We’re all feeling the effects of Covid 19 in some way, and many people are trying to find ways to entertain their children while waiting for school to resume. We have always lived quite a distance from our family, so long car trips were a regular occurrence for us. Keeping our children entertained on these trips resulted in some great games without game pieces. (Okay, truth be told, the kids weren’t the ones needing a distraction on these long drives . . . it was me. I’m a horrible passenger after about four hours in the car. I get bored, and Gene will tell you that nothing good happens when I get bored. Fortunately, with cell phones, I now distract myself by taking photos and Googling trivia.)
Two of the kids’ favorite games were open ended questions. The first was: “If you won the Lottery, what would be the first two things you would buy or do?” Their responses were varied from trivial to insightful and changed over the years, and often showed a glimpse into the adults they would become. Some of my favorite were: “A skate board WITH a helmet and knee and elbow pads, because you are never going to buy me a skateboard or let me ride one without a helmet!” “More corn for the lunch ladies because it is my favorite vegetable and they cook it really good.” (My son actually brought home a recipe from the lunch ladies on how to cook corn. It read: One gallon corn, one stick butter, 1 TBL. Salt, ½ TBL pepper. I kid you not! He was a first grader and so proud of himself for getting the recipe.) And the response that haunts me to this day: “A new pair of shoes for my friend, because her’s hurt her feet.”
The second question, my personal favorite, was: “If you were on a ship that was sinking and you could only take three things with you in the life boat, what would they be?” My oldest son (8) responded, “My GameBoy, a blanket, and extra batteries.” He was 8 and always planned ahead, so the extra batteries made us laugh. My daughter (5) said, “Puppy (stuffed animal), my blanket, and strawberry milk (which was her favorite beverage for years).” And then we come to Steven (7), who always thinks outside of the box, “My Dad because he knows how to fish and do things, my mom because she can cook, and the winning lottery ticket so we can buy whatever else we need.”
So while you have the time and need a distraction, ask your kids these questions and share their responses. Some will make you roll your eyes, some will make you laugh, but sometimes, they may give you a peak into the people they will become.