Sunday, September 18, 2011

Playing in the Gutter

We go on a walk every morning before we have our formal "school" time. We have spent a lot of time this week playing in the gutter on those walks. The kids invented a game they call "stick catching", I'm sure you've played something similar if you've spent much time around water running through a gutter.

Step One: collect rocks and sticks (the rocks are optional and merely serve to keep you entertained while you wait to catch the stick)

Step 2: Drop the stick into a gutter full of water
Step 3: Your sister/brother should be positioned on the other side of a driveway "bridge", waiting to catch the stick.
Step 4: Wait to catch the stick (this may be an excruciatingly long wait if the water is moving slowly)
Step 5: The Catcher becomes the Stick Dropper and vice versa.
Step 6: Switch again (and again, and again...)

I love being able to spend time outdoors with my kiddos every day. Some days are much more formal and we go on a pre-planned hike or to a playdate at the park in addition to our morning constitutional, but even just playing in the gutter for a while seems to anchor them and help them be calmer during the rest of the day.

On Saturday we had some Daddy/Son and Mommy/Daughter time. Jason and Ethan made a trip to West Jordan to check on the yard and pick up some paperwork, etc. Ellie and I stayed in Logan and ran a few errands. We finished off our time together by eating cookie dough and looking online for fancy cupcakes for Ellie's upcoming birthday (how is it possible that I have an almost 7 year old daughter?!)

This afternoon the kids and Jason (read: mostly Jason) made some rafts to float in the canal near our apartment.

This section of the canal has longer/taller driveway bridges, making it easier to float something bigger than a stick.
The kids loved waiting for their rafts to come out from under the bridges.

It's hard to tell who had more fun, Jason or the kids.

I am concerned about what we'll do once winter comes, but hopefully we can continue with outdoor time each day. We've got snowshoes.


  1. You are such a great example to me on how to simplify and enjoy life! Such simple things will create a lifetime of memories.

  2. Thanks, Jessica! My hope is that they'll remember these moments rather than the times I'm so annoyed with their chewing sounds (for example...) that I make them sit on the other side of the room from me. ;)

  3. We love to play stick in the gutter! But our version is more like stick in the ag canals. Love the rafts!