Category Archives: play

6.27.16 ~ Simple Fun

I think sometimes we try too hard to make fun for our children, when some of the simpler things in life are the most pleasurable and entertaining.

I’ve been trying to do a better job enjoying the simple rhythms of life and teaching my sons to do the same.  Perhaps, we learn to appreciate life a little more, and that we don’t have to search very hard or far for a good time.

I’ve spoken of family bike rides in a recent post, and they continue to be enjoyable.  Family bike rides have proved to be a simple fun thing to do in the rhythms of life.  Why not take 15-30 minutes for a short cruise around your community?

There are other things we have been enjoying this summer: playing the card game UNO, going to the lake, learning card tricks, camping in the back yard, fires in the fire pit, and jumping on the trampoline.

The other day we had a yard sale at our house, and will have another one this Saturday at my parent’s house, because they have a better location and we still have some things to get rid of.  We had fun as a family, collecting our un-used and un-needed items, preparing the sale, and being together during the sale.

One of the items in the sale was an AB Lounge Sport my folks had dropped off for us to try to unload for them.  We didn’t sell it, but at the end of the day we had fun using it as our prop for making spoof advertisements for the AB Lounge Sport.  One of the videos even got posted to You Tube, although I currently have it set to private. I am still trying to decide if I want others to view my attempts at sketch comedy, probably not.  Regardless, making the videos was a fun and simple thing to do with my sons.

During and after the yard sale my youngest son and I also had fun together implementing an idea he had on how to make a seat and foot rest for his scooter.  He did the bulk of the work and then I helped him fasten it to the scooter.  As soon as we were finished he went for a ride, and he has been riding it around the patio and roads ever since.  A simple thing, with hours of fun attached to it.

Let’s not try too hard to make life fun, but let’s remember there are fun things that can and do happen in the normal rhythms of life.  We just have to remember to stop and take time to see them, and experience them.  There our several advantages, laughter being one of them, but I think the quality time spent with our children and as a family is the most important.  Relationship time is always good time.

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Army Guys

(New and more attainable goal is three posts a week.)

During my morning shower, as I glanced at the small pile of plastic Army figurines in the corner of the tub, I was reminded of their significance in our family.

On a side note we have had toys left in the bath tub for the last 14 years, left behind after one of or more of our boys are done cleansing themselves in the murky water of the deep. This still happens now because our oldest, who lands on the high functioning end of the Autism Spectrum (Asperger’s) loves taking baths, and loves using his vivid imagination to reenact battle scenes he reads about in his World War 2 books. At least we don’t have to do full-blown Civil War reenactments.

Back to plastic Army guys and their significance in our family. Three points.

1. I’m a Quaker (Friends) minister, and adopt much of the theology, philosophy, and interpretation of the Friends’ Church. Historically and currently, part of the Friends’ testimony includes peace, which encourages us to live in peace with other people in the normalcy of everyday life, and in the context of all of humanity situated around the world. Having Army guys in the house, and one son who is into studying World War 2 and everything about airplanes, could be a bit of a dilemma, but generally has led to good conversations and a healthy understanding and view of both the peace testimony and war. Having Army guys in the house allows us the opportunity to share our thoughts, beliefs, and opinions with one other.

2. Having Army guys in the house has allowed my boys to have fun at my expense. A few years ago they pulled off a very good prank lasting a few weeks, if not more. At the time I was working as an AFLAC agent, and had to dress “professionally” on a regular, if not daily, basis. (Even though I showed up to what I didn’t know was an interview in a hoodie, cargo shorts, and crocs.) One afternoon when I was gone the boys went in to my closed and strategically placed Army guys in several of the pockets of my nice shirts and pants. Most of the time I would find the Army guys when I was getting dressed. However on occasion I would be in a meeting or meeting with a client when I would reach into my pocket and pull out a small plastic Army figurine ready to shoot me in the face. Having Army guys in the house allowed my sons the opportunity to be creative and pull a prank on me.

3.  Having Army guys in the house allows for imaginations to be used and for fun to be had together. Many battles have taken place on a bedroom floor between my sons and the platoons of Army guys stretched before them on the bedroom floor. The creativity in destroying each other’s well thought out plans of attack was masterful. Because of technology, that’s what I blame it on any way, creativity and imagination are not allowed to run as wild as they once were, and if plastic Army guys have helped to encourage these two things in our house I support them %100. The other benefit is that during the course of play my sons interact(ed) with one another in a generally positive and encouraging way. Having Army guys in the house encourages the use of imagination, and spending time together.

Other toys can accomplish two of these three things as well, but there wasn’t a pile of those other toys in the bath tub this morning, so Army guys got the nod.