Sometimes I forget the simple fun that is all around me. For our family, that simple fun is literally in our own back yard.
But honestly, it doesn’t matter if you live in the country, city, or suburb, with the pull of technology, schedules and life, it’s hard to tune out those things that vie for our attention in order to focus in on some of life simple pleasures.
Lately, our youngest daughter has been drawn more and more to the TV. Whenever she has an extra few minutes, she wants to sit and watch, which is something we never had with our boys. We had a stricter TV policy, which didn’t allow them the freedom to mind “veg,” and so they were out building forts, building lego villages, and basically solving all the out door living problems that ever existed.
I’ve been convicted of how we’ve begun to lose sight of those simple pleasures – those fun things that our children will remember years from now.
I’m so glad that our children reminded me of how things used to be. How the most enjoyable and fun things are often free or nearly free.

Remember when conquering the balance beam on an old log could bring endless hours of pleasure?
Is your imagine still there? I know I had forgotten.

Our guys decided to do their own camping weekend (thanks you, Coleman). At first I said, “No.” It seemed like work to me.
Yet as I pondered, I realized that there was no good reason to not let them. They didn’t even want my help. It was not going to put me out at all. They wanted to do it all by themselves.
They spent hours gathering hidden rocks and built their own camp fire pit ALL BY THEMSELVES. They had been raised on the importance of fire safety and knew it was crucial, and their fire pit could stand with the best of Eagle Scouts.
The kids then set up their tent in minutes – literally!Tents are not the hard process that they used to be.
Our family friends were over for the weekend, and the dad slept in the tent for a few hours the first night (until a real mattress called his name). They told stories by the light of the fire, roasted marshmallows, and bonded.
Strong bonding occurs over simple pleasures with no technology involved.
The next morning, the two oldest out there, my 12 year old daughter and nephew) made breakfast over the fire for everyone – scrambled eggs and pancakes. Again, a collaborative effort of simple fun. They were so proud of themselves, and they camped out again the next night. I forget how kids don’t “need” a lot of stuff. They would have camped all week if we had let them.
It made me really ponder how much technology has taken a hold of our kids. As technology woos our children, they lose some of the beauty of imaginative and creative play. For some reason, as parents,  we also lose those higher expectations we have for our children.
We begin equating fun with things that cost money. Family vacations end up being centered around things we have to go spend a lot of money on and family fun nights equal paying for some “grand” activity.
This week reminded me pf what it’s like to have a blast without spending a dime, and I didn’t even have to leave my own back yard to do it.

Has your family forgotten what it’s like to have some simple fun?
It’s Friday. Is there something creative that you can do for Family Fun Night that doesn’t require much money?
It could be as simple as declaring it “Backwards Night” or laying a blanket out in the backyard and watching the stars or trying to pick out animals in the clouds.
I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.

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