100 Toys Talks To... Laura Crichton
Tell us a little about your family
I’m Laura and I live in Edinburgh with my husband Mike, and our three children: Ben (12), Katie (4), and Thomas (2). Mike and I both teach full-time in the same secondary school. I started my blog, Edinburgh Life With Kids when I was on maternity leave with Thomas in October 2015. I’ve found it's a great way to document our family life.
What are the 3 words that define your parenting style?
Relaxed, mindful, outdoors
What is your children's current favourite toys?
Thomas is really enjoying his wooden train set. He takes a train to bed each night and naps with at least two of them during the day. Katie enjoys small world play - she loves Playmobil and gets up to all kinds of adventures. Ben plays with the younger two and rarely gets to play uninterrupted by them. He enjoys his Playstation if he gets the chance, and being outside on his scooter.
What is your - and your children's - favourite toy of all time?
Probably something we can do together. It's rarely that we focus on something together, but we do like my old marble run. It’s at my Mum's house and we like to play on that when we're there.
What is your fondest childhood memory?
I have fond memories of family holidays and playing with my best friend Beth. She has a great imagination and we would create very complicated make-believe games based on a mixture of Narnia and The Animals of Farthing Woods.
What have you found most surprising about your children/about being a parent?
How the children can be so very different from each other. All of them have elements of our personalities and habits, but are also their own people. Even from the very early days, Katie did not like being held by a wide range of people whereas Thomas adores cuddles from anyone.
Do you have any tips for other parents? About toys, learning or anything else...
I've recently been trying to sell some of the 'excess' in our lives. It got to the point where the children had too much. It's been a revelation watching them play with a reduced selection of toys. They stay focused for longer and play together a lot more. We still have a lot, but I feel like we can breathe a little more. It's also encouraged us to get out more and treat them in other ways. I'm a firm believer that learning isn't just for inside the classroom. We are so lucky in Edinburgh to have an amazing range of museums, galleries, and historic places - there's really no excuse to stay home.
And finally, anything else you wish to add?
I know it's been said before but time really does pass quickly. I can't believe Ben is starting High School. Enjoy every moment you can.
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