Everyone has a friend who infuses them with energy and inspiration- or at least I hope everyone does.
I am pretty much the equivalent of a thirty eight year old preschooler. I want to get messy and adorn every thing I see with glitter and glue. I want to mix up strange concoctions for no other purpose than to see what happens. I just happen to have the perfect excuse to do those things in the guise of entertaining two small boys.
Today, I had not one but two fun activities I couldn’t wait to try.
I spent the morning with my friend Laura yesterday. I know it has become commonplace to call someone amazing, but she really is.
The first time I met her, we were at the playground. A boy, not her own, came over and began rifling through her snack bag. He found some crackers and asked if he could have them. She said “of course you can, what’s mine is yours.”
I thought, oh geez. In my mind “what’s mine is yours” was trying too hard to pose yourself as the Good Samaritan. Now that I’ve gotten to know her, I have learned that she is one of the few people who really lives by that credo. She goes out of her way to help, for no other reason than because it will make someone else’s day easier. She takes care of me on the small levels, like giving me a new blush tint. And on the big ones, like contacting her friends in Portland to see if they’d hang out with me while I am there for a few months.
She is also free with great ideas, like this one.
Film Canister Rockets:
1. Hit up any place that develops film and ask for the canisters the film comes in. I went to Walgreens and they gave me a whole bag for free.
2. If you like, decorate the canisters to look like rockets. A completely worthless step, as the rockets get destroyed quickly, but I couldn’t help myself. They just turned out too cute!
3. Fill the canister 1/4 to 1/2 with water.
4. Break an Alka Selzer tab into 2 or 3 pieces. Put one of the pieces inside and quickly cap the canister.
5. Place on the ground away for you and wait for the rocket to launch.
6. If you have older kids you can have them mark where the rockets landed with chalk. You could also make it more of a science experiment by taking note of how much water or Alka Selzer was used to make it launch higher.
This took up a good portion of the morning, but we still had time and energy for another activity. A few weeks ago, my friend Denise suggested another activity using packing peanuts and shaving cream.
Denise is THE DIY queen. She is a personal chef and cooking instructor.
She is also the epitome of crafty. One night she’s having an impromptu beeswax collage making session. The next she’s organizing a stitch and bitch party. From her, I have learned how to give a henna tattoo, can my own marmalade, make my own necklace charms, sew an oven mit and a host of other activities. She even leads her own “Crafty Camper” retreats once a year.
I had a period of time where I didn’t hang out with Denise, for reasons I won’t get into other than to say I’m a jackass. When I started to rekindle my friendship with her, she could have easily told me to screw myself. I had been neglectful of our relationship and inconsiderate of her feelings. But she didn’t. She invited me into her home for breakfast with friends, and made me feel completely at ease.
Among her array of talents, she is also a kickass nanny. She gave me this idea.
Packing Peanut Sculptures:
1. Put packing peanuts and shaving cream on a tray
2. Add kids, they’ll know what to do (her words)
We added a little food coloring too. I loved how we could stack the peanuts, then mash them down and start all over.
The thing I noticed from both ladies is that giving extends to every part of their lives. It doesn’t matter if they are giving away a batch of cookies they made, or giving a hug that makes the day alright. They are both the type of people that see someone wanting, and do whatever is in their power to fulfill that need. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all live in that head space?
Thanks for the inspiration, ladies. Not just with the kid activities, but with everything you do. You are the best.