Over the years we have moved several times. Each time we move I weed out more and more toys that my kids simply never played with. The result is that we now have very few toys in the house. Not because we can’t afford to buy our kids toys, but because our kids don’t play with them. I should note that we also do not have cable…which means no commercials… which means the kids don’t ask for a lot of stuff. (Find out the benefits of only Having one TV in the house in my other post) Often times when Christmas or birthdays roll around I ask the kids what they want for gifts, I get a shoulder shrug or an “I dunno”.
So what Do my kids do? Well , they find amazingly creative ways to entertain themselves. They draw, they paint , they read. They love to help with projects around the house like cooking dinner or helping daddy fix stuff. They have amazing imaginations and often make up skits that they sometimes video tape, with costumes, props, etc. Sometimes they find themselves so funny that they are snorting with laughter and my husband I need to tell them that they are having too much fun. (only joking with them of course)
We supply them with plenty of art supplies, books and, of course, the great outdoors. Their little creative minds supply the rest of the fun. On Sunday, the kids helped us build a duck house to float in the pond. After helping us cut, assemble and paint the house, the kids looked around at the left over wood and foam, my son asked, ” are you gonna use that stuff?” When I said no, he and his sister gathered up all the leftover materials and disappeared into the woods like little gremlins. Half an hour later,my daughter emerged and asked if she could pick some flowers from the garden. I said yes and she gathered a few and again disappeared into the woods. Another half an hour went by and the two kids reappeared with the most amazing fairy boat I had ever seen. They had used the left over scraps, some old hay bale twine , flowers and other gathered material. Here is a picture of the USS Critter, ready for it’s maiden voyage. They then took it down to the pond and spent the next hour playing with it in the pond. Happy as little claims.
Another great example of their creative play is what they did today. After coming home from school and completing their homework and chores, they spent the next two hours designing, building and testing various types of paper airplanes. They tried different folding techniques and papers clip weights to see what it would make the planes do. They raced them off the front porch and laughed hysterically when one got stuck on the roof of the house. They only stopped because it was time for dinner.
So you see, kids don’t need expensive, trendy plastic toys. In fact I would argue that my kids are better off without them. They use their creativity a lot more and learn so much more with the simple things in life. I am so proud of them and their creative thinking. I am also proud to give them a simple country life, full of laughter and fun memories.