Friday, November 06, 2009

A Glorious Waste Of Time..!

If you had your way and you were 4,6,7,8,11 or 12 how would you spend your time? I know when I was any, or all of the above ages I was pushed outside for 'play-time' each morning, lunchtime and afternoon whatever the weather. I hated it, as did many others, and tried to spend as much time as possible during those break times sitting on the loo, or washing my hands in warm water! I would even strike up conversations with the prefects (who I didn't necessarily like in the real world) just to hang out the time INSIDE - where it was warm & dry! Consequently, now that the weather has turned significantly colder I do not 'force' my children to play outside. I do have rules like "No running in the house - if you want to run around, wrap up and run around OUTSIDE!", but I don't make them go if they don't want to - they just have to stop running! Every now and then I do suggest to them that they might like to make the most of a dry day and play outside for a while, but seldom do they take up my suggestion. Then, every once in a while, an idea takes them and I can't keep them in..! Two days ago Taz took it into his head that he wanted to make a football goal in the adjacent field to us, which belongs to our neighbours but who have said the children can play in there. The field was full of ferns (I mean REALLY full) when we moved in. Over the summer the children made a pathway into the middle and built a den with branches and ferns and had lots of fun in there. As the ferns began to dye back Taz decided he might as well flatten it all out properly and make it more of a play space, so he trooped in there one day with the girls and trampled most of the middle of the field flat. THEN he thought he'd try it out as a football pitch! It really is the most unlikely pitch - it's uneven, it slopes, it has a fern carpet underfoot, but he liked it :D It IS big and not so easy to loose a ball - and if you did the fences are low enough all round to hop over and collect it from the next field. SO, he collected three long pieces of scrap timber from the top of the pile of rubble/rubbish sitting in our garden (left over from the renovation of the house and garden before we moved in) that is waiting for a skip to collect it all. He lumbered them over to the field, spade in hand and dug holes for the posts. He measured it out and sunk them down so that the tops were level. He did a fantastic job, but was not able to figure a way to get the cross bar on. Today Paul did that for him with the longest nails I have ever seen in my life! Now they have a football goal that is really a perfect size for them all, in a big field, with a fern pitch to play on - brilliant!! Not only does this provide them with a lot of fun and motivation to play outside, but me with plenty of photo opportunities!! ;D The best of it is, it's not only the lads who want to be out there (in fact Bugs is not so keen), but the girlies too. And another great thing is how multi-purposed they have made this field. They have had a hollow amongst the remaining ferns (their house) and behind the trees is their dance/recording studio, complete with branch-microphones and a dance floor!! It's brilliant to see my techno-addicted children playing free in a fern field. The only thing that worries me is the way they chose to dress! While I wrap up warm in several layers, Minnie is out there in a strappy top and TweetiePie in a T-shirt - crazy kids!! OK, so they were running around, but it is COLD up here!!
Of course playing footy took a chunk out of their school work on Wednesday, and when they realised this, this was, of course, a great incentive also to do the same the next day!! But I was only to happy to see them outside, knowing that there are so many days of winter ahead of us when they will be unable to go outside. I want them to get the very most out of living where we do just now and of being children. I know that even though they didn't have pencils in their hands they were learning none-the-less, just a different kind of lesson than the one I had planned :D There's something about this place that makes me want them to have more fun, makes me want to have fun with them - it's something that's been missing for WAY too long - and I am so pleased to be here and to have rediscovered the zest in life. Of course, life is never a bed of roses, but a carpet of ferns will do me just fine! :D
I won't post a stash of pictures here today, but if you want to see some more then you can check out the last two days over on my 365 blog :D But just so you can see the goal post and the relative size of the field...

1 comment:

Sharon said...

what wonderful ingenuity your kids are showing! I would agree whole heartedly -- they are learning a lot, even without pencils in their hands!

Very cool.