I love all of the funny things that my kids do that make me laugh. Sometimes it is them being naughty, which any parent will tell you is one of the hardest things as a parent, not laughing when they are being naughty. However, this experience was just good clean fun.
One of my kids favorite games to play in the car is “I spy with my little eye…”. They regularly play this game even on relatively short trips, and it is incredibly entertaining for me and Crash Aunt. The reason it’s so funny is because of how they play. It usually goes something like this: “I spy with my little eye…a red car.” (Which is parked right next to us.) Or, “I spy with my little eye a yellow balloon.” (Again, the only yellow balloon in the area.) It is hilarious how blatantly obvious they are with their clues, but they love it so who cares?
Last week the two oldest were playing (ages 4 and 6) when Crash nephew decided he was done, mostly because he likes to frustrate his sister, so she proceeded to play with my youngest. When we pointed out that she is only two years old and didn’t know how to play, she was undeterred. She offered to tell her sister what to say so that they could still play together. It was great.
It really got me thinking about how much I probably stifle my kids’ growth and imagination by allowing them to spend time on electronics or watching TV instead of forcing them to come up with their own games and entertainment. Kids don’t need a lot to be entertained as long as we allow them to just have fun. Much the way that Crash Dad observed a bunch of fifth graders having fun on a bus together, they don’t need a bunch of stuff to have fun as long as they have other kids to play with, or maybe even a willing parent.
That was one of the great things about having seven kids in our family growing up. There was always someone else to play basketball with, or build a fort with, or play balloon volleyball in the living room with. We didn’t even consider going to electronics, which at the time was just a tv, we found ways to be entertained. I don’t want this to sound like a “When I was a kid…” story, but rather just pointing out that kids are every bit as creative as they ever were, we just have to let them do it.