5 essentials to host kids visiting with their parents

Image: Lego Robin Hood

You learn what houses are not not used to kids.  These are houses with glass table tops, vases in places where kids love to run, and absolutely no toys from previous occupants.

I respect people’s choices to have kids or not have kids, and to move out all their kids things when they move out.  However the houses my kids love to visit still have traces of their occupants who spent a childhood of playing lego there.

There are two friends we visit who have a box full of lego.  The children never say they are bored there when they know the lego never leaves but stays waiting for absent grandchildren, they simply ask for the lego and enter the world of make believe.

Lego, is compact and small, and good for keeping children on a mat, but also their minds take them away beyond that mat.  They are in Sherwood Forest with Star Wars figures, or they are putting traffic men on horses.  You can see the history of the lego collector, what eras their children went through, in the sets they own.

I love how lego doesn’t take up as much space as another brand I will not name, but which is also highlighly popular play brand.  Who hasn’t take a head of a knight and put it on a policeman- that’s the fun of it.

Small hands find it difficult at first, but soon they get the hang of it, and the fixation has begun.

Essentials for visits from kids

1) Patience if you don’t have kids.

2) Childproofing the house for anything danger to age specific (especially little ones)

3) Some books and toys different ages- don’t let kids too young

read your teenagers former book collection.  Some hands are too little for lego.

4) Lego (it does for most ages and they will come and show you what they have made and not just switch off like on a computer)

5) A willingness to engage with the children and not just their parents.


Lego is my children’s childhood
in the house to house visits
where they play in another world
within the world of the visit

Lego is not my childhood
it was mecanno and monopoly
500 with the cards

A neighbour came with a cup of sugar
and joined our monopoly world
she was our friend for a while

Then she grew up
streaked her hair
and all her friends rang my brother
Asking to go out

But there was one lady
with a basket of old alphabet and puzzle blocks
and books

who everytime we went to stay
with her by the coast
Let us be free for a while

I loved that basket
and always will

The basket of Agatha Bainbridge
who always welcomed children
And she would have had lego if she was a
mother or grandmother today

She’s gone now
into that merry wood of dreams.

(c) June Perkins, all rights reserved, words and image.

11 thoughts on “5 essentials to host kids visiting with their parents

  1. i live with my parents (for obvious reasons) who have 16 grandchildren ages 4 months to 19 yrs. the room downstairs that was meant to be the entertainment room (it has a bar built in) is the ultimate in child friendly. the bar houses children’s books and games. the credenza has drawers for small cars, a farm, etc. AND there is a Lego table with a lovely amount of Legos. (the wooden blocks are under the side table.)

  2. Lego – we have collected it all of our childrens’ lives, and those are toys that I will always have around. Hey, Lego is fun for grown-ups, too!

  3. Since I’m not a mother, grandmother, or aunt, I have not had the pleasure of little ones around the house so maybe I should start playing with Lego, eh?
    The little Robin Hood is as cute as he can be.


  4. Lego – I’ve lived with the sound of children raking through piles of Lego for that missing pirates hat or similar for so many years I sometimes raking through my stash of beads awaiting threading just to hear the sound!

  5. Lego, Lincoln Logs, some toys are timeless! I’ve been seeing a resurgence of many of the toys I played with as a child.

  6. I can remember buying little bags of Lego house pieces at Woolworths in the UK when I was a kid. I think it must have just come onto the market. At that time house pieces were all that you could get. I now have a box of Lego in my house for my grandkids to use when they come. They are only basic pieces, but lots of them, and the kids turn them into horses and stables (the current interest). I also have a box of toddler toys in the corner of the room and jigsaws and art equipment stored in a seat. We can’t be having ‘bored’ when they visit 🙂 Did you watch James May’s Toyworld recently on the Telly? He got whole communities involved in Lego, Meccano, Scalextric, Airfix models etc. It was a most enjoyable series.

  7. Oh that show sounds great Sue, and Sally it is good to see some classic toys making comebacks as they are ageless – lego was not in my childhood, but I am glad my kids get to access it.

  8. This is such a wonderful post June. I have lots of the childrens things stashed in the house for visiting children. When the kids were little I always made sure we had a supply of ‘general’ toys. I was never in to telling friends children to go to my childrens room and randomly play with their stuff. Lego is such a wonderful toy. I remember using it to quieten really difficult Year 7 students. They loved it. Made things and then did some writing.

  9. Hi Heather,

    Yes, so many people love those collections of toys they encounter on visits to other people houses – I did for sometime keep a basket of toys for babies when my friends were all having little ones, cardboard books, duplo (larger lego type thing) and soft toys that squeak and rattle- the larger lego duplo is quite good for when their hands are little.

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