So I opened my mail box and there was this beautiful carnival invitation to attend a toy launch… First I thought they must be some kind of mistake I am still a beginner blogger they wouldn’t invite me, but they did and I was so excited…!! You know that feeling when you wish you were famous and someone would stop you and ask for your autograph, yah that feeling, yah I don’t know what that feels like so don’t know why I used it but I have a dream of what I think it feels like and I that’s how I felt 😂😂😂……Except no-one was asking for any autographs it was just an invitation to see what toys are exciting for this Christmas…. But then the excitement wore off and I was thinking why would I attend a toy launch as just this week I have evicted all my kids toys to the garage to reorganise the art room as they don’t care about their stuff, they leave things on the floor, spill stuff without cleaning up, marker pens open, glitter wasted its shameful…. So I thought the last thing I really want to do is introduce more toys into these kids lives.. But it was such a wonderful opportunity to just be invited, I thought let me go but to be on the safe side i’ll leave the credit card at home incase they selling toys, cause everyone knows I have a small shopping problem ha ha ha..
At this launch I felt like Tom Hanks in the movie Big, they had games for us to play, popcorn, new toys to test, carnival food, entertainment… It was so much fun to just be a kid again and play… Well I play every week at home with the girls but I mean now I got to play the games at the fair, not spend the money to let the kids play the games at the fair hee hee hee…The Mc and Comedian for the event AKA The Napster set the tone for the event with his speech all about Curiosity..As I listened to his speech I thought this is why I am here today I needed to be reminded of this, his message was all about creating an environment that fosters curiosity in kids…So even though you see pictures of what we paint or do and you may think ahh they do so much but the truth is I know I need to work on more fantasy play with the girls… Playing house house, or dr dr, let me just correct you before you think I made a spelling mistake no in my days everything was said twice don’t ask me why, I really don’t know but thats just how you played… So the conversation would go something like this….
Marcia: ” Guys lets play house house” (translated into normal language is lets play dolly housey, still not proper English..???? ok lets play with our dolls and pretend…)
Jacqui: “Nah I think lets play office office”
Desiree: “Ahh guys lets play shop shop” which in our days was pretending to buy groceries and not Gucci bags ha ha ha ha
Really it moved me to think I need to make time to foster that curiosity to feed it, to nurture it cause at the moment if Maya tells me her foot is sore I am so caught up in life I just give her 5ml of nurofen to fix it instead of maybe taking out the bandages and playing dr dr…Then the managing director of Prima toys John Jordaan spoke next and his message hit me even harder, he talked about the point of toys is so that you get down onto the carpet and go to your Childs level and interact with them and so it doesn’t matter what toy you give your child that matters it about creating moments together with that toy…Guys at this exact moment I thought there would be a camera man jump out and Oprah would walk in and be like “Marcia you make it seem like you have it all together looking at your instagram feed but is that really the case..?” then I would break down and be like “No Oprah the truth is we don’t do fantasy play and the reason I buy my kids their toys is not so I can play with them but rather so I can keep them busy for just 30 min so I can have a warm cup of tea and a little bit of social media catch up..” Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha…So Mr Jordaan you really hit a cord with my heart strings and its true thats what toys are meant to do..I remember my dad with beer in hand and all still joining in on our games and singing “who killed cock robin” in our local language chinyanja…. Or my mom screaming yatzee and dancing, or me shouting at my cousin stephanie over cards that she is a cheater and then her shouting back that she isn’t a cheater she is a leopard ha ha ha ha….
Looking back at my childhood we actually had a lot of imagination and creativity, we were forever outside…We weren’t allowed into the house till 5pm cause thats when cartoons started and it was an hour of cartoons then bath, dinner and bed… Yes we had toys but if we didn’t have a ball and needed to play chicken in the den we made one with plastic bags and a thick rubber band, we made a plan… There was no whining to my mom over how unfair it is I can’t have a ball, it was simple go make a plan..! We played for hours with stones playing I think in English it would be called jacks where you throw the stone in the air and try to catch the ones on the ground we call it chiato… We used a simple elastic to play French skipping and that would keep us entertained for hours, hide and seek with a milk bottle filled with sand and the whole point was to kick the bucket of sand before they found you, stuck in the mud, I could go on and on and on… I used to cut material to try make my own dolls dresses, and the one time my mom convinced me that a mango pip could be transformed into a doll, I dried that seed out and combed its hair ha ha ha ha ha….Actually I wish my mom lived closer to foster more of this creativity in my kids, I on the other hand if they crying for a toy explain to them that we have not enough money at the moment but when we do we will see if we can and usually we leave it at that and the kids understand.. What I should be doing is ohh you really want that toy lets see what we have maybe we can make something even better…..My kids complain they bored and they want to see their friends and if I say am busy I can’t take them to their friends, Maya replies just order me an uber 😂😂🙈🙈 I don’t know how many times in a week I hear how bored they are, they are even bored of painting some days ha ha ha…..Thats the message I got from the launch: take your child’s curiosity and foster it…No its time really, my kids must learn to play with sticks and stones and make mango seed dolls, we need an imaginative revival up in our house ha ha ha
So when we got our goodie bag filled with lots of spoils I decided to let the kids play with the toys slowly rather than all at once so they can appreciate each toy… So Maya picked first and it was a car..So we have played with cars in the sand, buiding a road and bridges Craig has done so I needed something to bring excitement to a new toy…So I did some pinning and voila, here it is a painting with cars masterpiece… It was so much fun you could see the tracks the cars make, we even built a ramp and there was some flips, it was cool and now Mattea knows cars go vroom ha ha ha ha..
This is what you need for a car inspired masterpiece:
- Card board boxes
- Maskin tape
- Dala liquid tempera paint
- Bowls to put paint and cars in
- Large pieces of Paper or newspaper to cover cardboard box
To to create the car inspired masterpiece:
- Place two boxes onto of each other to create height. Then masking tape them together
- Then open the one side of the top box to create a ramp..
- Then completely open one box flat so that there is a landing for the cars to fall onto. We masking taped the box so it made one flat box.
- I cut the back of the top box shorter so it was easier for the girls to place their cars onto the ramp.
- We put empty cereal boxes under the flat box so that the landing was raised higher and the cars glided smoother onto the ramp..
- You just have to keep checking the angel and adjusting we kept playing with the angle of the ramp and height of the landing till we got it right…
- Cover the cardboard pieces in paper so that you can see paint marks..
- Squeeze paint into bowls
- Place cars into bowl
- Then roll car back and forth in paint
- Place car on ramp and let the car roll and watch the paint magic get to work.
We had so much fun with this activity, even Mattea enjoyed watching the cause and effects of the cars going up and down the ramp…We even took away the ramp and just enjoyed playing on the flat piece and then the game changed to police police ha ha ha ha.. Who ever was driving dangerously the police man had write tickets or take the person to jail, Cianna has a need for speed so was arrested a lot ha ha ha ha ha…
So back to the launch they had toys that I would definitely buy my kids and some I thought where just nice to haves.. These are my top three.. I hear you say ahh Marcia only three wasn’t there lots of toys at the event, yes but the hussle is real in our house and so if I had to choose wisely this is what I would be buying my kids…
1.Boom Blast Stix game: This is a family game and where you pile sticks that you clip together, and then when one unclips the whole pack goes flying and you have to start again… we played it at the event and it was so much much fun.. There was a free one at the table that I missed out on, but ill definitely be buying this…
2.Treasure X:This is a a small treasure hunt with a map and all the small tools for a pirate hunt… you have to wet the sand to soften it then the kids dig to find burried treasure and a skeleton.. We had so much fun playing this and competing with the neighbouring tables to find the skeleton and treasure…It even involved me washing skeleton parts in Fit Like Mommies sparkling water ha ha ha ha..
3. National Geographics STEM kits: I’d buy any of these STEM kits they are so fabulous, but would love to start with the build your own volcanoes.. We did volcanoes before and the girls loved it so I know building one would be so much fun…
So thats it folks thats my experience in a nut shell…Being with the other bloggers for an afternoon and meeting them in real life was super cool, I felt like I got to hang with the cool gang at school…I even learnt a lesson from them as I walked away without a prize the hard way 😂😂😂😂😂: “Stay Humble, but Hustle hard” wise words from The Harrased Mom… Let me love and leave you it’s time to play mom mom 😂😂😂