They invited the kids over for the first time (since we just moved back to this neighborhood) and the neighbors said, “you don’t have a lot of toys or board games.” I was getting ready to feel sorry for my kids. We moved and had to leave a lot of stuff behind, although I tried to keep their favorite toys, and we’re going through a transitional financial period with no cash to spare on restocking toys (even if I wasn’t feeling anti-consumerist and not wanting to buy the cheap plastic crap that they shove down our throats ever 12 minutes on tv) but instead of feeling sad for themselves, my kids said, “You don’t need board games. You can make your own board games. You can make anything!”
And later that day, my daughter sat down with a piece of paper and a marker and started making her own game with it’s own rules. And I helped her create number tiles with seashells and a sharpie.
Now I’m thinking I will make them a “do it yourself” game board for Christmas, with blanks they can fill in, and empty draw cards and playing pieces, etc. I might even make our own dice out of sculpey. Or maybe the seashells work fine.
We haven’t had much money since having kids, but I am glad that I have instilled in them a creativity that says they don’t need money to have fun or to get what they want. And that they feel they can figure out how to do stuff or make stuff and are not limited by what is already out there.
Now I’m thinking about all sorts of play kits… like a detective kit. My kids also decided, yesterday, to be detectives and track where the lizards were going, so they got some flour and a toy makeup brush and started dusting for lizard tracks. I mean… the possibilities of games are endless. Detective kit. Fort kit. Tea party set. Fairy houses. Bean bag games. Target sets. Puppet show sets. Dress up outfits for plays.
Now I’m trying to figure out ways I can help them in their imaginative play.
For all the struggles of raising kids, and the struggles of a tiny budget, I am proud that my children are resilient, creative, positive, imaginative, confident, flexible and independent.
No matter how many times they ask for the pink plastic cotton candy maker.