Words from a Father

Husband of One, Father of Four

Tag: fun

438. Homemade Groove

Make homemade instruments.

Blow over the top of a glass bottle. Put wax paper over a plastic hairbrush for a kazoo. Put dry beans in a plastic container for a shaker. Stretch rubber bands or string over a box as a guitar. Make a cube out of wood panels, each with a different thickness for varying tone; cut a three-inch hole in the bottom or side so the sound can escape.

Now groove.

Master that before you pay hundreds for decent instruments.

429. The Ocean

Answer the ocean’s beckoning.

339. Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate should always follow playing in the snow. How many marshmallows can you fit on top?

301. Experiment

Turn your children’s bad choices into science experiments explaining cause and effect and the responsibility of their choices.

Two nights ago, eldest daughter, you decided to take a plastic bag of melted ice into your room that previously was used to soothe your bumped head. You played with it on your sister’s bed and then squeezed it until it broke.

After drying her bed we spent almost an hour filling plastic sandwich bags with water, dreaming up ways to burst them, theorizing what would happen, and carrying it out.

Beyond having fun splashing each other in the sink, we learned that the walls of the plastic sandwich bag are weaker than the seal, and usually in the same region — about a half inch below the seal. And a bad choice was turned into a learning opportunity.

This night was brought to you by the words force, pressure, and the number of bags we broke: five.

299. Ride

Ride your shopping cart in the parking lot.

261. Zoo

The zoo is a wonderland for your children. Go on the first warm day of spring and buy season tickets; it’s cheaper than going twice.

206. Name Your Vehicle

Have fun naming your first vehicle.

Mine was called the Brown Turd, a late-’80s gold Datsun that had lost its sheen. After that came the Bondo-mobile, a rusted out ’86 Toyota Corolla with a hole in the trunk so big that you could reach in and take stuff out. Rain was my enemy, but California was my home at that time, so it didn’t rain often. Among other improvements, I epoxied wire screening to the inside of the trunk and covered it with Bondo™. It was a great learning experience.

And it was the first of four free cars I have been given over the years. Yes, four and yes, free.

196. Teach Courage

If you teach your kids how cool and fun you think thunder and lightning are, they won’t fear it.

145. Opening

Pick an incredible movie to go to on opening night. Midnight showings have a special air about them.

113. Memories

Wherever you go, do the simple things: take pictures, play games, talk about where you are, close your eyes so you can listen and smell and feel. Be in the moment and the memories will stay with you longer.

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