How to pass the time


Our family gets to spend a crazy amount of time together. Michael is often around the house, studying language, or working on projects.
To some of you that might sound like heaven, and to some…not so much.

Anyways, awhile ago we had to do our first long-Daddy-away-stretch.
Everything went really smoothly; not because I’m such a fantastically patient mom OR because my kids are little angels. OF COURSE NOT.
We had a lot of people ready to help us…our neighbors said I could send the boys over if I need a break.
We also had a plan for every day.
Every day, we’d reach into an activity jar, and pull out what we were going to do that day.

Here’s how it went:

  1. A sleeps countdown chart
  2. Treasure Hunt I made clues the G could read by himself. The boys followed them until the last one…in my bed there was a “treasure” bag for each of them full of whatever “treasure” I could scrounge up…straws, stickers, balloons, candy. Here are the clues:
    • Under the coconut tree
    • On top of the TV
    • In the tomato cage
    • By the soccer goal
    • On top of the big rock
    • In the generator shed
    • By the tall papaya tree
    • On the table
    • On the porch
    • In my bed
  3. Make a doll…er soldier house. I drew up several plans, and let them pick how they wanted to do it. We found a doll house on Made by Joel that fit their vision. They also drew up their own plans, of how to include an elevator, secret entrance, etc.
  4. Continue work on the soldier house. Apparently making things out of wood is harder than Michael makes it look. We picked out our wood pieces, planed them, and then cut them to size with a hand saw. We even had to rip a few pieces since all of our wood was hand slabbed, and nothing is a standard size.
  5. Sausage roast & swimming. We called our neighbors over to enjoy some sausages with us. They contributed corn and sweet potatoes. And we made some biscuits to roast on sticks. We still reminisce about how fun that was.
  6. Obstacle Course Like most boys their age they like competing; throw in a physical aspect, and they love it. To keep 4 and 7 year old feelings intact, I had them compete against themselves, trying to better their own personal times.
  7. Finger-painting J used a paintbrush instead of his fingers, he inherited Michael’s innate ability to stay clean no matter what.
  8. Potato print fabric
  9. Camping I was pretty nervous the whole time, even though we were right behind the house (I like having Michael around to explain the night sounds). The next morning we at oatmeal out of our tin cups.
  10. Greek masks (for history) I already posted about these.
  11. Make a swing. Once again tough with no pre-cut lumber, and not pre-fab hardware. We made do, and it works.
  12. Try to get more done on the soldier house. Still weren’t able to finish.
  13. Go down to meet Daddy.

We are looking at another long-Daddy-away time…though this time it’s only a week. And, then maybe another ten days at the end of the month. We’ll have to make another activity jar, do you guys have suggestions for easy activities that boys would like to do in the land of no libraries or play dates?

One thought on “How to pass the time

  1. Loved the update, especially your comment at the end, “We make do, and it works!” Love that attitude! The things the boys are learning (and not just behavior-wise), priceless! We had Josh & the 3 girls, so our list would be different from yours. Plus, we lived in a small neighborhood so there were lots of other kids around. Josh would be off playing at homes or the basketball court or at the ocean, at the break of dawn. We’d be coming down around 6:30 and he’s just getting home, sweating, and ready to eat breakfast! He did love making things “from the trash.” He made vehicles for his GI Joes from empty soap & shampoo bottles. He took wire and made a bunch of stick-figure men. He made a small fortress for his Joes out of 3-4 boxes, duct tape, scissors & string. He and his buddies made “spit-ball” guns out of bamboo (which were very cool!). They made their own slingshots and practiced all day long. I’d have to talk with Ruth or Josh for other ideas. Josh was 6-9 years old during these times, so maybe a little older than your guys.

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