Sunday, April 17, 2011

the DIY balance :: imagination is better than toys

image via flickr

The weather this weekend was insanely beautiful and perfect. Too perfect to not spend some time at the beach... But I was a bad blogger mother and forgot to bring a camera.

We had just enough family time and beach time before we headed to 'the blue house', as the slo house is commonly referred to by the kids. John had to do some prep work to get ready for the new gas fireplace. I had to apply another coat of polyurethane to the french doors.

Now, I have to tell you that I often feel guilty when we *force* the kids to spend time at 'the blue house.' I know that it can be boring there, since there are no toys, no TV, no Wii, no nothing. The kids always bring scooters, and I encourage them to bring a few toys, but's not an ideal situation.

What surprises me --and impresses me-- is the amount of creativity that 7 and 4 have when we're over there.

This is them playing 'Native Americans.' (Their words, not mine.) They were pretending to build a fire, and then they were cooking things on the fire.

I guess I need to remember that it's *okay* to put kids in a situation where they have nothing but their imaginations. They will rise to the challenge.

We were at 'the blue house' for about 3 hours, and do you know that the kids never, ever complained or commented that they wanted to leave? They kept themselves completely entertained with nothing but a couple of scooters and loads of imagination.

Maintaining the DIY balance is tough. It's tough, but it's doable.

This post has been shared with the Wednesday Good Life Linky Party at A Beach Cottage. It's full of inspiration, so head on over!


  1. oh, I love this post. I'm huge on independent unsupervised play. We had the same thing going on at our house. While we painted the skylight, our 22 months old (almost) entertained herself in the next room, just within our line of vision. It was the best afternoon ever!

    Kids are a lot more adaptable than we give them crdit for :)

  2. Hi Karen,

    I was visiting YHL website and some of the responses re the picture gallery and I noticed you said your daughter has a unique name. I live in Glasgow, Scotland, UK and would be delighted to try and find you something with your daughter's name on it if you wish. Janis

  3. I remember growing up with renovator parents. They were always painting, or remodeling something. One of my favorite games, I would play paint store and "mix paint in the dryer." I remember those being some of my favorite days, playing while my parent's renovated.

  4. kids need more unstructured, no toy, just imagination play time! we're so compelled to always have something for them, but the time that you gave them this weekend is invaluable!

  5. That's so cute :)
    I always find it interesting to see what kids come up with and find entertaining. I bet YOU were entertained just by watching them!

  6. you are teaching your children invaluable life lessons. #1 "things" do not always make us happy and #2 how to balance play time and work time. oh and #3 brothers/sisters are cool.

  7. Reminds me of college (on a relatively isolated campus in rural Virginia), when lots of girls transferred out after freshman year. I always thought it was because they were used to being entertained and couldn't figure out how to have a good time on 3300 pristine acres, surrounded by friends and countless opportunities to expand their horizons. Sad.

  8. My husband and I go through this with our kids. It of coure always starts with "when I was growning up". But it's true, there were no computers, hand held gadgets, cell phones, or 24 hour cartoons! We were outside from morning til night, and we survived. You're kids will be very creative using their imagination...Good for them!

  9. This is so beautiful. I look forward to seeing you at My Dream Canvas.

  10. Lovely post! Kids really do have a great imagination don't they :) Thanks for adding your link to Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays!


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