2975966344_35610113bfPull Up a Chair

I once did a stint as a substitute teacher for a second grade class. My career ended at 9:45 a.m. when a fight broke out in the back of the room when the kids lined up to visit the bathroom before recess. I ended up having to pass the class onto the teacher next door (who was also taking her kids out for recess) while I deposited the victim with the black eye with the school nurse and tried to deposit the perp with the principal. Long story. In any case, I am substituting today and with the weather what it has been all the damn winter long (I’m trademarking ‘The Winter That Never Ended” tm), I think it might be nice to talk about worst case scenarios (scenaria?) and being prepared.

Imagine this: You either have smallish children of your own, are babysitting, have taken the grandkids for the weekend or whatever. Then really bad weather hits – too cold to go outside (like this weekend in the Northeast – we are facing single digit and minus numbers with wind chill factors), and we’ll add the fillip of perhaps a soupcon of the loss of cable tv and the internet. (but not the electric power – I’m not going to go that far today – there is still heat in the house)

What to do? What to do?

Kids today are accustomed to entertaining themselves through watching stuff: dvds, videos, things over the internet. If you are lucky, they are old enough to be readers, though they might not have brought books with them. Depending on age, their days of dress-up play are over.

And they are bored. Now.

Quick, list 5 things in your house that you can use to occupy, fascinate and keep any child (choose your age range) safe, reasonably contented, and dare we say it – happy for 24 hours. And no fair using the go to of ‘well, we still have power so they can watch dvds and videos.’

On your mark…get set…….GO!

My list, in no special order of preference:

1) Large Cardboard boxes, big markers of various colors, other coloring items, old magazines, scraps of fabric, stapler, duct tape, scissors with round edges, craft cutters (but I would only operate it on their direction – no youngster’s hands), old egg cartons, leather scraps, various sorts of glue, glue sticks etc.
2) Small bits of scrap lumber like wood trim
3) Flour, salt, etc. to make kitchen clay
4) Books of totally silly poetry to read out loud. Also lots of school filler paper, pens and pencils to write with.
5) A large box containing really ancient clothing from my mom and dad, shoes, junk jewelry, purses, and hats.

What’s yours?

photo courtesy of Scariepants