Monday, November 15, 2010

fun with kids

I think one thing I love about kids, particularly my kids, is how easy it is to have fun with them. Sprout loves balloons, so I blew one up for him this evening and then the older kids wanted to play balloon bop (where we try and keep the balloon up in the air in the vaulted entryway), so we did. We tried various ways of hitting it, and used certain parts of our bodies, and one time I said "Power punch!" as I fist-hit the balloon as high as I could, and that was immediately adopted as the preferred method, especially punctuated with loudly shouted "Power punch!"

Prior to that, Noodle taped her thumbs to her index fingers for a half hour or so, just to see how difficult it was to do things with no thumbs, like draw, eat, open doorknobs, give a thumbs up (we called it "nubs up"), pick things up. I told her that she was doing pretty well, so we could cut off her thumbs and it would be no big deal. Then she could go around inspiring people with all she could do without thumbs. She opted not to pursuit that route, though.

Spud was doing some activities on the educational/reading website today, and one of his favorite things to do is get into the part where there are little songs playing, and he gets up and dances around. He's done this since he was about 3, I think, and it's ridiculously cute. So today when we heard the song playing, Noodle and I came and spied on him. He gets so self conscious about things sometimes it is especially fun to watch him when he doesn't know it.

The kids did an awesome job cleaning up the playroom today, so when I went up for the inspection, Spud wanted me to toss him into the giant beanbag. So I did, and then of course had to do it a couple times for each kid. It is such a simple little thing, but they always love it.

Before the ballon bop game, Noodle, Spud and I sat in a triangle with our legs spread out and feet touching, with Sprout in the middle and he took turns run-hopping to each person and giving them a big hug. He seemed to skip Noodle regularly, so it was a joke that he didn't really love her, and then the kids tried to entice Sprout to come to them by making ridiculously sad faces.

I once had a framed saying that said, "Stay close to the young and a little rubs off." It's cheesy, but true. I go through short-lived stages where I think it would be fun to get a Wii system for the family, but I know we would lose a lot of these activities that come up just because we are hanging around doing not much of anything. I don't want my kids to have a childhood where one of the primary pasttimes is video games or TV. I don't mind if it is part of their experience, but it shouldn't be a main focus. They don't miss not having them now, but I know if we introduced them, it would be something they wanted to do much more regularly than I'd want them to.


Kent White said...

I'm totally with you on not getting video games. I spent most all of my young years playing video games and I regret it a lot. I never think back with fondness on how I saved the princess after 3 weeks of working on perfecting my skills. My kids play enough games on the computer, we don't need a console.

Mary said...

Starfall is a great site. Our school uses it with the younger grades, and #4 has taken off with her writing this year, which has been much inspired by that site. I also recommend Renaissance Learning (, which will also link to where you can find books at your child's reading and interest levels.

It sounds like you had a very playful day--and got some exercise in the process! Kent had us do the Bunny Hop and Hokey Pokey at FHE a couple weeks ago. We had a great time hopping around the family room, but I was out of breath by the time the song ended! I definitely buy into the idea that youthfulness is contagious.