Thanksgiving Time is upon us, and we have started celebrating. Not only did we particpate in a fantastic Thanksgiving luncheon with our Our Lady Queen of Saints homeschool group yesterday, but we have been enjoying much free, creative play as well.
The luncheon was full of delicious food, great company and fun planned activities. While Jack snoozed, nursed or smiled away in the arms of folks that wanted to hold him through most of the afternoon, Luke, Nina and I thoroughly enjoyed all the food and fun.
We gave full concentration to place mat weaving before joining in a scrumptious potluck meal, where - yay! - the kids were not as picky as they usually are about food and - double yay!- did surprisingly well waiting for their turn to go up to the potluck buffet line and using their manners. After eating, while I helped with clean up, the kids enjoyed some older-peer-led storytime and, then, I went in to read big book after big book, before Luke and Nina decided they wanted to join in the marshmallow-toothpick structure building activity. What fun and creativity at that table! Then, it was time for traditional kid play -- batting balloons at one another, running and laughing with You-Can't-Catch-Me, playing Duck Duck Goose, racing about outside with Freeze Tag. What a blessing to see children of a wide range of ages playing one game after another -- coaching each other at times, teasing at others, enjoying at all times. It reminded me of long afternoons of neighborhood play from my own childhood -- a scene that seems all too rare these days with overloaded kids' schedules, planned playdates of close-in-age children and structured playtime with larger groups.
I so appreciated both the planned and the spontaneous play of yesterday's Thanksgiving luncheon. What a delight to see kids of all ages interacting with such joy during with scheduled activities as well spontanous ones.
And speaking of spontaneous fun, there sure has been a lot of it around our home lately. For example, the other night, while Daddy did the dinner dishes and I nursed Jack, Luke and Nina busied themselves doing this:
What is that, you might ask? The kids' idea of an Indian costume. Ever since becoming enamored with Little House on the Prairie, they have been enjoying settlers-and-indians dramatic play. Add Thanksgiving books into the mix, and Native American theme has taken over.
Yep, that's our creative young man, complete with towel loin cloth and headband-and brush headdress:
And, let's not forget the marker face paint nor the fireman and doctor dramatic play props turned bow-and-arrow for hunting:
What a laugh Daddy and I had at this kid-created get-up and what fun the kiddoes had with their dramatic play!
It was followed by what has become a nightly tradition here: Luke asking Daddy to draw and color piles and piles of Pilgrims, Native Americans and animals with him, which Luke and Nina then cut out to make file-folder scenes like the one pictured at the top of this post. In doing this, Daddy, a reluctant artist, is getting better and better at depicting whatever Luke
But, all sedentary activities before bed, never work for our kids. Nina loves her bouncing and Luke needs his sensory diet input. So, we continue to come up with guided play activities, too. Such as a recent hallways Lego -transfer-and-building activity we did (which I will post about soon) that ended in --what else? -- creative play with this:
That is a wagon, like the settlers used. Can't see it? Look closely: A re-purposed bird feeder filled with stuff, pulled by a farm animal and led by "Papa". Oh, how we marvel at the imaginations of our children!
We Play links there.