Firm Favourites?July 15, 2014
As parents we all go though it – that time when our child becomes fixated on a firm favourite TV show, film, or film characters, and whatever you choose to do, watch, or talk about, it’s brought back round to, say, Buzz Lightyear. My nephew (aged 4) is approaching the first anniversary of being ever so slightly obsessed with Toy Story. My daughter, now aged 8, went through the same obsession at 5, and luckily we still have all the characters lined up in her bedroom, so when my nephew comes for a sleepover it’s Toy Story heaven. For him, at least. We’ve been able to pass on her Toy Story DVDs to him, phew, (she was ready to part with them…..honestly) as his are scratched and generally worn out through repeated watching.
A recent disaster pertaining to his obsession was the loss (somewhere in our house) of Woody’s Hat when my nephew came for a sleepover. It has never been found, and every time my nephew comes around he strides purposefully into the house, shakes off his shoes and tells me, in his most serious voice that he is ‘going to find Woody’s hat’. He never does, and I always feel when he leaves he is ever so slightly disappointed in me, or possibly suspicious that I have hidden or disposed of the hat somewhere or somehow. I haven’t. Really.
These fixations on films, characters or shows, can (believe me…) make life easy for you sometimes. So, you’re never stuck for a present idea – although there’s only so many Mr Potato Heads one boy needs, and it’s easy when party time comes around to pick a theme. In fact, it’s a no brainer – as long as you don’t pick the theme TOO far in advance, and as you are about to throw the perfect Toy Story party, they announce that Star Wars is now all they want to watch, and they deny all knowledge of ever having shown the slightest interest in Buzz Lightyear.
So, why do kids get these obsessions? And which characters are most popular with children? And how can you make the best of their favourites when it comes to parties? Samantha, writing on her parenting blog suggests that not least the repetition of watching the shows over and over gives your children comfort and security, which seems logical. And psychologist Ian Wallace tells us that it’s rarely anything to worry about, that watching and acting out from a favourite film or show can actually increase their confidence.
Current TV show and film favourites include:
- Peppa Pig, popular with boys and girls. The mischievous little pig who loves nothing more than jumping in muddy puddles, makes for a great party theme for pre-schoolers. Ask them to come in their wellies, and play musical muddy puddles with puddles cut from blue paper. Decorate cupcakes with pink icing and your home with pink streamers, and you’ve got an instant hit!
- Transformers are popular with slightly older boys, and with the new film just out, it’s sure to be one of the summer’s biggest hits. Optimus Prime and his fellow Autobots star in an action-packed mission to save the earth. For a Transformers party decorate your venue with blue, red, yellow and black balloons and streamers. Get your guests to dress in the colour of their favourite Autobot, and send them on a treasure hunt for Energon, preferably outside….
- Minnie and Mickey Mouse are timeless classics. First created in 1928 both Mickey and Minnie are loved by children right around the world. Red streamers (with polka dots for Minnie) will set the perfect scene. Your guests can be invited to come in fancy dress, or why not provide black mouse ears for each of them, maybe make it a craft activity? For games why not cut out a simple Minnie Mouse shape, just three circles, and play pin the bow on Minnie (or the nose on Mickey….)
- Doc McStuffins is the little girl with the big talent to fix toys with the help of her stuffed animal friends, and a positive message about healthy living. Purple and pink streamers and balloons will give the perfect colourful backdrop to a Doc McStuffins party, dressing up as doctors and ‘medical’ role play is always a favourite, and stick the plaster on the cut out version of one of Doc’s friends – Lambie or Stuffy – you can’t go wrong!
- Oh, and of course, who could forget….Toy Story! Woody, Buzz and all their friends make for a fab party theme, another one popular with boys, girls, and grown-ups!
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