Winter is well and truly here.
And in many parts of Australia, this means warm drinks and breaking out the jumpers. For kids however, it is the time when outdoor play is lessened as the days get shorter.
But with a little bit of help from the right toys, indoor play can transform from "I’m bored’ to an evening of fun and games.
Now obviously we love our outdoor play here at Roasted Fox, but indoor play is ripe with possibilities - board games, puzzles, pretend play, crafts or best of all - made up games!
The great thing about indoor games is that they do more than just keep kids occupied. They also teach children important social skills - how to welcome other kids into their homes, how to include siblings in their games, how to be courteous to guests and to be good guests themselves.
Playing inside can also be a great trigger for creativity. Toys that are designed for open-ended play encourage imaginative thinking as kids make up stories or situations using them. Just watch a group of kids in group play; you’ll see them creating characters out of the blue, plotting their adventurous exploits and conjuring heroes and villains with magic powers and more as their imaginations run wild.
But look a little closer, and you notice the smaller joyous details. The way the kids feed off each other’s imaginations, the joy of co-creation, the ability to collaborate and make something bigger, better and more magical than any one of them could have thought up on their own.
As a parent, indoor games offer you ample opportunities to spend time and bond with your child, (while reliving some parts of your childhood as well). Family and group games that have to be played as teams teach co-operation and foster team spirit.
Apart from the great times you will have, games also throw up great teaching moments, some subtle - like learning to wait your turn, to those more blatant such as the need to be on a losing side occasionally. Even though the tears of a child who has just lost a game may hurt your heart, remember that resilience and the need to bounce back is a strength that your children will need as throughout life.
Playing games is an easy and excellent way to spend unhurried, enjoyable time together. While the colder temperatures and shorter days may have confined play within the walls of the house, getting stocked up with the right toys, equipment, and attitude can set the imagination completely free.
And create great memories that last a lifetime too.