Spontaneous or Structure

I tried both when raising my children, I liked spontaneous better! Yes…yes I know structure is what some people swear by and if it works for you great! I didn’t have feeding schedules, I didn’t have nap schedules. If my child got sleepy at 10 am I would rock them to sleep, if they didn’t go to sleep until 1 pm I was good with that too. If they got hungry I had food for them. I understand this method does not work for everyone, but it worked well for me.

There were days of craziness and those are the days that stand out to me the most now that my children are older. In the summer my children spent most of their days outdoors doing god knows what! They had woods to run around in, trees to climb, big grape vines to swing from, they had cats and dogs to entertain them. When they weren’t doing that they were playing in the horse pasture, I found out once they got older they would ride the horse around said pasture, to my great horror.

In the fall when the weather started getting colder, {yep northeast Ohio fall will drop the thermometer faster than you can drop a hot potato} my children would be geared up for another school year, and the ones still at home stirred together many batches of cookies for me, they washed dishes and played with homemade play dough {recipe at the bottom}. I taught them at an early age to strip their own beds and how to make it back up after I washed the sheets. Children thrive on positive feedback from a job well done. Chores where never boring, I made them a competition to see who could get it done first. They loved it!

The long dark winter months they spent hours outside building snowmen and rolling in the bright white snow, we had a hill they would sled ride on until their fingers and toes where almost frozen. On the days it was just too brutally cold out, they would spend their time coloring or playing downstairs in our big basement, puzzles, games and imagination kept them busy!

I hear a lot how kids are so bored nowadays, it doesn’t have to be this way. Turn the artificial entertainment off and spark your children’s creative side, allow them to mess up the kitchen, or let them splash in that mud puddle. The memories you create will last a life time. My children always refer to those days and laugh. My heart overflows because I know they will pass it on to their own children someday. Be spontaneous and live life to its fullest!


Homemade Play Dough

2 cups flour

½ cup cornstarch

1 Tbsp powder alum

1 cup salt

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 cups water

A few drops of food coloring of your choice

Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat until mixture thickens into dough consistency. Remove from heat, let cool until it can be handled. Place onto counter-top and knead until smooth. Store in air tight container. This is a non-toxic and safe recipe for small children. Give them cookie cutters, pans, and rolling pins they will love to play with this soft dough. I made many batches for my children.