Thursday, March 7, 2013

Keeping It Simple

In this day and age of computers, iPads, and all things gadgety for kids it is all too easy to forget that kids still like good old fashioned fun.  I have a dear friend who often blogs about trying to keep things simple in life and every time I read one of her posts I get the urge to try harder to do this and then instantly fail at it, lol.
Over last weekend I came to realise two things: 1) that the wee community we live in is awesome and 2) that it doesn't have to be high tech, flashy or expensive for kids to have a blast.  
Last Friday our local school had an Eat, Meet and Greet family picnic.  This was primarily a chance for families to get together and meet each other and also have an informal chat with the teachers etc at school.  So off we trundled up the hill with our picnic blanket and picnic tea and found ourselves a spot in the corner of the school field.  To be honest I couldn't really be bothered going and had Mr A not hounded me constantly from the time he got home from school I probably wouldn't have, but I am so glad we did.  In the simple environment of a picnic we got to meet so many other kids and families.  There was a big trolley of sports stuff out for everyone to play with (frisbees, balls, skipping ropes etc) and that was it, we chatted, ate and all had a blast.  Yes it was a fundraising event for the school, they had a sausage sizzle and a jaffa roll, but it didn't feel like it was all put on to grab money.  Unfortunately we didn't take many photos while we were there as we were too busy playing but here is Miss M, not to be left out of the fun.
And for those of you who were paying attention you did read correctly when I said Jaffa roll.  The school sold jaffa's for $1 each and each one had a number on them.  Then they rolled them down the school driveway (it helps that we are on a big hill) and the first one to the bottom won a percentage of the earnings, plus there were spot prizes as selected by the teachers.
Here is what it looked like on the night.
So after having an awesome time at the school on Friday and enjoying the fact that the school is still the focus of our wee neighbourhood, on Sunday we went to our local community centre for an afternoon to celebrate International Children's day.  I had no idea what to expect but was ready for the usual bouncy castle, soft drinks on sale and not much else.  But how wrong could I be.  As we arrived the kids got given a card each to collect stickers on and they got given a sticker for each activity they tried.  Everything was low key and simple, they had to do things like walk along a wiggly line drawn on the concrete. throw a tennis ball to knock down a stack of cans, throw wee beanbags into a basket, kick a soccer ball into a goal and crawl under big sheets pinned to the ground with big rocks.  We had trouble dragging the kids away even once their sticker cards were full and they had been given their wee prize (a bouncing chicken toy for anyone who was wondering).  Did the kids miss the bouncy castle and candy floss?  Nope.  Did we miss the entrance fee and constant nagging to buy more stuff?  Nope.

It was so nice to come away from a weekend knowing that you don't have to go overboard to entertain the kids and you don't have to spend lots of money either.  And probably most importantly loving the wee community we live in more and more all the time.  We are not a huge suburb and only 10 mins drive from town but up here with our wee dairy, school and community centre, and where all the local kids come out and ride their bikes in the street and run between each others houses, it feels like we could be miles away in both space and time.  And that can only be a good thing :-)

1 comment:

  1. Lovely story Alison. Yes - the joys for kids of running around in circles on a field...