Friday, September 2, 2011

My impromptu KIDS DAY! (I highly recommend it)

I had my first teacher training workshop as a full-time teacher a couple weeks ago. The guest speaker was The Ooey Gooey Lady - which if you haven't heard of and you have toddlers or young children then you NEED to look her up! She is absolutely hilarious. A little sporadic but great! So I spent the whole day being inspired and finding fun fabulous things to do with my little toddlers in class and all the while thinking of my own babies. Granted they aren't babies, but you know us moms ALWAYS call them "our babies". You see a couple days before this my mother-in-law decided she was done fighting. She had battled (and conquered) cancer however the tolls it took and were still taking on her body were horrible. She decided that she knew where she was going and she would rather be there then living this kind of a life. So needless to say my husband took the first flight he could be on back home. My little ones didn't really understand daddy leaving so suddenly and they were also stuck in babysitting at my school all day because we had thought hubby would be home to watch them. I felt bad and really wanted to give them some one-on-one time to let them know we were STILL there for them no matter the chaos around us.

So that's exactly what I did. I made up my mind driving home that I could push everything on my "To-Do List" aside and I would declare tonight "KID NIGHT"! Which meant all fun and crazy activities JUST for my babies and no distractions allowed!

Yep it started out like this! Now granted they DID begin with making yummy Ice-Cream Sundaes, however in my rush that morning I forgot to turn the thermostat back to A/C so our house was in the high 80's when we got home! I thought ICE CREAM would be perfect cool-me-down. But in hindsight with it that hot it wasn't the best of ideas. However the kids loved it! Once it melted it turned into their own soup creations! Haha - they even named them and yes they drained all my syrups.

This picture came soon after. As we were putting the ingredients back from our ice-cream (what was left anyways) it began to rain. Now we live in southern Texas where we've been in some crazy abnormal drought this year so I was Ecstatic! So of course I yelled at the kids "Get your crocks on - let's run in the rain!! After their initial shock and questions of disbelief at what mom had just stated, they quickly obliged. Gracie was a little reluctant so I gave her an umbrella to begin with.

Stop right here for a moment. I also realized reflecting back on my evening that several things had biblical meaning as well. Such as the umbrella. When people are going through things in life and you are trying to help them along or trying to get them to understand a concept that is a little stretching for them - you must remember to be graceful and tactful in dealing with them. Find ways to make them comfortable and allow them to baby step into it. Like giving my daughter an umbrella. Of course she soon ditched it and ran in the rain with the rest of us crazies. But it gave her enough comfort to try it in the first place.

Okay back to our story. So after sword fighting my son with closed umbrellas and twirling with my daughter we came back in the house, wet, but satisfied.

Next upon entering the house and getting in dry play clothes, (Which if you're a mom you know means cruddy dirty clothes you really don't care if they get messed up clothes) my son found an empty box from a package I had received that day. He asked if he could use it to play with. Now this is Kid's Day so I had to respond "yes" instead of a "no, I need that for later". Being a boy he collected all his colored pencils and began stabbing it making accompanying sounds of course.

Which of course triggered another idea - one of those "I never let them do this but they always want today is perfect for it!" I gave my kids hammers and nails!! *GASP* Yes. I said that correctly: I GAVE MY KIDS HAMMER AND NAILS!

Break Time: Another lesson here. Boys innately want to build, to hunt, to create and conquer. Why do we give them cheap little toys when sometimes they just need the real deal so they can learn REAL things?! My son always wants to build with wood. So obviously he has a passion in him somewhere for it. As parents its our job to encourage them to discover themselves and what they are good at and enjoy. So if he wants to build with wood and nails - then we need to give them opportunity to LEARN safely under our supervision while the "WANT" is still in them.

And my boy was SO creative when I let him do just that! He hammered a smiley face in the first box - naming it his robot. He of course then needed another box for the robot's body so once again obliging he nailed a straight line to connect the two boxes. He even got scissors and cut out a square minus one side to make a flap to be able to put his robot's batteries in! He really thought it all through and I was so impressed!

Now I said I was at a teacher's workshop so of course I had picked up some new recipes! I gave my kids a choice and they picked the funniest sounding one: OOBLECK! Yep, like from Dr. Seuss.

And sorry I didn't get good pictures - when I had the chance to take some it was still too watery. It usually is really sticky ucky stuff! Which it did turn into eventually for us!

Okay RULE of a Kid's Day: YOU MUST NOT BE AFRAID OF A MESS! Because let's face it, kids are messy and you can't have a true kids days without mess.

Which brings lesson #3: When wanting someone to try something, or maybe you want to try something yourself, be prepared and UNafraid of the mess that COULD result. It's a learning experience after all.

Okay wrapping up our night couldn't be something small after all we did so we made a fitting fort ,in mom's room of course, for the kids to "camp out". When I say we made a big fort I wasn't kidding:

And it's hard to judge from pictures but we have a fairly large room and this stretched across almost the entire way! Want to recreate it - just get some sheets and tie them onto your curtain rods as so:

I think it goes without saying that my kids had a BLAST! They asked if every day could be kids day, lol. And of course God always has perfect timing for about two hours after they drifted off to sleep after a good story and bedtimes kisses - I got the call that their grandma had passed away.