Watch kids play and you see tiny moments of wonder that light up their faces – each and every day. They have an incessant urge to get amongst it, take life at full pace, soak it up and spit it out in a burst of crazed energy. Followed by collapsing in a heap recounting the best of their day (sometimes while simultaneously sliding into sleep).
We have a lot to learn.
As an adult, our sense of being sensible can get the better of us. Even the most relaxed parent has numerous pressures, and it’s easy to find that our openness to new experiences and sense of ridiculous fun is slowly diminished. But with one week of summer holidays remaining here, it seems a good time to take a little of that fun back: embrace some childhood craziness, wholeheartedly enjoy what’s left of the little-people-time, and find out for yourself if your inner child is just as much fun as you think. To get you started, here are 8 ideas from our neck of the woods that the grown ups have enjoyed just as much (if not more) than the small folk. Take a read, share your own – we’d love to hear some more! 1. Kinetic sand This recent invention in the world of toys is amazing. It’s hard to imagine not enjoying the texture and sensation of moving your hands through this silky, soft and pliable ‘sand’. As a wise man I know said: it feels like silken fairy floss, just without the sticky fingers. Glorious to play with, the height of childhood happiness, and not a calorie to boot. 2. Water Pool, bucket, bath, shower, muddy puddle… you name it, it’s great. In the most recent of activities over our way, a newly-titled pool game called shark chasey (tag) is getting a work out. Apparently sharks love chasey. And giggling. Who knew? 3. Painting, drawing, colouring, craft At kinder/ pre-school or not, all of these are simple, good fun. I’ve noted colouring before and have found that delving into a creative bent with kids is brilliant for the grown up mind. Even the least likely adult candidates can usually find some value in throwing a glob of paint on a canvas – or meticulously colouring in a princess/ dinosaur/ animal picture. Add sparkly glitter pens, extreme highlighter colours or fluorescent paint and you’re well on the way to a satisfying afternoon. 4. Music Perhaps the most fabulous part of listening to music with kids is that there are options for everyone. In the heart of most small kids is a love of music. Be it kids tunes, pop, Dad’s 90s mix or Glenn Miller (yes, really), they all love something and will happily sing, dance or drum their way through something. And the even better thing is that though you may have listened to the same Wiggles tune 400 times, and you know the words by heart, amazingly, there are some songs you will not tire of. Even after 400 turns.Thank you, Murray’s turtle. 5. The garden Any garden – your own, someone else’s or those glorious shared ones you’ll find across our varied great countries. At our house, the garden is simple, a little overrun with weeds and full of the bits we find fun. There’s a paddling pool on hot days, a slide, a sandpit, the world’s smallest trampoline and a ‘jungle’ (a.k.a an overrun path, soon to be the victim of renovation plans). There are butterflies, birds, ladybirds and ants to watch, tomatoes, snow peas, strawberries and other veg to water and dutifully care for, and all manner of flowers, plants and trees to sit under, check the clouds and generally enjoy. 6. Travelling All of it. Any of it. From a tent, hotel, plane, train or automobile. There is gold in each and every adventure for small folk. And indeed, for big ones. 7. Nature See: Travelling. With lots of green to soothe the soul and expand the mind. 8. Giggles Watching children giggle hysterically at their current favourite activity brings a smile each day. In our world, that activity has been bouncing, for around three years straight. That said, it currently comes closely tied with making up ridiculous stories and words, acrobatic tricks such as dangling your head off a chair, or pouring water on your own head. Simple, but good. What’s your inner child enjoying these holidays?