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.



Originally uploaded by gumbootspearlz

“Shake, shake, shake!”

It feels like our house belongs to the Giant that Jack killed when we stomp stomp stomp. The house gets almost as upset as Mum because we’re moving too quickly down the hallway.

Poor Jack set off to seek his fortune and all he was given was a magic bean. Now how can you buy a house with that? Come to think of it in many fairytales they are off to seek their fortune! They chance upon luck, magic and tasks that will bring them their fortune, and sometimes a magic creature or two. My Mum says “My fortune is you children.” Maybe we will grow up and bring her home a golden goose.
“On your marks- get set- go” and we run.

It’s a cool afternoon and we decide it’s time to run around the track. It saves us running in the house on our rocky floorboards house.

Mum remembers that she used to love to run as a teenager. She would take off after an argument with Nana, to a running track across the road. She crossed a swamp and field to get there. She would run past the talking trees and mugwamp in the swamp. She’d will herself not to be afraid. She was always running away from Nana who used to have a rotten temper – so she learnt to run up the hill and sit behind the “big rock” where it was safe.

Now Mum says “On your marks, get, set go” and we run. We don’t like to go to little Athletics. For us running is trying to pass each other on school oval that we live next to. Running is a way to feel free, laugh, and just be ourselves.

I am never still. I tap in the kitchen, tapdetaptaptap. Mum says “You move in a flamenco butterfly movement.” I flutter around the oval.

My big brother paces up and down like he is in a hospital waiting room, but when we get out to the oval his footsteps and hands make an air guitar riff. He’s kinda cool.

My little brother scoots around. Out here is doesn’t bother anyone. He is ahead of us, behind us, ahead of us again.

Mum says “the running spaces in our lives feel like pools of light. They are a moving spotlight that we dance in.”

So we dance, dance, dance.

(c) Gumbootspearlz all rights reserved words and image