Sometimes it gets tough to entertain young children. When one has to compete with modern technology, tablets and electronics, games and colouring can often take a back seat and are only “acceptable” when the mood hits them right. That’s why when an opportunity strikes for something simple and fun, we need to pounce on it!
My son is as restless as they come, kid-wise. He’s four years old and loves to move around, non-stop. In fact, if I could find a way to tap into his energy reserves I could likely get a week’s worth of work completed in one day. No doubt.
Like most little boys, my son loves guns. With cartoon shows like Transformers, Power Rangers and the like, it’s no surprise that weapons that shoot or “blasters”, as he calls them are an influential part of his play time. He often builds his legos or his mega blocks to form an “L” shape, followed by the comment “This is my blaster, Daddy!”
So last week when I was running an errand at my local retail outlet, I found a package of off-brand nerf guns that I thought would be a great outlet for him to play with. He could burn off some energy, and he and I could have some fun.
When I brought that package out and showed it to him, his excitement was in no way contained and he forget about everything else in the house. I agreed to open the package and we could play, with the following rules:
- Never aim or shoot at Mommy;
- Never aim or shoot at the Dog;
- When Daddy says the game is over, we stop;
- We never use our foam guns to shoot or hurt others.
He readily agreed, and we set up some “fortresses” in our basement. We had a blast and played for a couple of hours. We had one barricade that included a foot stool turned on its side combined with a blanket, and another that involved two stools piled one on top of the other. It was fun; we exchanged foam darts aback and forth, crawled on the floor to retrieve spent darts and sometimes switched fortresses so we could both experience the different angles. I hate to admit that his aim was pretty decent at times and I received some shots…
My point is that children always need sources of stimulation and exercise, but it doesn’t always have to cost you a second mortgage to do it. This two-gun foam dart set only cost $10, and he’ll have them for quite some time. He’s pestered me to play with them all weekend (despite how much pain my knees and back have from crawling on a concrete floor) and isn’t showing any sign of tiring from them. It allows me to engage my child as opposed to simply having him stare at a screen and it allowed us both to get some exercise, which is important whether you’re a child or an adult.
Last but not least, he pointed out that the foam dart guns were Just like your work guns we played with before, Daddy!” He’s had some similar ones introduced to him by some of my colleagues, which is why he enjoys foam darts so much. You know who you are and may be reading so thanks for that, guys! You know who you are! ☯