06 October 2009


over the weekend, my oldest son and a couple of his buddies asked me for two tin cans and a long piece of string to make – yes you guessed it – one of those good old fashioned telephones.  with a little help nailing a hole and threading the string, they were off to the backyard partaking in long distance conversations, thrilled about what they were able to make. september october 2009 090 this got me to thinking about the toys and games in our home and the ones that my children enjoy the most.  i find it encouraging and refreshing that in a world filled with electronic, noise making, unimaginative  toys, it is the simple games and toys that have stood the test of time that draw my children in the most.  so i have challenged myself to create a list of good old-fashioned activities {if just from my own childhood} that we sometimes play, and others that we have yet to discover.   
1. tabletop football.  this is a family fave.  we play this often while eating out as long as the kids can keep their field goal kicks under control.  all you need are your fingers and a paper napkin or paper kid’s menu.  to learn how to play visit http://www.paperfootballzone.com/home.html
2.  tic.tac.toe.
3.  i spy.
4.  challenge your children to hang a spoon from their nose.  this may contradict the table manners you try to instill, so see if it will keep them busy at the counter while you are making dinner.
5.  make puppets {out of socks, brown paper bags, shadows or let them draw one on their hand using the thumb and pointer finger}.
6.  make paper airplanes.  whose goes the farthest?  whose is decorated the best?  whose can do a loopty loop?
7.  try dropping clothes pins in a milk bottle {or something similar}. 
8.  cats cradle.
9.  chopsticks {the hand tapping game}.  learn to play here: http://www.wikihow.com/Play-Chopsticks
10.  make fart noises with your arm pits {sorry….  i had to throw this one in here.  you may not want them to share their new talent with everyone, but you can’t deny how funny it is!}.
11.  speak pig latin.
12.  scavenger hunt.  you don’t have to write out clues and have an elaborate ending point.  grab 3 or 4 of their toys and hide them throughout the house.  then send the kids on a hunt to find them.
13.  rock . paper . scissors.
14.  write a letter and mail it.
15.  kick the can.  find instructions here:  http://www.ehow.com/how_309_play-kick-can.html
16.  thumb wrestle.
17.  shaving cream fight {outside of course and preferably when it’s hot enough to hose off}.  i played this all the time growing up in chicago.
18.   play mash {mansion, apartment, shack, house…}.  find explanation here: http://www.swingsetpress.com/playmash.htm
19.  try to balance the salt shaker.
20.  see who can keep a straight face the longest.
21.  make a daisy chain.
22.  make a friendship bracelet.
23.  make a paper fortune teller.  learn how here: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/origami/fortuneteller don’t like “fortune” stuff – fill the inside with Scripture.
24.   jacks.  learn how to play here: http://www.ehow.com/how_2964_play-jacks.html
25.  pick up sticks.  learn how to play here: http://www.ehow.com/how_2051017_play-pick-up-sticks.html
26.  marbles.  learn to play here: http://www.ehow.com/how_3999_play-marbles.html
27.  hangman….  as politically incorrect as it is, it’s still a lot of fun.
that’s good enough for now.
comment and let me know if you have any ideas to add!
:: Rae, v.p. + mom, ARMOMMY

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