Most people make dens when hiding indoors from the rain. We were hiding from the scorching sun. Much of the day was spent in the "dent" as Matilda christened it. We played monsters in the dent, we ate lunch and goûter in the dent, we used the dent as a base for Haribo treasure hunts and Matilda even slept in the dent. Dents, the lazy parent's answer to staying indoors.
As we are in the thick of summer holidays I have been thinking quite a lot about how to occupy the minibeasts. Sometimes I wonder if I have them doing enough "activities". Some parents I have spoken to seem to have their kids' holidays planned to the last second. And generally it seems to me that kids have their lives filled with so much more stuff than when I was young. Obviously stuff is good. Introducing your kids to new experiences, teaching them new skills, opening their horizons and getting them out from under your feet so you can enjoy your G&T in peace, are all good. But sometimes I feel sorry for these kids that don't have a moment to reflect and breathe. I have also observed, from over the pages of my book, that my minibeasts have loved having time just to play, chase around, be silly, laze about in front of cartoons. Kids need downtime just as much adults. But more importantly I think kids need to learn how to occupy themselves, invent their own games, communicate, negotiate, fall out and make up with other kids without it being structured or supervised (too much that is, I do step in when limbs/organs/lives seem at risk). So I have signed up Matilda for a week of circus school next week, and we have a trip to Blighty with the cousins at the end of August but other than that we are going to the park, and the Médiathèque, and seeing friends, and hanging out at the beach, and making indoor dents, and painting and reading and baking as and when we want. And if we want to surf cartoons on Youtube, we do that too.
|O brought in his new favourite read, Where's Wally?|