As Miniminx gets older, toys made from primary colours and plastic are starting to look a tad dull, grey and redundant. Even fluffy toys are left aside. While she still sleeps with Winnie the Poo, she doesn’t need to cuddle him to get to sleep. She’s never liked to play with dolls and is now very much into her DSi and television. I don’t mind her using either of these to relax or switch off, she does a lot of stuff during the term so it is quite good to have an outlet that’s not too taxing.
There are many layers to children as they get older, they become very serious about some things, fanatical about others and this is the point where I believe that their inner lives need to be nurtured much more than in previous years.
The older child needs something more complex to engage with and while computer games and board games may offer a sense of play, I think children also need to develop a sense of self by playing alone on occasion and absorbing themselves in something Zen-like rather than pushing the boundaries into over stimulation and exhilaration.
Calm play is not necessarily dull play and it is something which can be done with parents and really helps develop a bond and shared interest – do you remember completing a puzzle when you were a kid and how satisfying yet equally challenging it could be?
Here are two gifts that Miniminx has just received and I think they’re perfect for a relaxing hour or two at home.
My first pick is beautifully put together. It’s basically the fashion sophisticate’s answer to fuzzy felt, or so it seems to me. It’s part of a series, but I particularly like these Retro Chic dress up dolls. And yes, they have great appeal (and I shall be playing this game myself). There are four backdrops for the cut out dolls to hang out on including mirror ball disco scene and a hippy VW camper at a festival set up.
The second is this kit. This is a great take on Klimdt and a really lovely way to incorporate crafting and colouring in one box. The set comes with felt tips and stickers. Using a small book inside, the child is shown how to colour in the images and add the stickers to create these lovely Art Nouveau images.
We’ll be framing ours.