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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

ABC's of Building a Tent with Your 4-Year-Old

Sebastien is very interested in building and construction.  His efforts are somewhat limited by our small apartment.  However, that does not deter his creativity.  Last night he informed me that he intended to "stay up all night" to build his house. Sebie wanted me to promise not to let him fall asleep before his project was completed.  I did not agree to this promise. I knew that he would hold me to it and be upset with me come daylight.  He carried on even though I refused his request.

Blankets, toys, pillows, and vehicles were assembled and sorted in what we have labeled "the study/library area."  From that pile of resources arose his creation.  As he stood back to evaluate his work, his eyes became serious.  He turned to me and said, "Mommy. This house is just too small.  Help me build a bigger one, please." Mommy's eyes were already beginning to droop at this point.  It was already 10:30 P.M.  So I promised him that tomorrow we would build something together.  My little builder finally managed to fall asleep by midnight. If you're wondering why this mom would allow her child to stay up so darn late, please refer back to my blog about bedtime for my little night owl.

So first thing this morning, Sebastien reminded me of my commitment to build a big house with him.  I set an alarm clock so  I could have a few minutes to myself, and informed Sebastien that when the alarm sounded, I would be his assistant.  After enjoying a few moments of peace, I sprang into action when the alarm went off. We stretched a large lavender blanket from the couch to the desk and secured each end with weighted laundry baskets.  ('s OK to wait to put that folded laundry away until your child's project has been completed!) Another end of the blanket ended up wrapped around the handle of my vacuum.  The final corner was attached to a chair using a plastic bag as a tie.  It was a rough looking sculpture, but Sebie was thrilled with the results.

We dragged pillows, blankets and books into our new living quarters.  As I lay down on the floor and read to Sebie, I realized how strangely peaceful it was inside that "blanket house."  Shielded from the strong overhead light from the room, Sebie and I laughed, talked, and enjoyed the results of our construction project.  It reminded me of how much fun I had creating a room full of blanket tents with my three brothers and two sisters were kids.  We never had fancy toys or electronic gadgets to keep us busy.  We has something infinitely better...Use of our imaginations!  Perhaps a minimalist approach to entertaining children is still the way to go.  I know I enjoyed playing with my 4-year-old today.  Cost: $0   Results:  Memories that will last a long time!

Tomorrow:  The book we read in the tent:  A coincidence associated with historic event.  Looking forward to sharing this with you!  Happy Tuesday!