I made a pilgrimage to Sal Val today. You know, that hip and trendy place where you can score DKNY for $3.00?
These last few days have been all about back to school prep. Overhauling bedrooms, cleaning out a kitchen cabinet full of junk in order to create a command center stocked with sharpened pencils, rulers, markers, and glue, menu planning (a new goal of mine), developing our family lists, and most importantly, wading through closets, the attic, and bags of hand me down clothes in order to assess the fig leaf situation for each kid.
Today's plan? A trip to Salvation Army, a hunting playground to which I would prefer NOT to take the kids. It's a hard place to meticulously pick through the buried treasure hanging on each rack while also keeping a keen eye on the children. But since it's too large of a joint to allow them to wander off without me on their tails, I had to set some ground rules.
And clue them in to my mental map of the outing.
"First stop. Pants and shirts for Zane. Got that?"
"Second stop. Harper, pants. Check?"
"Then, we'll try everything on, travel over to housewares, and eventually end in the toy section . . . IF we follow my road map. Kapish?"
We had so much fun. So. Much. Fun.
And were greatly rewarded on 50% off day.
11 shirts, 4 pairs of pants and 1 pair of shorts for Zane (who was sorely in need of clothing). 1 pair of pants and 3 shirts for Harper (who already scored a heap of hand me downs). 1 shirt for my husband (why not?). 1 DKNY sweater dress for me. (And I wasn't even hunting. It found me.)
And then, motherload.
Battleship. (The original one. Not the new and improved game whose innocence has been stripped away with the addition of electronic explosions.)
When we got home, the games came out. And except for a quick lunch, it was a game playin' afternoon. Harper taught Zane graphing during a rousing game of Battleship. A neighbor then joined them and suddenly Mrs. White was going all out ninja on an unsuspecting victim in the Lounge while wielding a dagger. The sounds changed to the light clicking of tiles being formed into words as the three moved on to Scrabbleland.
A wise friend of mine taught me a little something this summer. Do you ever hear the phrase, "I'm bored" in your house? I do. My usual response to this complaint is, "Find something to do." Well, let me tell you, that phrase is NOT ALLOWED at my dear friend's abode. Do not resuscitate, do not pass Go, you'll shoot your eye out, kid.
Shhh. Don't even think about it.
She has a great point. I would much rather have my kids figure out something fun/creative to occupy their time rather than serving as their daily cruise director by orchestrating hourly games and activities to insure that they stay happy and busy. So rather than telling them "go find something to do", I'm taking a cue from her and banning the phrase as well. Don't tell me you're bored, you have plenty of options - most of which don't include me. All the tools are available and at your disposal. Have a great time.
Today, was further proof that the good old fashioned board game can still hold a candle to the Playstations, Wii's, and Nintendo DSes of the world. Add maze books (Zane's favorite), puzzles, crafts, books (shocking), burying time capsules in the back yard, treasure hunts with clues (Harper's favorite), etc., and you've got your very own boredom busters, AND, activities that the children can initiate all on their very own.
We are currently building up our cabinet of non-"bored" games, and I'm even keeping a Wish List of ones we'd like to add to our collection.
What are your favorite board games and/or boredom busters?
Joline Pinto Atkins is a former actress who now uses the web as her world-wide stage and can be founding writing at www.thecuppajo.blogspot.com, www.cuppafit.blogspot.com, www.pittsburghmom.com as the Soccer Mommy Blogger. Joline is wife to one (phew - that's good to know) and mother of two amazing children, aged 9 and 5, who are both named after authors. Addicted to fitness, she sweats out any daily angst by running (not with sharp objects) and weightlifting, and longs for good books, vats of coffee, and an endless supply of buffalo wings - which she will not share with you. So, please, do not ask.