My grandchildren are living with us temporarily during their family's relocation to the west coast. What a gift to see the world through their eyes. We forget how simple pleasures can fill our days should we let them.
Nicholas (age 9) and Kalen (age 5+) have been exploring our backyard which we have allowed to be wild. We call it doggie disneyland. There is dirt to dig in, fallen trees and logs to climb on and whack at, leaves to move from one place to another in the dumptruck and the greatest thing of all - rocks to dig up! They have spent whole afternoons digging up rocks, scrubbing them clean and sorting them for their "mineral" collection. Total cost: $5. for two pair of kid sized work gloves. Now that is what I call bargain entertainment.
They have also built a fence from found wood, bricks, etc. across an area of the yard to keep the dogs from gaining access to the gate where they delight in barking at anything and everything that passes by. The boys forgot that the dogs have other access, but it did not deter them. Interestingly, the dogs, who are each 55 lb border collie mixes could easily step over the barricade if they wanted, but respect the "fence" and do not. It must be that secret understanding between little boys and dogs.
The best thing about all of these projects is that none of them have been thought of by an adult. The boys are left on their own. As long as we can see them, there are no blood curdling screams or fist fights, they are on their own to design, engineer, create, imagine, bottom line - PLAY!
When was the last time you took an entire afternoon to PLAY? Try it. Aimee and I took an entire day last week to go to a yarn expo and PLAY. It was indeed revitalizing.