Monday, June 30, 2008

The Cardboard Mansion

Have you ever built a house in one day? My daughter built one late yesterday afternoon.

Ok, so it wasn’t an actual house, but my two-year old granddaughter and three-year old grandson were as proud of it as if it were a million-dollar mansion.

I had purchased a file cabinet for my home office and was hauling the box out the front door. The kids were playing on the deck. My grandson wanted to help, so I handed it over to him. As I watched him drag it across the deck, a thought occurred to me. I went back in the house, grabbed a carving knife, and hurried back outside.

My daughter gave me a funny look when I handed the knife to her. “Build your babies a house,” I said. She grinned and went to work.

You see, I built houses for my children when they were growing up. Any cardboard box that went through our home was usually worn out before it left. My girls have had Barbie’s fancy bedroom outfit, but they would still make her a bed from a shoe box. They created pillows and comforters from my kitchen towels and washcloths. Even thought they had a table and chairs, they would still use a television box for a table and one of my bathroom towels for a tablecloth.

Needless to say, the kids had a blast in their cardboard house. My daughter laughed as she watched them walk into the box, shut the door, and peek out the makeshift windows. The kids giggled and screamed as we knocked on the door and asked if anyone was home. Their laughter was golden.

Don’t waste any small chance to give your child a memory and a little bit of fun. Keep in mind; it doesn’t take much to build a cardboard mansion.

Old-Fashioned Fun With No Bells & Whistles

Hello, Everyone...

Welcome to my blog. I'd like to share some of my experience in life and maybe a dream or two. I hope you'll find something of value here, something that creates a memory that will last a lifetime.

You don't need a lot of money, toys, or supplies to have fun with your family. There are so many ways to create memories without a lot of hassle. I'll be sharing tips to create simple crafts. There'll be ideas for games that take no supplies at all. And I'll give you ideas on how to handle anything from a bully to a power outage.

Sometimes our lives get so busy, we forget our families. It may be that you can't schedule a family dinner together because everyone's running their separate ways. Or maybe there's never a spare minute to just enjoy each other's company and talk. But I believe there's a way to stop, take a breath, and experience what family is all about.

Family togetherness is an important element in our lives. I can't imagine my life without mine, that's for sure. And it's important to create good memories for our children. We honestly don't need the "bells and whistles" that money buys. You won't find high-tech games or crafts with supply lists a mile long here. I'd like to give you old-fashioned ideas that remind you that a simple life is a good life. I'd like to help you bring your family closer together and create a tie that binds.

I hope you visit my site often. Have fun...


Kids! 10 Ways to Add Fun to Your Summer

Summer’s here and school’s out! Need some ideas for fun? It doesn’t take much time or money to make a day memorable for you and your friends.

Here are some simple ideas to sprinkle throughout the summer:

1. You don’t have to plant an entire flower garden. A few seeds sprinkled into a flower pot will add color to a window sill. An old boot makes a good planter, too. Be sure to water your plant every day and watch for new sprouts!

2. Play in the sprinkler. Get out those cut-off shorts and bathing suits and cool off.

3. Collect leaves and transform them into art. Gather leaves. Lay a piece of white paper over them. Hold firmly in place and color over the top of the leaf. Remove the leaf and create a frame around the edge of the paper. Tada! Instant art.

4. Feed the birds. Cover a pine cone with peanut butter and roll in bird seed. Tie a string around the pine cone and hang it from a tree. The birds will love it!

5. Catch fireflies at night. Have your parents put a few small holes in the top of a plastic jar. Catch fireflies and place them in the jar. It’s a homemade lantern! (Be sure to let the fireflies go before you go to bed.)

6. Make snow cones. Most refrigerators now have icemakers that shave the ice. Fill a glass with shaved ice and add juice or Kool-Aid for a homemade snow cone! You can make your own snow cone holder out of a piece of cardboard, coffee filters, and tape. Cut the cardboard and coffee filters in a big triangle. Lay the coffee filter on top of the cardboard and roll it up with the cardboard on the outside. Tape edges closed.

7. Make rock pets. Use different size rocks to shape turtles, frogs, or other animals. For added fun, paint them.

8. Make seashell paintings. Paint pictures or designs on the inside of medium-sized seashells. (Paint shouldn’t be too thin or the colors will run.)

9. Make a summer hideout. Hang sheets from a clothesline to make a tent. Add chairs, boxes, or anything you want to make furniture.

10. Play basketball. Use a mop pail or bucket if you don’t have a hoop.

It doesn’t matter which activities you choose as long as you have fun!