Block Party by Ian Waite

[advert:mpu] 1) All triangular, pointy or sharp blocks are separated from the others and scattered liberally over the hall floor just outside the bathroom. This should ensure that I will stand on at least one of them in bare feet while rushing to get ready in the morning. (This helps with their vocabulary as they hear new and colourful language).

2) All round, tubular or slippery bricks are placed either at the top of the stairs or next to the hob (when someone is cooking with boiling fat/water is best). (This helps them understand the concept of gravity and/or thermal dynamics)

3) All large flat blocks are saved until I'm eating dinner. A quick lob onto my plate will ensure huge amounts of parent-child interaction. The same effect can be reached by dropping one into a hot cup of tea while I am holding it. (Archimedes principle)

4) All small blocks are separated from the others by being shoved up their noses…. then your nose… and then the cat's. These are normally then placed in the mouth (I think these are known as ‘Gross’ motor skills). For children with advanced social skills they will quickly learn that they can combine numbers 3 and 4 to gain even greater parent interaction.

5) All blocks small enough to go up someone's nose but too big to come out again get removed during a game of ‘Hospital’. Which involves everyone (bar the cat) going to a hospital and waiting for four hours. (This teaches patience)

6) All bricks of all shapes and sizes are randomly and unexpectedly thrown at my head. (Sports skills)

7) All bricks of all shapes and sizes are sorted into a box and given to a Jumble Sale. (This is my favorite as it teaches consequences).

I have to say that there is nothing like having kids play with old fashioned toys to make you nostalgic for simpler times. Just think, in the Victorian era children only had simple toys like building blocks to play with, and you never heard them complain! (Probably because most were either up a chimney or down a mine). Even if you could hear them, they wouldn’t have complained as they were probably drunk on Gin or too scared of a beating to speak out.

Although I am sure building blocks are great for development I can’t say they are my favourite of toys. I will be much happier when my kids move on to computer games and other more socially responsible pastimes. There will probably be a report out next week that shows that Pac Man teaches kids about eating disorders and that Donkey Kong re-enforces respect for the environment. Neither I (or my sore feet) can wait…!!!

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