Monday, April 09, 2012

The Cool Kids All Play "Indoor Swimming Pool for Toys."

I trust that everyone had a lovely holiday weekend. My household does not really celebrate Easter unless we're visiting my parents, so other than the requisite Easter bunny delivery of baskets to discover on Sunday morning and the fact that swimming lessons were cancelled for the day, our Sunday wasn't much different from any other. Although I did make a big egg-and-onion pie and wheat rolls, which seemed rather Easter brunch-y. (OK, so we had it for dinner, so what?)

It was a much-needed relaxing weekend for a change, however. After last weekend's solo-parenting stint (which was fun but exhausting), and a week that included my book reading in another town and all the usual school volunteering and work projects and stay-at-home mom duties, I wanted to minimize my running around and maximize my sitting still while reading library books. True, I took the girls to gymnastics class, and before that I dyed Easter eggs with them, but mainly we hung out at home, reading, playing, and watching The Jungle Book on VHS from the library. (Gotta love the retro vibe.)

At one point during the day yesterday, when lunch wasn't quite ready and the sun hadn't come out yet and boredom and impatience and hunger were setting in, I distracted the children with a kids' activity inspired by one of the ideas in the special bonus chapter ("'So What Do You Do All Day?': Simple At-Home Kid Activities That Won't Break the Bank or Drive You Crazy") of my book.

And here is where I want to prove to you that the clever children's activities that you may believe are only for babies, toddlers, or preschoolers, and which you are sure your older kids have grown out of, can actually entertain far older children than you might think. Do not give up on the ingenious kids' activities you've used in the past but since moved on from, or have seen (in my book?) and passed by.

Here are my five- and seven- (almost eight!) year-olds playing "swimming pool and bath for Barbies and animals":


It may be hard to see, but those are just a large Pyrex baking pan and a Tupperware cupcake keeper, one filled with plain water and one with bubbles, laid out on towels. The lucky pool-and-bathtime participants included two new Barbie fairy dolls, a slew of rubber rats from Halloween, some plastic butterflies and bugs, and a collection of small cat figurines. Just between you and me, if I were Barbie I'd be hightailing it out of the water the second a rubber rat jumped in.

For many more effective children's activities for those times when you need to get lunch on the table without small people whining and pulling at your pants legs, get your hands on a copy of my book. In the meantime, try out the doll swimming pool idea, above.

Have a wonderful week, friends.

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