Reading is cool – hit the yard sales and start picking up books. One summer, we said the B-word, and my Dad challenged us to read the entire Encyclopedia set we had. 2 of us 7 kids finished A-Z before school started again in the fall. The others took longer.
The Girl Scout HandBook has a whole section on indoor and outdoor games that are free and fun to play.
Depending on their age, pretending to be Mommy always fun – with their own little sink an stove, play food, etc. (Boys like it as much as girls, BTW).
We spent hours in the dirt with Tonka trucks, especially the ones with the shovels…skip loader? And the dump truck. Moving parts are fun. We made roads in the dirt, lined with rocks and would earth move all day.
I grew up in the Mojave Desert of SC – we spent hours running all over the desert, catching lizards and horned toads, the occasional scorpion (none of us ever got stung…), and once in a while, a ground squirrel (Mom never let us keep them). We made swords and weapons out of sticks, and would hollow out the larger mesquite bushes and play.
When we went on “adventures” planning to be out all day…we’d fill the canteens, and pack a bag lunch. The dump was a mile away, and back before waste management, we were allowed in, if we asked politely, to go through scrap piles for treasures. We’d get home before the heat of the day, usually around 1-2 PM.
We also had a pool, but we weren’t allowed in it without adult supervision upon pain of death (seriously). This is IMPORTANT – if you have a large pool and it’s not heated, do not allow anyone to swim during the heat of the day. If there is a 30 degree difference between outside air and the water, especially children are prone to hypothermia.
However, many a summer evening – my Dad would make a pot of chili and cornbread, we’d play in the pool for hours in the evening, get out, eat some chili, and then go to bed to sleep soundly.
If you don’t want to spend a lot on a pool and you want it to last – buy an 8 foot round, 2 foot high stock tank (ours was $100 8 years ago). Then buy a propane, tankless hot water heater that hooks up to a hose. Run the regular waterhose until the stock tank is about 18 inches deep, then run the rest of the water through the hot water heater.
Advantages – fun size pool for average kids. Disadvantages – even with a cover, the pool got dirty fast, we emptied it about every 3-4 days – but then again, some 10 or so people were using it. The garden was well watered, though.
Oh, and the kids next door built an underground fort (that neither their parents or ours knew about). They dug a couple deep holes, with a tunnel, propped scrap plywood and 2 X 4s as a roof, covered it in dirt, and we’d crawl in there with flashlights and play Army men. It eventually collapsed, and a few months later, the Dad found it and had a freak-out…
When I think of all the stuff we did when I was a kid, it’s wonder we all survived to adulthood. The times I’m talking about – youngest kid was 5, oldest was 11 and we did all this running around the desert for a good 5 years. As all of us hit our teens, we didn’t do it any more.
Statistics: Posted by Cin — Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:08 pm