EXCLUSIVE: Fifi Box is the voice of Barbie and her girls could not be more excited!
"She was pretty shocked to hear that not only does Barbie have an Aussie accent, she also sounds an awful lot like mum!"
By Practical Parenting Team
December 01 2020
Having a fun, gorgeous mum like Fifi Box would have to be pretty great.
But having a fun, gorgeous mum like Fifi Box who also happens to be the voice fo your favourite toy is NEXT LEVEL!
The 43yo mum-of-two chats about on how her and her girls, 7yo Trixie and 1.5yo Daisy Belle, have come out of the Melbourne lock down, their upcoming Christmas plans and why play is so important for their relationships below ...
Tell us about the audio guides, what makes them so special and unique to families?
The Mattel Play With Us g uides have been developed to be quick, fun and thought starting. Mattel created them in conjunction with leading Melbourne family psychotherapist Georgina Manning to help unlock parents’ imaginations to allow for more valuable and engaging gameplay. As a parent, we try to do the best for our children, but sometimes this can be difficult – these guides make it so easy to hang out with your children for quality bonding time.
What have you been doing at home with your daughters to keep them entertained during lockdown?
During the Melbourne lockdown, we tried to do activities together that were both educational and fun. Trixie was homeschooling, so it was important that after school she still had the engaging and interactive play moments she would have had on the school playground. While our home lacks monkey bars, we could still engage in role-play style games with her Barbies and toys.
Why do you think it’s important that children and parents play together?
I think it’s so important that children and adults play together, not only does it hugely benefit their emotional intelligence and traditional learning, it creates lasting bonds and memories. In Mattel’s recent Play Report, 9-in-10 parents recount their fondest memories of childhood as being those that saw them engage in creativity and play – we need to create the same for our children.
What was it like to take on the persona of Barbie, were your daughters excited?
Trixie has always been a massive Barbie fan, so when I played the Barbie audio guide for her she was pretty shocked to hear that not only does Barbie have an Aussie accent, she also sounds an awful lot like mum. Meanwhile, Daisy is still a little bit too young to enjoy all things Barbie, but the sound effects and funny voices still keep her engaged.
What advice would you give to parents who find it difficult to be creative with their children during play?
For parents looking for some inspiration during playtime, the Mattel Play With Us guides are a treat. Additionally, don’t be afraid to take inspiration from your children’s favourite movies or books – kids love to act like their favourite princess or superhero. It can be hard sometimes to let go of our adult responsibilities and get into the child’s imaginative world, but once you start playing, take the lead from your child. If they want to be a superhero, or a doctor, or whatever character they imagine they are, take this lead and create your character around this.
Being a parent is a full-time job – and whether you juggle this with another job or not there’s no denying it can be an exhausting one at times! It’s no surprise that parents (myself included) can feel fatigued and uninspired when it comes to playing with toys. I think, as parents, it’s alright to have these feelings but it is important that, when we can, we make time to get creative with our children.
As a busy working mum, what tips would you give parents who are short on time?
Playtime doesn’t need to go for hours on end, 10-20 minutes is plenty of time to have a quick race around a Hot Wheels track or check-in with Barbie for a cooking competition. As parents, we need to be the initiators of technology-free play by encouraging our children to set up their own games, or even allow them to pretend they are their favourite TV or movie character. It’s not the quantity of time we spend, it’s the quality. If we are mindfully engaged, intentionally putting all of our ‘to-do lists’ aside for a set period of time, then kids will really notice this and feel this.
What are your family plans this Christmas?
This Christmas we want to reconnect with my parents and extended family, as we come out of COVID-19 restrictions here in Melbourne, I’ve missed them and the quality time we had together. I also can’t wait to test out the Gen UNO audio guide we’ve created!