I’ve been really enjoying not having to get up straight away in the mornings and not having an alarm set now that it’s the school holidays. It’s bliss, however this morning my alarm was set for 5:45am, 6am, 6:15am and then when my eyes refused to open I reset it to 6:30am! As I was rinsing the conditioner from my hair the first of my littles appeared at the bathroom door. A weary eyed and very confused P2! There’s something so wrong about being awake before your children, especially on a holiday morning but it was all for a good cause – we were off to see Fisher-Price!
Fisher-Price never do anything in halves from the toys they create all the way to the events they hold. Today was an amazing experience. I was invited to the Discover Your Way event as a blogger and a Fisher-Price Mum at the Prima Baby & Pregnancy Magazine headquarters in London.
I decided to only take P2 with me as it was more centred for her anyway. The thought of traveling on the train with bump and buggy was a little daunting but both out and return journeys went so smoothly. I’m very grateful for everyone that helped me with all the steps even during the rush time and we made it to the event half an hour early. This meant I was lucky enough to be able to watch Billie Faiers from The Only Way Is Essex have a photoshoot amongst the Fisher-Price toys with her new bundle of cuteness, Nelly. All very exciting!
There was then a presentation conducted by Fisher-Price, Susie Boone (Editorial Director of MadeForMums) and Dr David Whitebread (Senior Lecturer in psychology and eductation, developmental cognitive psychologist and early-years specialist from University of Cambridge… breathe). I learnt so much from listening to Dr Whitebread that I was actually quite shocked. He explained and spoke about a survey that was conducted by MadeForMums in association with Fisher-Price.
63% of over 1,100 parents with children aged 0-3years who took part in the survey believe that the more one-to-one play they have with their child/ren the quicker they will develop new skills. I believed this too and it’s something I struggle with guilty about as I know I don’t spend enough time playing with my girls. However, experts and Dr Whitebread don’t agree with this, in fact they think the opposite! He says
Research shows that development of ‘self-regulation abilities’ has a very strong link to the amount of time spent in child-led play. There is rigorous evidence that shows that if you want a happy, healthy child that fulfils their potential then don’t deny them the opportunity and freedom to play in their own way and learn naturally.
Without a doubt our kids are living their lives much more structured. Probably from fear we’re all doing something wrong or not the best for our children by letting them just play willy nilly but there’s evidence that shows children do have a purpose when they play alone and these things help to teach so many life skills. With this is mind it’s a little worrying that children only spend on average 1.9hours playing independently in a day over the 2.3hours they spend playing with parents alone. I guess no matter how hard we want to, as a parent we just cannot teach them everything they need to know to succeed in life. There’s things they can only learn by themselves and trial and error.
Fisher-Price have created a fantastic new range of products that actually “grow” with your child – Smart Stages. Parents are able to input their child’s age into the toy and the toy automatically updated as they grow. Giving them new play each day! More importantly they are able to play independently and age appropriate. With the research in mind it also means that children are able to explore and adventure in their own worlds but be able to be taught new things that fit their ages. In my opinion this just makes Fisher-Price even more desirable!!
I had a fantastic day with P2 and on a whole she was very well behaved, especially during the train travel. She really enjoyed playing with all the toys and loved the jam sandwiches, fruit pouches and snacks available to her. I got home feeling very achy and very tired but it was totally worth it!! I was greeted at home by a stroppy P1 who’d given hubby grief all day despite being treated to swimming and lunch out. I guess we can’t win everything…
Hopefully you’ve already seen the new Discover Your Way TV advert, it’s now on the telly. If you haven’t, don’t worry I’ve added it here: