Friday, August 12, 2011

Lazy Summer Fun

Not to over-romanticize summer, but I love late-August playtime.  I've seen several articles lately bemoaning the loss of creativity in America's youth.  In our house, I am amazed by the wildly blooming imaginations.

"Mommy Holding Baby Bear," by G-Bear

Love it or hate it, our summer has been filled with pajama-clad lunches, art table rendezvous, sticker page porch time, and more episodes than I can count of the "quick, take-all-the-buckets-of-toys-to-the-couch-and-dump-them-out-to-play" game.  That game is especially ideal during weeks of moving, by the way.

"Our Family with Nana," by G-Bear

These days, I am thankful for how sweetly E-Bear and G-Bear play together *most of the time*, how imaginatively they role play if I give them space, and how cheerfully they invent new past times.  I am learning that I can fuel the fire by jumping in enthusiastically when invited (I was "Rabbit" from Winnie the Pooh the other day at the park, complete with a singing set of rabbit ears.  Then, I was asked to be "Kanga with Roo" when Baby Bear was placed in my front carrier), that a stressed or negative response from me can be contagious and squelch the fun, and the fun doesn't depend on me if I'm not available to play.  Thank goodness for the latest favorite games, including:

"New kitty," in which I am asked to play "Aunt Marty," one of the kids is the new kitten, and one is the proud new owner.  I am in charge of feeding and watering the kitty.  One must understand kitty mews to play.  You must also be willing to give "slimy fish" as treats for good kitty behavior.

"Tangled," in which G-Bear is princess Tangled and E-Bear is prince Flynn.  Most fun when played on a playground play structure with slide that can serve as the tower.

"Stick pile," in which E-Bear collects a huge pile of sticks.

"Restaurant," in which my college shower totes become grocery baskets, E-Bear makes soup and G-Bear offers me an iced coffee.  Ahhhhh.

"Mr. Evil Doctor Porkchop," in which someone, preferably Papa, is Dr. Porkchop from Toy Story.  The game mainly involves roars and chasing and sometimes tickles.  "Dr. Porkchop to YOU!"  is a common refrain.  I have no idea what that means, and that is one of the best parts.

The kids are fortunate to be surrounded by friends and family who encourage and stimulate these creative juices.  Over at our cousins' house, S and E are creating things like this everyday (cousin T is not far behind), and we always come home from their house with at least one new game and several more ideas.  One of their friends recently welcomed us to our new home with a big bag of art supplies.  G-Bear has been out on the porch everyday with the new stamps, markers, glue and construction paper.  Wow, so much fun.

So, as most kids here in NC begin school next week, I am thankful that my kids still have a few weeks of lazy summer fun yet to go.  Cheers to that, with a tall glass of sweeeet tea.

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