We can learn so much from watching children play! If you put a child outside with nothing, they will entertain themselves in all sorts of ways. Growing up, it's easy to lose that sense of adventure. One of the things I've loved about this Spring is how much more time I've spent with my child, and how we are both learning to see the world through each other's eyes.
It didn't take me long to realize that when we're both squirreled away watching movies, video games, or social media online, it's fun but it actually cuts us off from the living, breathing experience of the world around us. We've had fun taking walks, but much of our time is spent in household socialization. So here are 5 things we've been doing together that are a lot of fun! AND, All of these can be done with one person, so if you're alone, it's still on.
1. JENGA & BOARD GAMES! I know there are a ton of apps on your phone with really great games. I love to play those. But eyeballs aren't meant to stare at a screen for 10 hours a day, and when you bring the game back into the living room with a real human, it gets even better. Our favorites are still Jenga and Connect Four because they are mindless, physical pleasures. But we're also playing a Disney board game called Villainous, and we have jumbo Dominoes that we can set up to knock down over the entire house. In the past it has been ALL ABOUT Foosball, darts, and card games. Last year I discovered that there are quite a few board games out there that can actually be played with 1 player. Since then, I've taken to playing some games on my own when my kiddo's not around, and I have to say I love the peace of being with myself but still engaging intellectually.
2. BALLS! Balls aren't just for children. I have fallen in love with balls. We have a game called Spikeball that's super easy to play, very physical, and gets us into the back yard. Yes, it can be taken to the park and it's easier to set up than Volleyball, but takes some skill to actually become good. Did I mention I love balls! I use lacrosse balls to roll out tension between my shoulders from sitting hunched over the computer. I don't play basketball, but we'll shoot baskets just to get the blood going. So much of our society has become media based that we forget the simple pleasures of being present in our bodies.
3. ARTS &CRAFTS! I don't mean to sound like an elementary school, but is it so bad if I do? In Victorian times, before TV, people passed time by making small watercolors, knitting, drawing, writing letters, decoupage (our equivalent is probably the visionboard), scrapbooking, and finding other ways to create beauty. The other day I asked my kid if he would ever like a pen-pal and he said, "Why? I could just text them!" Don't even get me started on the gift and power of the handwritten word. Either way, we now love to spend a little bit of time each week with high quality graphic markers out on the table, good paper, and some sunlight. We craft letters, draw treasure maps, vision board, and the work takes the conversation in directions one wouldn't imagine.