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Old 04-17-2013, 12:08 PM   #71
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Addie, you and I, we think a lot alike. And parents who forget how to take joy in childish things are missing out on half the fun of being alive. I may be in the high-side of my 50's, but I still love to play childish games with kids. I still love to build kites, play with modeling clay, throw snowballs, swim, try to dunk my kids in the pool, etc. I've just become more adept with those things over time.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
I was never afraid of buying my kids play dough. Messes can always be cleaned up. We made some great things together. I still have the ashtray they made and baked in the oven. They went outside and got some leaves one day. Rolled out the dough really thin and pressed the leaves into the dough. I had those 'candy' dishes for a long time. One sat on my dresser for years. I used to drop my watch, earings, etc into it. Kids are fun.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:34 PM   #72
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Remember that parents when you are shopping for those expensive electronic toys this Christmas. Buy them a couple of sheets instead.

So often you hear grownups state that they had more fun when they were kids. And they did. Because they were allowed to use their imagination. I realize we can't send out kids out to play today in the city without worry. But we can't be hovering over them constantly either. In my neighborhood at the end of my street, I see kids out playing all the time. Our building is surrounded by large expanses of grass. The kids like to play ball there. That is fine by me. Some of the residents object. But ask them if they would rather see them join gangs, Horrors! It shuts them up real quick.

I don't think there is anything more joyful than hearing the laughter of children at play. Whether it be in a tent in the living room or outside running on the grass.
And those big appliances boxes made great indoor playhouses/forts, too!
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:36 PM   #73
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I was never afraid of buying my kids play dough. Messes can always be cleaned up. We made some great things together. I still have the ashtray they made and baked in the oven. They went outside and got some leaves one day. Rolled out the dough really thin and pressed the leaves into the dough. I had those 'candy' dishes for a long time. One sat on my dresser for years. I used to drop my watch, earings, etc into it. Kids are fun.
One of the things my aunt would do to amuse the three of us who were "the littles" was to make homemade playdough out of flour and salt. She'd use food coloring to dye it. We spent many a rainy afternoon making dinosaurs, snakes, and other such critters out of that playdough.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:43 PM   #74
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And those big appliances boxes made great indoor playhouses/forts, too!
No bad guys every broke into those forts! They were well fortified with PB&J sandwiches.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:57 PM   #75
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One of the things my aunt would do to amuse the three of us who were "the littles" was to make homemade playdough out of flour and salt. She'd use food coloring to dye it. We spent many a rainy afternoon making dinosaurs, snakes, and other such critters out of that playdough.
I made a relief map of the U.S. with that play dough. I did such a good job, the teacher asked all of us to bring in the right amount of flour and salt and had the whole fourth grade class spend the whole afternoon making one. Since I had already made mine, I got to help other kids that were having trouble. Everyone got one of those purple mimiograph maps of the outline of the country with the states. The next day after they had dried overnight, we painted them. Remember the little tray of water paints with seven colors in them? They were standard issue in the Boston schools. Needless to say I got an A+. I loved geography and crafts.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:24 PM   #76
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Making mealtime fun is never a bad idea. How did DH take to the idea? Next time let one of them pick the room to eat in as long as it is not the bathroom or the cellar. How about sitting under the table away from all those bad storms out there while they eat popcorn. Arrange the furniture so that a sheet will fit over it and eat in a tent. My kids loved tent living right in the middle of the living room.
DH works evenings, so I have free reign over dinner time.
Those are great ideas for eating. We've made use of sheets quite a few times, though we always call them "forts," but we've never had dinner in one. Once we used our living room furniture, dining room chairs, vacuum, broom, and whatever else we could to turn our whole living room and entryway into a fort. The kids thought it was great!

Dad, the vinaigrette turned out great! I used some of the spicy brown mustard you left here after Easter. I just used a touch, but it added a really nice richness.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:37 PM   #77
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DH works evenings, so I have free reign over dinner time.
Those are great ideas for eating. We've made use of sheets quite a few times, though we always call them "forts," but we've never had dinner in one. Once we used our living room furniture, dining room chairs, vacuum, broom, and whatever else we could to turn our whole living room and entryway into a fort. The kids thought it was great!
Every kid needs a fort under the table during a thunderstorm. Unbeknownst to them, it is actually one of the safest places they can be during a violent one. A bowl of popcorn or some quick sandwiches took their minds right off the storm.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:41 PM   #78
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Thanks for the idea, Sprout. I'll have to try and make my own salad dressing out of that combination.

Addi, you had to tell scarry stories under those in-home tents/forts, in a darkened room, with just a flashlight for illumination. My parents didn't participate in such things. So we just made our own. But it was always in a bedroom.

Of course, as we grew older, it became real tents, first in the back yard, then in the woods. One of my best friends and I made a huge tree fort, with a knotted rope as the only access, as the neighborhood girls weren't strong enough to climb the rope all the way up to the fort. It was lined with corrugated cardboard for insullation, was water proof, and had a double box-spring bed, with mattress in it. To really keep out the rif-raff, we constructed it between four large elm trees, in the woods behind a very large cemetery. We had a big fire ring made of dirt, and would take freshly caught fish, the occasional steaks or chicken, and freshly picked field mushrooms (picked from the cemetery lawn of course, and the fish caught on nigh-crawlers picked, again, from teh cemetery lawns at night).

We were teens, living in the country, with my best freind's father caretaker of the cemetery. Off my front yard was the river that connected Lake Superior to Lake Huron. Life was good in the 60's and 70's.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:55 PM   #79
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... Kids are fun.
Seems like lots of grown-ups have forgotten that though.

When I was a kid I remember my Mom doing cartwheels with me on the lawn! We loved doing things with our kids when they were young, and to this day even though they're in their 30s. Don't play tag with them anymore though, but find a basketball hoop and we'll gladly allow ourselves to be embarrassed in a game of HORSE with them.

Sprout, doing that sort of playing with the girls builds memories for them that will last all their lives. When the toys are broken and the dolls are lost and the books are moved on to the library because they've outgrown them they will always cherish the memories. Have fun with your kids!
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:04 PM   #80
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Chief, my stories were always about Mary of the first step down in the cellar. Sometimes she fell back down the stairs, and sometimes she didn't When she didn't the flashlight went out and the "Gotcha" had them screaming.

CG, I have always said that a parent has several jobs. The first is to keep the child safe from any harm.

The second was to make the child feed secure.

The third was to build happy memories that they will pass on to their children.

And the fourth was to remind your child every so often that you are not their friend all the time. Most of the time you are the parent.
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