This post was written by Rebel from Rebel Without A Pause.
It has been republished here with her permission.
I’m not sure if it is normal to be this excited about a delivery BUT the cubby house we ordered for the kids for Christmas is on it’s way, and I am beside myself.
I know, I know, it’s ‘meant’ to be for the kids, but before they get to it this here mamma gets to play – colour swatches ahoy! Sorry neighbours, this thing is gonna be bright. Think ‘Unicorn vomits a packet of Skittles onto a rainbow’ and you’ll be getting close to the colour palette I have in mind.
Look, besides that self-indulgent fun, there are also a tonne of other reasons that I’m genuinely excited. Cubby house play is endorsed for a multitude of reasons, and I’m going to tell you a bit about them, if only to remind myself that this really is meant to be for the kids.
Having their own little zone in the world has so many great learning outcomes for your kids. That connection to space and environment directly, and indirectly contributes to the way they learn. As your little one makes their way around their new cubby, they are developing a knowledge of that space that they will continue to build upon.
A good cubby house will include areas for active and free play. It will have a space for them to be quiet, as well as facilities that encourage imaginative and creative play … and that means you’re creating a blank canvas for their imagination to take flight. Speaking of which …
There are no limits to the places their imagination can go when you give them a cubby house. By creating that space that supports their play, they’ll take that opportunity and run with it. One day it may be a pirate ship, the next a school … a house … a rocket … a fashion show … a hospital … a fire station … or simply a place to store their latest stick collection. The opportunities are endless.
I’m not all about ‘technology is evil’ or anything, but it’s easy for the best of us to lose track of time when switched onto a device. Many a “You can play a learning app for 10 minutes” session at our place has morphed into a Youtube Minecraft marathon before I can say neversaidiwasaperfectparent. But there’s nothing as motivating for them to get outside, than being outside.
Remember your childhood full of mother’s hollering to the kids to get inside in time for dinner? Of course you do, because outside play is fu-uuun. A cubby house in the yard equals way more fun than telling them to, “God, I dunno … get outside and find some bugs or something.” Reveal: I have said that more than once.
When kids play with other children they learn to communicate, share, collaborate, empathise with others and a tonne more. And those skills are so essential as they move through life.
For sure, a bunch of kids piling into a cubby are gong to have different ideas about the way they use it and what they use it for. But negotiation, talking it over and working together … while possibly yielding a few squeals and sulks along the way (says seasoned mum-of-four) are invaluable lessons that will set them in good stead for their school, working and personal lives as they grow.
You probably think there are those that are creative, and those that aren’t so creative, but the fact is – we are all creative in different ways. Some of us just need to trigger it a little harder, and a cubby house with the imagination opportunities it offers is the perfect way to do so.
Kickstarting creativity in your life helps you to be braver, to say yes to more opportunities, to let stuff go that isn’t working, to daydream – which in itself is often inspiring, and to have fun.
Who doesn’t want to have a fun life? Right? *shakes bum*
In the age of helicopter parenting, there is no greater confidence booster than letting kids work out a few things for themselves. Presenting them with a permanent space that challenges them a little physically, is presenting them with the chance to work out a few things in relation to their own safety. Overcoming a few little obstacles as they get confident climbing and playing in this safe and fun space will do wonders for their self-confidence in all aspects of their life.
Letting your kids loose in their own backyard is a good stepping stone for those of us not willing to go full free-range. I was a free-range kid, and the strife I came close to getting into makes my heart stop beating sometimes (sorry mum and dad, but there were tadpoles to catch and pipelines to balance on).
When your kids are pre-occupied in their own personal – and safe – space, lost in their own imagination, it frees you up to get some stuff done. With your kids only ever a window-check away, you can let loose on all the jobs you need to get done. Or maybe simply read … or do nothing … or drink an entire cup of tea before it goes cold … or maybe indulge in a little partner reconnection *winks*
There’s nothing as recharging as a short break from the relentless fire-putting-out of parenthood. Just a few moments peace helps you better handle to the next dire situation that comes your way.
So, looking back on all of that I can see that there is good reason for me to be excited about this delivery, and not just for myself. The kids are going to bloody love it!
The more and more I think about this year’s festive season, the more I am excited that we decided to go down this path. The investment in a cubby house for them to share, rather than a bunch of toys under the tree is promising to pay off big dividends for their (and our) future happiness.
Have you got a cubby house? How do the kids use it?
“MUM! Let’s play chasey.”“MUM! Jump on the trampoline with me!”“MUM! If you don’t play hide and seek, you can never have coffee again.”“MUM! I’ll pretend I’m a cat, and you pretend you’re mum.”Sometimes, I just don’t want to play. Scratch that, about 98% of the time, I don’t want to
we promise we won't hassle you!