01 May 2011
"We're bored. Can we watch TV?"
There they were, two healthy eight-year-old football enthusiasts, having a playdate on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Bored???
Aint no way they were watching TV. Nuh-uh.
"Go outside and play football in the garden," daddy suggested.
"Awww, we already did that..."
"Ride your bikes up to the park," mummy chimed in.
Annoyed, we took turns with the lecturing...
"It's a Beautiful Day."
"TV is for when its raining."
"Or when you don't have a playdate."
"Use your imagination. Sure, two clever handsome boys like you can think up something to do..."
"Why back in my day, we were sent outside in all weathers with nothing but an old stick and we never ran out of things to do..."
You get the gist.
Just another example of today's technologically-saturated offspring, you could say. And there it could have been left, a couple of lackadaisical youngsters, kicking their toes in the gravel hoping their whining would see us cave and hand over the PS2.
Because, yeehar, Daddy has all the great ideas for fun, and he chimed in with, Wanna play Hide'n'Seek?
A baby's game you might think. Surely this pair would not be interested in a silly old game like that?
Hide'n'Seek went off.
The neighbours joined in. The toddler joined in. Daddy, Miss Fab, the previously bored boys.
They played it with the go-home-stay-home rules.
You get found, you get sent to the trampoline. Someone who hasn't been caught can sneak up and high-five you to rescue you, risking getting caught in the process.
Funny how such a simple twist gives a game a whole new lease of life.
I lay on the daybed for a few minutes watching the hilarity, before I realised: blog post! Great material for a blog post! Then I became the undercover photojourno, sneaking up and snapping people hiding; recording daring rescues for future posterity...
Of course this was all so much fun that more neighbours came to join in.
So Daddy cranked it up a gear and pulled out the Big Guns, introducing them to:
Tin Can Alley.
"This game," he announced to the eager bunch of assorted children, "is what we used to play in the streets back in my day..."
Such a simple game.
You need an empty tin can, six sticks and a tennis ball.
Divide up in two teams.
Take turns trying to bowl the can over.
If your team knocks it down, run!
The other team will be chasing you with the tennis ball trying to hit you and get you out.
But while you are running you must also try to set up the can and sticks again. Without getting tagged.
If the chasing team gets everyone out before they set the can up again, they win.
If the running team set the can up before all their members are hit, they win.
Clear as mud?
Try it sometime. It's fun!
And the more people the better.
Just look at Scrag trying to set up the sticks on the can. He got five on and then knocked them all off attempting to place number six. Soooo funny.
We had a great afternoon. The kids had a great afternoon. At some point I felt inspired to get into the old fashioned spirit of things and play fifties housewife: baking muffins and making smoothies for the whole gang. I had an apron and everything *grin*
There were no more complaints of "I'm bored." Not one.
As we sat munching our muffins and slurping up our smoothies, Mr G turned to me and said, "This is what its meant to be like. Back to basics. We don't need all that fancy stuff, gadgets and spending heaps of money. Look how much fun we all had!"
Hats off to my amazing hubby who made it all happen. He put himself out there and spent his Saturday afternoon playing old fashioned games with the kids from the neighbourhood.
Can I just say again, my husband is amazing? He has an ability to engage with kids and create such an energy that they will think hide'n'seek is cooler than Wii.
The proof. This afternoon what did I hear outside my window?
The sound of neighbourhood kids counting...
"1, 2, 3... 19, 20. Coming ready or not!"