Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Walking Game {a.k.a. Easy Kid Fun!}

A couple of days ago the kids were feeling a little restless--you know, the dreaded pre-dinner witching hour was beginning to strike.  As I often do in times such as these, I decided to read aloud (one of our favorite pastimes).  I grabbed the latest issue of Spider magazine (another favorite!) and got to it.  One of the stories was called "The Walking Game" by Linfred Longenecker.  Intrigued, I started to read.

Love Spider magazine.  LOVE.

The story tells of some rowdy siblings who are getting annoyed with one another (the spooky E.S.P.-esque realization that I had picked this story in the midst of sibling crankies was not lost on me!).  The mom decides that, in order to remedy the squabbles, the kids need to play the "Walking Game",  in which they head outside in different directions, returning home once they were no longer feeling annoyed.  The assignment works like a charm, and the kids come back refreshed with unique treasures in hand, resulting in a nice dinner together.

Ummmmm, yeah.  This girl needs some serious cheering up come witching hour.  What was it that Shakespeare said... "though she be but small, she be fierce"!

 Genius!!  I immediately needed to put this idea to the test!  After finishing the story I sent the kids outside in different directions to collect 3 things each, that we would arrange on the table as a dinnertime centerpiece. I know.  I veered from the original story.  But just a little.  Keep in mind that our yard is not nearly as interesting as the one in the story, in which the kids come back with all kinds of spectacular garden fruits and flowers!  So, I figured I'd add in the treasure-hunting aspect.  IT WORKED.  Worked like a charm, it did!  The kids thought it was uber-fun to see what they could find, and loved the added intrigue of keeping it a secret from one another.  They all came back with cute little finds (cute for a considerably boring yard in late October, anyway!), and had a blast arranging their treasure for our centerpiece.  Then we had a nice (and peaceful!) dinner together...and the rest is history!

Our centerpiece :)

Witching Hour: 0,  Mom: 1.

In fact, the kids loved it so much that they asked to do it again the next day!

Witching Hour: 0,  Mom: 2.

So, if you find yourself desperate to occupy the littles some late afternoon, I highly recommend giving the Walking Game a try!  You could easily modify it to become an indoor hunt on bad weather days--just send them to different areas of the house to find something special.  Or, if you want to get crafty, you could have them each make something to use instead.  And if you want to get even more creative, you could have them each find or make something specific (e.g. something red, something symbolizing a favorite activity, something holiday-themed, etc.)  The possibilities are endless!  For us it struck that perfect balance of feeling special (an official centerpiece!) with mystery/ rivalry (who will find the coolest stuff?  What will everyone else pick??).  If you want to read the original story to add to the fun, I found it online here: The Walking Game.  Try it, it worked for me!

Easy and fun...a win-win!

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  1. I really like to walk with my son in nature, because it's so much easier to watch the world around and get to know him.

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