Summer is winding down finally and the back-to-school sales are in full swing, but my kids are still holding on to summer like a golden ticket. Keeping them active and entertained is always a challenge, especially if you have limited entertainment budget. I was reading a fun article titled 10 ways to entertain young children for $1 or less (without the TV) over at Lifehacker, one of my favorite sites. The number one way the author, Brad Isaac, suggests to entertain your youngsters is by giving them a big cardboard box.
Large cardboard boxes – Perfect for making houses and small castles. A large cardboard box can entertain an imaginative child for hours. Make sure you are nearby to take pictures and plenty of door knocking. Hint: look for an appliance store in your area. They often have many of the large boxes they are willing to give you as opposed to putting in the trash.
I thought all the stuff Brad included on his list was great, but he did leave one important source of eternal fascination: the stick.
I swear that I could walk out of a giant mega-toy-store with an armful of mega-toys that set my not-so-mega wallet back like a celebrity divorce, and my son would look down in the gutter and say,
Daddy! A STICK!!!!
He’d grab the stick and run about like some hillbilly that just scored some monster truck tickets. He would then receive an imaginary call on his imaginary cell phone that would him he and his stick need to stop some trouble in the town.
This is my favorite stick! Look at me! A STICK!!!!!
Now, I know I’m a long way from three, but I do recall that finding a good stick was an excellent source of fun. After all, think of all the things you can do with a stick.
- Act like grandpa with a cane. Make sure to say “What?” a lot.
- Pretend it is a bo staff and you are about to kick some ninja butt.
- Hit things with the stick to see what kinds of sounds they make. Hmm, my sister makes an “Ow!” kind of sound when I hit her.
- Slay a dragon with your stick sword, or kill a pirate. “Have at thee, poopstain!”
- Run with the stick like it is a bomb. If you scream while doing this, it’s extra fun, seriously.
- Play air guitar with your stick. Go trash your room after the show. Chicks dig it.
- Use it as a walking stick. Please remember that without the stick, you cannot walk. Lie down on the ground if someone takes your walking stick, crying that you are too weak to move.
- Use the stick to investigate really gross stuff. Turn over that rock with the bugs under it. Collect spider webs. Poke your vegetables.
- Conduct your imaginary orchestra. The ABCs will never sound so grand.
- Toss it up into the air and catch the opposite side. Let it spin a couple of times. Avoid catching the stick with your face.
If you would like your very own stick, I can sell you a deluxe model for only $29.95. What a deal!