Nov 11, 2007

Bored Children and Water Deprivation

Children get bored easily, don't they? At least my grandchildren do when they come to our house. They usually say there is nothing to do because their cousins were not invited too. Well, I've finally figured out the real reason why they are bored. They are WATER deprived! (And I don't mean nightly baths.)

Water is what it takes to keep children playing happily. Not too deep, and preferably running, although even still, clean, shallow water will keep a child with a cup occupied for at least half an hour. A water spray that also irrigates the lawn is good, but the combination of water and dirt is even better. Children's imaginations soar higher and higher as their hair, hands, and clothes get dirtier and dirtier. MUD, the favorite plaything of a child!

A small creek with running water is ideal, especially if crawdads, snails, and minnows can be found. A bag of concrete mix is also a fine toy to build a dam and create a small pool and waterfall. Don't forget the bucket. Water is only water until you add a bucket to a child's hand.

If the reader wants to raise happy children who are not bored and learn to use their imaginations, then make water a favorite plaything. Don't buy toys! Buy more water from the Water Utility (and detergent from WalMart!)

If you're a parent and don't have a nearby creek that is safe for children to play in, then build a shallow water garden with a pump to make water flow down around rocks. Kids love to play with rocks (their second best toy!), although you'll have to adjust to picking them out of the nearby grass before mowing.

Adding goldfish to the artificial pond is great, too. The water depth can be much less than the recommended 18 inches to 2 feet deep recommended for permanent goldfish. Simply replace these inexpensive yellow creatures as they die of exhaustion while playing with your children, or are caught and given to the family cat as a treat!

Gosh, I wish I was a child again with a small creek down the road. [Needless to say, 2- to 3-year olds can get into a lot of trouble with relatively shallow water. Consider safety first as you judge your children's suitability for different kinds of water playing. ]


wolftracker said...

Dusty: I grew up with a creek running along the far side of my back yard. It was great fun to build dams and then destroy them. It is true, a creek is a wonderful, unending source of amusement for kids.

Milehimama said...

A dirty child is usually a happy child!

I always feel so sorry for little boys I see out and about in their crisp white play outfits with matching hats. Stifled and miserable, they are!