Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Best of Intentions

When it comes to doing cool projects with my kids, I always have the best of intentions but it doesn’t always work out the way I’ve hoped. Sometimes I come up with great ideas but when we do them, they either fizzle or the kids aren’t interested even if they seem cool to me. Sometimes I come up with great ideas but don’t ever get around to actually doing them, whether it’s because I don’t have the supplies on hand, or because I can’t catch the kids in the right mood, or because I can’t catch myself in the right mood. And sometimes, I just draw a blank.

Great ideas that kind of fizzled have included my infamous crayon-melting experiment (progress was too slow for short attention spans, not to mention that the final result was not nearly as spectacular as it was promised to be), making homemade Play-Doh (they didn’t want to help mix in the color because the dough was too hot), and snow painting with food coloring (the snow kept sticking to the paint brush).

Great ideas that I never quite got around to executing include freezing colored water in water balloons to decorate the front walk (the water balloons I got were too small and I haven’t gotten to the store to get better ones), making sugar-on-snow with real maple syrup (I keep forgetting to look for directions on line), and making glowing glitter jars from glow sticks (I have some glow sticks and glitter but believe it or not I don’t have a single clear jar with a tight-fitting lid anywhere in the house).

And as for drawing a blank, today I’m snowed inside the house with two small children (and a husband working from home who’d prefer I keep the children reasonably quiet and, if possible, in the kitchen and out of the playroom adjacent to the office) and essentially zero ideas. I’ve been scrolling through Pinterest, checking out projects in back issues of High Five magazine (remember those Highlights you used to read at the dentist’s office? This is the preschool version), and just generally staring out the window hoping for inspiration to strike. So far, inspiration consists of decorating sugar cookies (I have some premade dough in the fridge), making English muffin pizzas, and…well, that’s it, actually.

Fortunately, my kids are self-sufficient enough that they’ll come up with some ideas of their own. My best of intentions are likely to be trumped by my son’s suggestions of playing “Battle” or “Sword Explosion Robot War” or “Monster Truck Wrestling Ball” (rules of these games are created spontaneously and subject to change without notice), and by my daughter’s suggestions of…well, come to think of it, running in circles shrieking at the top of our lungs is pretty much her only suggestion.

Wait! I think I’ve just been struck with inspiration!!! I’ll just let my kids play whatever they want while I sit back with a cup of coffee and enjoy letting them just be kids. Yeah, that’s a pretty good intention. And I bet I’ll have no problems following through on that one. 

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