The Good Old Days

Do you ever think back to when you were a kid and what you used to do for fun? It seems like life was easier. It didn’t take a bunch of expensive toys and video games to keep you entertained. My parents made it easy for us; they would say, “Either you go find something to do, or we will find something for you to do!”

It seems like over the years, parents take on the job and the responsibility of entertaining their children too much. Where did all their own creativity and imagination go?

My kids were lucky because my grandfather lived with us for the last 10 years of his life. He would talk about some of the “toys” he and his siblings played with during the Great Depression. After a chicken dinner, they would run outside and play in the dirt with their chicken bones (the breast bone was a plow). Priceless stories if I do say so myself.

My dad loved to play with his yoyo and my mom was awesome with a ball and jacks. 

I loved my bike and my swing set. Occasionally, my dad would bring home boxes from the furniture store. With a box of crayons and imagination, I would play in my box for days. My mom required us to read four books every summer – developing our love of reading.

Fun Family Things to Do at Home

Through this crazy time, parents are worried about how they will entertain their kids. Stop worrying. Have them talk to their grandparents and their parents. Share your stories of playtimes of the past, or better yet – show them. Take them on a trip down memory lane with old pictures and a movie projector. 

I noticed on Facebook some cool ideas my daughter created for her family over the past few months and she said I could share them with you. Her children are ages 1, 4 and 5. 

“Without spending a fortune, I used what we had around the house. We painted birdhouses, made beads out of Sculpey clay and then necklaces out of our beads. We had a ‘Soft Friends Dance Party,’ painted faces and started growing pumpkins. We made hearts and a sign for heart hunters for neighbors. Dressed up in costumes for Quarantine-O-Ween. Played cars in bins and laundry baskets. We had our own drive-in movie by piling into our van with popcorn and watched the movie, ‘The Jungle Book.’ We had a tea party and entertained the neighborhood with a parade. We used sidewalk chalk to draw hearts in random places when we took long walks.”

This may be a challenging summer for families, but you can learn a lot about each other. Plan some family adventures, but also give them a chance to grow, be creative and use their imagination.

karin Jenkins headshot and biography

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