I had a great childhood! There are ten in my family. Two parents, four boys, and four girls! Growing up, my Dad had his own business and still does. My Mom was a homemaker and piano teacher. As a family we did everything together, and we had fun.
I feel that element is missing in today’s society. Kids do not really know how to have fun. They watch too much television, play video games all day, and never seem to use their imagination or creativity to have a good time. I would like to share with you a few of the activities I did growing up. They didn’t cost an arm and leg to do, and it was nice clean fun.
Monday evenings were family night. No business appointments, friends, or outsiders. Just us! Whether it was ice skating, roller skating, playing games, going to a restaurant, learning how to crochet, play music, doing arts and crafts, and just sitting around laughing and being together -- We had fun together!
Going out to eat was a luxury, but occasionally my Mom would tell us to hop in the car and she would bring the Entertainment Book. She would let us go to the Mall, pick out places to eat in the food court in pairs of two, and use the two for one coupons in the Entertainment Book -- That was a treat!
Taking a Drive
Looking at homes is entertaining! Sunday’s after church, we drove around looking at homes in different neighborhoods. My parents would sometimes drive us to the country and threaten to move us out there. Some of us would cry and threaten to run away if they followed through with that promise. Now that I look back, that whole scenario was probably entertaining for my parents. However, not only was sightseeing different and fun, but we would get ice cream at Diary Cream to make it more enjoyable. To this day I love looking at homes.
Going to the Park
We always walked to the parks near my house growing up. As a child I loved to run, swing, climb, walk, talk, scream, laugh, and spend time with people I loved. Going to the park was and still is very refreshing to me. For children, that is all they need to make their day.
Going to the Library
Every week we walked to the library with my Mom. We would check out tons of books, read them through the week, and repeat the cycle again. Not only was it great exercise, but it developed a magnificent love of reading for me. Reading is engaging, free, and fun!
Other Fun Things
While growing up, my Mom started many fun and inexpensive programs for the kids in my neighborhood:
• 4-H classes which taught us how to cook, sew, garden, ride horses, and learn about other environments.
• Cooking classes with a culinary chef! Every Thursday a culinary chef came to our house and taught cooking classes. I couldn’t wait until Thursdays. The food was always so fresh and good. What better way for children to learn cooking. Every month he planned a menu, my mom brought the ingredients, and the chef volunteered his time.
• We had weekly bible studies for neighborhood kids in our home. My mom wanted to make sure children were getting an understanding and opportunity to know who God is. While she taught her own kids, she was also teaching our friends.
• When I was twelve years old my mom started self improvement classes for the girls in the neighborhood. Our teacher was a real fashion model who regularly appeared on television, in magazines, and newspapers. She taught us how to walk, sit, talk, and eat properly. Additionally, she taught us how to care for our skin and put on make up.
What entertainment memories do you have that were cheap and fun? What will your child remember? Are they always bored? They don’t have to be bored any more -- Now, you have opportunities to give them lasting memories that are fun, cheap and entertaining!
By Sharman Lawson