Wednesday, January 31, 2007

in praise of boredom

"I'm bored," Twin B told me yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before that. We've been spending a lot of time at home lately, doing nothing. I'm a big fan of kids doing nothing. While I love to plan art projects and outings, I also put plenty of "downtime" in our schedule. Kids need time at home doing nothing. They need to get bored--that's when the fun begins!

I used to jump every time one of my kids got restless. "Let's paint!" or "How about a game of UNO?" or "Want to watch a movie?" While I still direct their play at times, I also like to see what they come up with when I don't. Yesterday they decided to form a band and have a parade. They practiced for an hour-and-a-half with the drum and harmonica and maracas. They hung a colorful banner--PARADE TODAY--so nobody would miss it. They gathered their "friends"--stuffed bears and snakes and turtles--and marched around happily for another hour.

Last week they made robots out of diaper boxes. They spent the entire day cutting and gluing and decorating. They proudly wandered the house chanting, "I - Am - A - Di - Per - Ro - Bot." They were careful to show the baby that it was "really them" so he wouldn't be scared of the doctored up Huggies boxes roaming around the house.

Building is another favorite activity. Tinker toys, an erector set, and legos turn into an entire city of houses and ice cream factories.

Oh, the fun we would miss if I, in my limited creativity, did all of the activity planning!


Craver VII said...

Good for you! I'm glad you had fun.

My little guy once asked me to play legos with him. I liked the idea and sat on the floor for quite a while, making space-ships and such. Then I was done.

He was not. His idea was that after we created the pieces, we would begin to play, by pretending with the little action figures. He lost me on that curve.

Two days ago, he wanted to play "space-ranger" after the family movie. I said it was okay and braced myself for the worst (bad daddy). Well, it was a real treat! He had the whole living room rearranged to be our space ship, and we sat on the couch with tv trays as pilot and copilot and colored in his Star Wars coloring books. When I thought we were done, he surprised me with space food. He opened a lunchable, assembled sandwiches, and rubber-banded the package back together.

Last night, I went back to that coloring book and finished coloring the picture. Coloring is good fun!

Llama Momma said...

It is fun to enter the world of children for awhile, isn't it? It doesn't always feel productive to our grown-up minds, but I think play benefits everyone. It's impossible to take yourself too seriously when you're watching a puppet show put on by preschoolers or coloring or eating pretend sandwiches.

But, I have to say, having twins is a great benefit here...I had very little to do with the parade, the robots, or the lego village!

L.L. Barkat said...

Return of the Diaper Boxes. Sounds like a good action film. Or maybe horror. (Diapers, taking over the world.... eeek!)