Over the last week the boys and I have been taking part in a challenge. The challenge itself sounded quite easy – The boys couldn’t play with any toys that were electric or battery powered.
I said I would join in with the challenge during the day and try not to use my mobile phone or the computer. As first I thought this would be simple but it proved harder than I thought as sometimes I had to nip on the computer or make a call so I couldn’t carry out the challenge 100 percent.
Compared to when I was younger the boys have lots and lots more toys than I ever had, and it wasn’t until I actually sat down and thought about what toys they wouldn’t be able to play with all week that I realised just how many of their favorite toys were electrical or battery operated. The first toys that I remember being fond of were my little ponies, my favourite pony was a lovely light pink colour and she was my pride and joy. I also have happy memories of a Sega Mega Drive and a Nintendo SNES (showing my age here a little bit) that my brother, sister and I were bought to share one Christmas when we were younger. But looking back these were the only electrical toys we had. Nowadays you see children owning mobile phones, mp3 players, tablets, consoles and other electrical or battery operated toys and to be honest I find it quiet scary. Both Matthew and I are technology fans and do try to keep up with the latest gadgets but we are so glad that the boys are still little enough to enjoy playing with their toys and not want all the big electronics (although I’m sure this won’t last too much longer now that they’re starting to get that bit older every year) they do enjoy playing with the Wii and Xbox 360 but I have tried to keep their time to a minimum on them, the boys can only play on them on a weekend or school holidays.
We decided that our challenge would last a week starting Monday 24th July and ended yesterday (monday 30th July) Luckily for us Summer finally decided to show its face and more than half of the week we have had lovely weather, this made most of the challenge really easy as most of the week the boys have enjoyed playing in the garden and going for walks with our Boxer dogs.
Friday kept us busy baking some buns for our neighbour as it was his birthday on Saturday and we were invited to his birthday party, we decided to have Saturday off the challenge as at the party there was a bouncy castle and I didn’t want to try and tell the boys they couldn’t go on it like everyone else, plus it allowed me to have my phone on me so that I could keep up to date with my Olympics app and keep an eye on how well Team GB were doing on the first day! Sunday we were back on with the challenge and we spent a day painting and doing play doh! James loved this and enjoyed making a mess or should I say painting with his brothers.
Each night after tea when the boys would usually have half an hour playtime before baths we found ourselves reading together or doing some jigsaw puzzles or playing board games. Although we do enjoy doing these kind of activities they aren’t something we do on a regular basis.
Looking back over the week I think we’ve been lucky to have the nice weather on our side because without I think the boys would have struggled to keep away from their favourite toys. Had we been doing the same challenge this week I think we would have been crawling the walls. One a good note it has meant we’ve been able to spend some quality time together doing things we wouldn’t normally do and it has made us decide that we will definitely spend at least one afternoon a week where we do something together as a family, it is so easy to get caught up with things in general and just sitting watching a film or playing on a computer game. From a personal point of view it has made me see that I wasn’t playing with my boys enough and that is one thing I intend to change.