I’m not sure what my children will remember when they grow up, but I doubt it will be monetary things. I doubt it will be the games they played on the computer or the tv shows they watched. I doubt it will be the new clothes we bought them or fancy battery operated gadgets.
I hope it’s memories that we have built together as a family. The ones that didn’t cost a lot of money. They ones that took us outside. The ones that got us super dirty. The ones that took creativity. The ones that encouraged their imaginations to run wild.
I hope that’s what my children remember about their childhood. They were free to play, to have fun, to run, to laugh, to get filthy. They were free to be KIDS!
One day a few weeks ago, we stumbled upon something so fun that I wanted to share it with you because my kids have been loving it.
We were cleaning out our shed and found these old beat up and worn garden tables that have been in my husband’s family for many years. They were taking up space and I almost tossed them, but suddenly I had a vision of the potential that lay under the dust: a mud pie kitchen.
We took them out and dusted them off. Then the kids and I painted them with some cast off exterior paint that we got from Home Depot. Do you know how difficult it is to paint with a 3 and 5 year old? Let’s just say, if you are a perfectionist, I don’t recommend it. As a recovering perfectionist myself, I bit my tongue several times.
I made a quick template, and spray painted stove burners on the top. One day I might add knobs and a faucet, but today is not the day. They’re having fun with it just as it is, so why mess up a good thing?
I’ve been amazed at their creativity. Eli is making cupcakes here with some old gardening supplies. I basically gave them nothing more than some old garden stuff and some old pots and let their imaginations run wild.
They’ve collected grasses, flowers, pine cones, pine needles, sticks, leaves, acorns, and lots of mud for their kitchen supplies. Sticks become spoons, candles, and forks, while grasses and leaves get transformed into noodles, herbs, and spices.
We’ve also had many a picnic and “restaurant” at our new table and chairs. Grandma and grandpa even had “lunch” with us one day. What a treat for us all. Before we know it, we are all dining at the finest restaurant with the top chefs in the world crafting our delicious dinner. Grass is gourmet in our mud pie kitchen.
Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that create the most memories. Camping in the backyard, slip and slides, picking ripe juicy strawberries, riding on the back of the tractor with dad, and mud pie kitchens.
Be encouraged, mommas and daddies. It’s the play that they will remember the most and the time we spent with them, not the money. I bet if you look back on your childhood, you will find the same is true for you.