Entertaining Through The Ages
If you have read any of my posts before then you already know that I have a twelve year old and a two year old and I always tell people this is because God has a sense of humor and, luckily, a plan. Our children are literally 10 years and one day apart. I think God did this as a demonstration of grace to me so that I can always have joint birthday parties thusly making my life immensely easier. However, the age gap does make it hard to find entertaining things to do that both parties can enjoy.
When Ben was still a wee baby, we were able to go to movies with no problem. Now with potty training and an excessive amount of energy, movie theaters are a thing of the past as a group excursion. We learned the hard way when we went to see the recent Star Wars movie and although the entire cinema of full price ticket purchasers didn’t run us out with pitchforks and burning torches, I would have understood if they had.
Here’s a list of things we do that both boys enjoy, at the same time, with little to no crying. (Let’s be real.)
Whiteside Museum of Natural History
This wonderful museum is in Seymour so it is really easy for us to access. The admission fee is very manageable at $7 for adults, $5 for kids, and 2 and younger are free. Both of the boys enjoy this museum. The oldest gravitates to the Live Animal Section, but the baby runs from dinosaur to dinosaur in awe. We don’t pay for a tour because we are very familiar with the museum, but if you have not been before then I would suggest to get the full experience. There is also a Native and African Animal Display. No matter how many times either kid has been, they really enjoy looking at and identifying all the animals. There is also an open prep lab and our oldest will go through and look into all the microscopes and see what is being worked on. All in all, this is a great place for us.
Seymour has two parks to choose from and three if you count the elementary school playground. Sometimes we pack up the bicycles and scooters, sometimes the Frisbees and soccer balls, but even if we just go without all the frills, both kids have a great time.
The Seymour Sound Garden is right across the street from the Whiteside Museum so we always go there afterwards. This is a great place to let the kids run around after being as good as possible while at the museum. The Sound Garden has five musical instruments that are tuned and fun to play. There’s a set of hand drums, two xylophones, an upright xylophone, and set of very large chimes. There’s also benches, a covered seating area with picnic tables, and plenty of area to run around in.
The Seymour City Park is huge and full of all sorts of playground equipment. There is also disc golf and a walking track. The boys like to ride their scooters and bikes on the trail and there’s also a creek that begs for rocks to be tossed in it. During the summertime, there’s a pool and a splash pad too.
We also like to go to the school playground because the equipment is covered with a shade.
Lucy Park in Wichita Falls – Feed The Ducks and Geese
Forgo the movies and go buy some crackers or cheap bread, though I read that there are better things to feed the ducks than carbs. But everyone enjoys feeding the ducks, even the adults and it makes for great photo opportunities. They have a nice concrete path right next to the pond area and the older boy likes to skateboard around. This is an inexpensive fun time killer that only involves tears when the toddler has to be put back in the car seat. The grassy area just inside the path is good for Frisbee throwing and you would be surprised how much the toddler enjoys Frisbee.
Pack Your Chalk
We used to live inside the city limits, just down from the old high school grounds that had an abandoned tennis court. Essentially it was just a giant piece of concrete and we used it all up drawing with chalk. The one thing the boys always liked was lying down and getting traced then they would color it in or whatever. My husband is a really fantastic artist and would create these insanely large pieces that were really awesome. I would mainly letter things, ‘cause that’s what I am good at. After several weeks of going down to the courts and drawing on the weekends, we began to notice that other kids had come out and drawn too. It was cool to know we inspired them to get creative.
Salt Dough Fun
Recently my oldest had to make a volcano for a school project so I told him to do his research and figure out how he was going to do it. After some YouTube tutorials he decided to make salt dough. I was hesitant because it’s messy and surely expensive and more effort than I wanted to put forth that particular day, but it turns out that its super easy, cheap, and really fun. Here’s the recipe we used:
2 cups flour
2 cups Salt
1 cup water
We also doubled this recipe and it made a lot!
Cook for 25 minutes in a 225-degree oven on a baking sheet and they are pretty hard and HOT! So be sure to let them cool down. Then you can paint them, glue glitter, googly eyes…. Whatever suits you. Ben loves his hand prints we did and they will make great mother’s day gifts.