I remember summer vacations.
They went like this. Get up. Do your chores. Go outside. Play. Stay outside. Play. Get called in for lunch.
Go back outside. Stay outside. Play outside. Get called in for dinner.
Get a bath.
Go to bed.
We did stuff. We didn’t have stuff. We did stuff.
We played in the creek. We went on hikes.We picked flowers.
Found bugs and toads and caught tadpoles.
We did plays on a stage called a picnic table.
We played games.
We did stuff.
I sent my kids outside.
They wailed, “There’s nothing to do!”
Then they sat down on the step and played with a furry wind up toy.
Then I sent this one outside. He wailed like a baby monkey that had lost his banana and couldn’t find his Momma.
My children are not deprived. They have a backyard that is magical. Trampoline, monkey bars, swingset, fort with a slide, tire swing, wading pool, sandbox….NOT DEPRIVED AT ALL.
But I’m seriously ready to cart it all away and make them use their IMAGINATION!
I finally caved and let them come in after they stared at me like characters from some zombie apocalypse movie.
I sent them to their room, where they were told that if they came down, they would be sent back outside.
They went to their room and played house and drew. See? They do HAVE imaginations.
Apparently they just don’t work outside.
Or maybe it was just too hot for their tiny little bodies who love that good ole’ air conditioning.
Taylor tried to reason with them. He said, “When we were little all we had outside was grass and a tree. And we played outside all the time! We used our imagination!”
He offered fun suggestions. They wailed.
When Nick popped by after work, I asked him to share about his childhood summers. He did.
They stared at him like he had two heads.
All that to say. There are a few weeks left of summer vacation, and I am bound and determined to make my kids PLAY OUTSIDE and use their imaginations.
I think I’ll make an IMAGINATION BOX, full of “Imagination Boosters”.
I’ll let you know how that goes!