Hermit Crabs, Lego’s, Stuffed Animals and Forts...(just in case you need the recipe)
With my two older sons away at Scout Camp, I found a sacred little niche of time with my two younger sons. It has been unstructured and simple, just the way we all like it. We’ve had breakfast for dinner and snacks in-between. We’ve read books, watched videos, played in the garden and even busted out the puzzles and board games.
After a couple of days of complete chill, we rallied to tackle a monumental task…their closet! It took most of a day and into the night, but they were champs at sorting, cleaning and releasing things to the recycle pile. Then they relished in how nice their room felt with its new, clean edge to it. (And so did I! Purging kiddie litter always makes me feel great!!)
During this process we stumbled onto a perfect blend that creates much joy in a young boys heart. The stuffed animals had been overwhelming us all winter, and no amount of structure seemed to contain them. We finally have found a fun summertime approach to taming our zoo!
By claiming a nook in their room, we piled it high with penguins, bears, giraffes and puppy dogs. We then grabbed some large legos, (but any building structure would work; even baby gates), and built a wall around them. It was just high enough to keep our live dogs out, but short enough that boys can step over to get in. And then it’s kind like a garden, but instead of water and sunlight, just add books, blankets and a sheet to transform or upgrade to fort status when needed. (I actually haven’t seen the boys since!!) This also keeps your couch pillows from being kidnapped for fort use because all those soft stuffed animals fit the bill perfectly.
We added to our joyful blend by taking a trip to the pet store for much-anticipated hermit crabs. The boys have been waiting patiently since March when we first started talking about them. It was a sweet surprise reward for their hard work cleaning the day before. It seems like a rite of passage to give children the chance to care and nurture a pet and keep it in their room; they return often and linger longer because of it.
Relaxing and then cleaning out closets has all turned out to have been quite exciting and the boys have proclaimed they have the “best room ever!” I whole-heartedly agree! When the right combination reaches this simple level of joy, it makes you want to linger as long as you can. One day when these two are grown up, I will smile on this week and cherish every piece of it.