How You Play: Childhood Games | Artefact Motherhood | Documentary Family Photographer, Cambridge and Cambridgeshire

As I sit down and write this, we had just seen another Christmas. Presents stashed away for Christmas Day were quickly opened, and I could breath a sign of relief that you had not felt disappointed when the Nintendo Switch you had added for your list to Santa did not arrive. Instead, he brought each of you a Gravitrax (marble track system) and a Hot wheels set, which you were equally delighted to get amongst other toys and books you got too.

Black and white photograph of two brothers playing with their ho

Suddenly having all these new toys to play with has made your games together more fun. I have watched and anticipated for a while that you were ready to move to the next stage in your games. Whilst Lego and Duplo are good fun and evergreen toy pieces that you will always make use out of, and I regularly find them strewn all over your play room and our living room floor. Lately, you have both become obsessed with track games and making mini obstacle courses.

We recently met some friends in Stratford-upon-Avon and visited the MAD museum when we were there. It had displays with toys made with simple machines and everyday materials. You were fascinated in the interactive mechanical art, but more so, the games room where you could build marble tracks using wooden blocks and bars. It’s always funny to watch how despite taking you on trips or to outdoor adventures, your mind is thinking and building ideas for the games you play at home.

MAD museum mechanical art display
MAD museum mechanical art display
Playing on the giant marble run at the MAD Museum, Stratford-upo
Interactive games room at the MAD museum, Stratford upon Avon

Back home, you both use your imagination to construct new systems for your games. Also, watching Youtube videos for inspiration on creating your marble run challenges or Mario obstacle courses. 

Two brothers playing with their marble track creation.

I can’t say that I enjoy the mess, but I enjoy hearing and seeing you learn and make purpose with your imagination. Maybe Santa can wait a little longer to bring you your Nintendo Switch next Christmas.


This is part of ARTEFACT MOTHERHOOD - a project shared with other female artists who are documenting our journeys as mothers and creating memories for our children through our photographs and words.

Go to my friend Hollie Stokes to see the next blog post in this series.