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Toys for the Whole Family to Play

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 23 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Family Toys Board Games Outdoor Toys

There seems to be less and less time every day to spend doing the things we like with the people we love, so when you get an opportunity to spend some quality time with the family, it’s great fun to get some games and toys out that everyone can enjoy and play with.

Spending time playing with the kids, whether it’s board games, outdoor toys or anything that catches their attention gives you a chance to experiment together, and can help you to teach the children how to go about solving problems and think creatively.

Toy manufacturers have cottoned on to this, and so there is a wide variety of fun family toys and games available, all designed to involve the whole family.

Toy Advice: What Are The Best Types of Toy for Us to Play With as a Family?

It depends on the circumstances, the child, and of course, the mood! Some examples of great things you can do indoors with the kids include board games, arts and crafts and construction toys. Helping your kids put together a Lego creation is just as fun as when you did it yourself as a child, and could give you the chance to talk about “When I was a child” to your kids.

If you’re feeling more energetic, or the kids have some spare energy to burn up, some family toys are just perfect for outdoor play. There are lots of fun action games, and activity toys and most children also love to play with radio controlled and model vehicles – as do their parents! Sporting activity toys are another winner – fit a basketball hoop, or play with other outdoor toys to keep everyone active and fit!

Which Indoor Family Toys are Most Suitable?

  • Board games These are inexpensive and can provide hours of fun – if you can stop the kids (and adults) fighting over who cheated! If the children are young, you don’t need to have reading ability for a lot of the games, and many are suitable for very young children of three and four to play for this reason. For older and more able children, games that help them learn to read, recognize numbers or match symbols can be stimulating as well as fun. Connect Four, Twister and classic family toys can really brighten up a rainy afternoon indoors.
  • A Dressing Up Box The kids can be whoever they want to be with a box full of clothes and accessories for them to dress up in to their hearts’ content! Get them to put on plays and shows for the adults, and help build their confidence while having fun and exercising little imaginations.
  • Creative Play Find out whether you’re nurturing a talent for the arts, and get a huge box full of art and crafts toys. All you need to start with is some paper, paints, crayons and some bits and pieces to stick on (kids love sticking things). You could do this at Christmas and Easter and make decorations and cards together, if you’re feeling brave instigate some finger painting, and give them a selection of buttons, pebbles, glitter and glue and see what they can create with very little cost and some imagination.

Outdoor Games and Toy Advice

It’s good to get them out in the fresh air – so what can the whole family play with outside?

  • A Sandpit You can get sandpits for children of all ages, and from a basic to luxury model with seats! Sandpits can provide hours of relatively uncomplicated entertainment for siblings and their friends, and parents can supervise, break up squabbles, and show the younger ones how to make sand castles with moats like they used to on the beach!
  • Paddling Pools and Water Toys When it’s warm outside, get the kids covered in waterproof sun cream and watch their eyes light up as they play in a paddling pool. Children being children, they will need supervision, so what better excuse for joining in with water fights – grab your super soaker and get stuck in!
  • Have your own Sports Day If you have a big garden this is ideal – or if not, go to the park, and take a picnic! Take some outdoor toys and inexpensive sports equipment like soft balls, a skipping rope, badminton racquets and shuttlecocks. Take turns to challenge each other to games, and keep score. You can set up races and obstacle courses, have tournaments and play simple skipping games with the very young children.

Family toys don’t have to be complicated or expensive, and sometimes just the fact that you’re spending time together as a family, whether you’re playing Monopoly with older kids or soaking the little ones with a water pistol, can really do a lot to bring the family together.

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