If you have a camera and computer, or iphone, you and your child can make a video too. It’s a wonderful way for children to see their stories come to life.
“Think of how you played as a child.” I told myself this morning when my small daughter performed her daily ritual, begging me to play dolls with her. Inside of myself I grimaced, I don’t want to play dolls right now. Mommy needs to do laundry, water the garden, go to the grocery store. Maybe we could go buy her a new toy while we shop for dinner. I wanted to do something productive, not play pretend. So I dutifully reminded myself that pretend play with children is vitally important to downloading their thought and experiences and putting them into practice. And playing with children in the way THEY want to play is also the highest form of compliment you can offer a child. So, I put down my car keys and followed her into her room. She handed me a small naked doll and a dress to put on her, and suddenly I remembered, I did like playing with dolls, I’d just forgotten how I played as a child. I never played in my room, always took it outside.
To really embrace the moment with her, we had to engage in make believe together, so we took her dolls outside. They became faeries, and explored the garden, rode horseback on the dog, and saved a new thirsty plant. We’d become heroes.
So this was one example, but every child and caretaker is unique. I remember one day last year my son desperately wanted me to play with his trucks and cranes. Again the internal grimace, but then wait a minute, I liked making videos, so we made this crane story video and posted it to Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q6yYkfALCU
Silly, I know, but when you are trying to find a magical way to bond with kids, don’t forget yourself. Find a way to connect your ingenuity with theirs. Life with children doesn’t have to be the same monotonous swing. Look inside yourself. What of yourself can you contribute to the game?
Remember: children aren’t the only ones with magical abilities; adults can add the magic to the monotony.
Click on the blue title to find out!
Gardening is a perfect cycle of sustainability. Think of this, a packet of tomato seeds cost the same amount as 3lbs of tomatoes. You can do this. And now is the time to plant. No yard? Veggies and herbs can be lovely porch accents. I’ve even seen people plant fruit trees and veggies indoors in the light of a sunny window. It’s a perfect cycle, cleans your air, fills your stomach with food that’s nutrient rich from ripening, keeps the money in your pockets.
My husband and I were privileged to find this wonderful outdoor flea market in Joplin. It was a bright warm afternoon and this gentleman was a such a sentimental reminder of my childhood. He sold Mason Jars and Carnival glass and enjoyed a good quibble.
Restraint: It’s a terribly empowering thing. But it also reminds me of when I was a child and restraint felt like a thing for powerlessness; always having to pull away from the burning candle before us. Restraints were everywhere. Today I took my 5 year old son to spend the twenty dollars he’s patiently saved since Thanksgiving. He slid every found penny into his piggy bank with complete satisfaction, and counted each lovely nickel from his weekly chores. He shook his bank and often poured all the coins out onto his carpet to just look at them grow. And this very Monday, today he divided them up, we counted them, and took them to the bank to cash em’ in for whole paper dollars! Oh it was marvelous! And on top of that, we found out they have lollipops inside the bigger bank too So we took his wad of 21 dollar bills, folded them up into his shiny blue wallet and crammed it into his back pocket till the seams grew taut. And then we walked into the toy department of our big grocery store to look for the car transporter truck essential to completing his semi truck collection. But, oh my on my, we found aisle after aisle of absolutely amazing colorful bright brilliant things lining the shelves. Shiny cowboy guns and half an aisle of Nerf guns and water guns, too. There were all these other types of trucks and one whole side of an aisle all just boxes of wonderful things to make from Leggos. It was utterly mouth gaping overwhelming. And I felt for him. Some patient part of my impatient self just stayed there all morning and watched him carefully scrutinize each and every possibly choice. And we ran into another Mom and her 4 year old son; she kindly restraining while he gently pushing to bigger toys for older boys. The negotiations were delicate.
And after we arrived home and I put my son down for a nap with his new huge box of cheap army vehicles, he asked me “Mommy when I grow up will I still want to play with trucks?” And I whispered back to him, “Yes Sweetie, and it will still be just as difficult to pick out the perfect one.”