I cannot even begin to tell you how many water toys I buy every single summer. I have an arsenal of water gadgets, water shooters, water sliders, water everything! It’s crazy to see our stash because half of the stuff is still in boxes (when will I learn my lesson).
I sometimes get little reminders in life as to how simple play can really be.
Take the 4th of July for instance. My mother threw a GIGANTIC barbecue for all of her family and friends in Bristol, RI. She asked everyone to come dresses in red, white and blue and to come hungry! Then she added one thing in the invitation which was specifically for the kids — no gaming devices are welcome. Talk about my sons Alex and Benjamin getting the air sucked out of them! “What do you mean we can’t bring our games to Grandma’s?” Yup, NO games.
I’m not kidding, you know it’s a problem when there’s tears over a gaming device not being able to come with you to a family event!
When we arrived at my mom’s party, it was like stepping back into the 1980′s and my own childhood! She had set-up all these different kinds of play activities for the kids to do and it was really cool!
There was a jump rope station.
There was a toy top station.
There was a street chalk station.
There was a hop scotch station.
There was a limbo station.
And there was a frisbee station.
Essentially, the kids (there were 15) had 6 different activities to choose from for the afternoon. When I tell you the fun was non-stop, it was absolutely non-stop. There was laughing and giggling and encouraging words from each kid to the next. It was a sight to see. It was really cool to see imaginations at work and at play throughout the day. Even with the chalk station, the kids were trying to draw a gigantic American flag. It was nice seeing everyone working together and the older kids helping the younger kids.
I even played a little hop scotch myself and showed my sons that (yes) their mom can jump rope pretty well! The delight in the kids’ eyes seeing the adults get involved was priceless.
But, it was when the party was wrapping up when I really got to see play at its finest and most simple.
Someone at the party (nobody has named names yet) turned on the hose and started spraying. Oh, yes… now this brought me back. A HUGE water fight pursued! HUGE! It was the adults vs the kids and nobody was giving in! I was pretty much taking photos of the whole thing, but it was hilarious seeing the men (a.k.a. all the DADS) getting into play mode with the kids. There weren’t any water shooters or water pistols, it was just good old fashion plastic cups and hoses to try and get everyone with. The strategy, the hiding, the screaming “GET HIM!,” the laughter… it was AWESOME! And so much fun! My sons got to see my older brothers the way I remember them to be as kids. My sons got to see my husband act like a 10 year old! It was just good FUN and play for all!
And this was all done without gaming devices, and guess what? Everyone survived!