Game-free Afternoon

I don’t know how many times I’ve said this recently but my boys are gamers, they love nothing more that switching on the Xbox, picking up the controller and immersing themselves in the computerised world. Gaming is what they spend most of their time doing and when they’re not actually playing games they’re thinking about playing games (or nagging me to let them play games). If it’s not the Xbox then it’s the Wii U or the iPad and I often wonder what our life would be like if we didn’t have these things.

The police truck half-finished
Yesterday was a usual Sunday, the first thing the boys wanted to do was play Lego Marvel on the Xbox and being Sunday I caved. I let them play for a while and then braced myself for the complaints when I told them to turn it off. As usual there was lots of moaning and groaning and I got rather annoyed, I began to feel like they shouldn’t be allowed to play at all if that’s how they were going to react when I say it’s time to turn it off. I said this to them and only got more complaints. I gave up and went to sulk.

A little while later I wandered into the lounge to find that Little Prince had tipped out his lego onto the carpet and was trying to build a police truck. He asked me to help and I couldn’t resist so I rummaged in the cabinet for the instructions for a lego police truck and once I’d found it we set about finding the pieces. It took a while but in the end we managed to finish it. What amazed me was what happened after we’d finished. Instead of immediately asking if they could play games they both carried on playing with the lego. They have tons of mini-figs and love swapping the bodies around so they’d emptied all of those onto the table and they were playing cops and robbers with mini-figs! 

What I loved about yesterday afternoon was that they spent about 4 hours playing with the lego together with no arguments. This very rarely happens in our house and I was so pleased that they did it. I stood in the lounge doorway, just before dinner, and watched them for around ten minutes. I listened to LP as his imagination took flight and he was talking about superheroes helping the police and the robbers being bad guys. BP joined in and gave the mini-figs capes and made all sorts of fighting sounds. It was a really magical moment, especially considering that I hadn’t told them to take the whole afternoon away from the games and I think it did them the world of good. In future I may well designate Sunday afternoon as a ‘no games’ time.

The truck, a bit blurry - it's impossible to 
get a 4 yr old to hold still!