside but are the most happiest outside. We find there are a lot less arguments when they are all out in the garden!
Does your kids like to create their own activities / games / characters?
Yes they are all amazing at coming up with characters, games and putting on a show for us! One of my best days would be when they come up with a show all together in the garden and rehearse all day.
Sounds and music are important in your child playing?
We have always had lots of instruments around from when the kids were young. My mum always had a music box that I remember and so we always had a music tub with lots of my old instruments and ones that we made together, coconuts, shakers etc. My oldest son is now more interested in making music on on the computer like my husband. He wants to be a DJ some day!
What a big fun family! – Thank’s Chloe for sharing with us a little of your happy world!
You can follow this sweet family here at Uber Kid’s blog.
I would really like to know how your kids play? What’s their favorite toy, the one they cuddle at night?
Please leave a comment below.