Yesterday I had two young girls in my charge. One is ten, the other eleven. I was doing what I’ve done for years and years – trying to think of ways to entertain kids. I did it with my own and I’m doing it with my grand kids. I get paid to take care of one of these young ladies so I pay particular attention to the activities I chose. Her mom is an elementary school teacher and part time college professor. No pressure though, really.
In all my years of child care I’ve discovered an amazing thing. Kids will try anything that has even the faintest whiff of fun about it. They don’t care if it’s a game that’s been around since Noah – like kick the can or Ollie, Ollie, Oxen Free or whatever we may find on the Internet – like bubble snakes or apple gack. It makes my hours with them so delightful.
The bubble snakes were found and created by our eighteen-year-old granddaughter, Elaina, who stayed with us for the month of July. She whipped up these wonders in jig time and had her cousins squealing with delight and competing to make the longest snake. Guess who was there with the camera? See instructions below the photo if you want to try this.
|Cut the end off a soda bottle, cover with a piece of old sock, dip in solution of dish soap and water. Blow.|
Ollie, Ollie, Oxen Free is an old game none of us can remember how to play including Grandpa who is older than dirt. So, yesterday, I had the girls throwing a tennis ball over our low roof and calling out the words to warn the person on the other side that the ball was about to go into orbit. Then they asked . . .
“Why do we yell Ollie Ollie Oxen?”
I had a host of answers in my head like “It’s an ancient Carpathian good luck saying,” or “Cavemen used to yell it when they hurled stones at a really juicy looking mastodon.” But instead I said, “I can’t remember, just throw the ball!”
We also do milk plates, whip up some colored foam and make funnel cakes. The cakes last about twenty minutes once they’re all sprinkled with powdered sugar or doused with cinnamon and sugar. So far we haven’t lost a single child to the vat of bubbling hot oil that’s required to make them. Might as well teach them when they’re young to be careful in the kitchen. Right?
I’ll see less of all of them now that school has started. I’m a little sad for me but very happy for them. I do have some pity for the poor teachers, though. I’ve set the bar pretty high and smothered it with cinnamon, sugar and love.
I’ll let you know what the kids report. Oh, and if you want to know how to make the foam, milk plates or funnel cakes, I can fill you in on those, too.