You know the phenomenon:
You spend time and money buying your one- or two-year-old child a special gift that YOU think is fantastic, and all the child is really interested in is the box it came in, or perhaps the wrapping paper itself. We’ve all been there, right?
After yesterday, I’m starting to think the same principle applies to those expensive backyard play sets. Who needs ‘em, as long as your child has a healthy imagination?
Although it’s been several months since we moved, our trampoline never did get set up in our new backyard. At first there was no grass, and then when there was we had to let that grass get good and healthy, and by then it was too hot….You know how it goes.
It doesn’t seem to have been a problem for the kids, though; especially for Addy, who is pretty good at making her own fun.
Recently, she was helped along by the mysterious appearance of a construction spool in our backyard. (I guess it wasn’t TOO mysterious, considering that our whole neighborhood is still one big construction zone and that my husband loves checking the discard piles for little treasures…or in this case, big treasures!) I’m guessing the spool was to be used as a work table of some kind, but Addy had other plans.
Yesterday, she decided to use it as her own rolling balance beam.
Remi was interested but I wasn’t ready for her to get up there, so I laid a board down flat for a balance beam for her. Of course it was too easy, so we had to change her challenge to hopping down the beam.
Then Addy had the idea to combine both girls’ equipment to make a seesaw. It was hilarious to watch their faces! (Click the picture for a better view.)
I should probably mention a couple of things here:
One, I do realize it is January. But while much of the world is huddling inside to stay warm this time of year, we in South Texas are heading outdoors to finally enjoy some nice, cool weather.
Two, my youngest daughter is in that stage….you know, the one where it is important to dress as a princess at all times, even when playing on boards in the backyard. (Addy did put down a towel for her to sit on so she wouldn’t mess up her dress.)
Once Remi had had enough of their homemade seesaw, Addy used the board to make an incline for another type of balance beam.
Before I knew it, she had created an entire obstacle course for herself.
The towel (?) was the starting point, and from there she had to go up the plank…
…and across the next board…
…and then walk off onto the spool and roll as far as she could.
I should note here that all these ideas were Addy’s. Of course, once Remi saw how much fun Addison was having, she wanted to get in on that action, too, and Addy was so sweet to help her all along the way.
I love seeing siblings helping each other out and having fun together!
Next Addy made a slide, and taught Remi how to climb up the spool and cross the plank to get to it.
Now for the sliding fun…
Addy needed to take it a step further—of course—so she started going down backwards!
By this time the sun was starting to go down, but the girls weren’t ready to go inside just yet. So they added some more layers of clothes and brought out their blankets, then laid the porch swing down flat to make themselves a comfy little bed on the back patio.
As it got cooler, they decided to make the whole thing into a tent. Look closely…
Did you notice their custom “tie-downs?” Cutest weights ever, huh?
Addy added some more layers, both inside and outside the tent, to make it warmer, then proclaimed it ready to spend the night in. (I’ll just assume you know what my answer to that was.)
Again, if you looked very closely, you saw that she used Troy’s tools, and even my hair accessories, to hold the covers on. (Click on the picture below for a closer view.)
I love that about Addy—she is the queen of “use-what-ya-got!” She never asked for help; just figured out what would work and made it happen.
Remi, meanwhile, was rounding up the babies who would be “spending the night in the tent, too.”
So here’s my advice, friends:
Next time you’re tempted to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on some play equipment for your kiddos, I recommend taking a step back and letting them use their imaginations for a while, instead. It just might end up being even more fun!