The Elements

The Elements
Kenneth Grahame makes the point well in an early chapter in Dreamdays when he notes that the most enjoyable toys for children will always be the elements. Earth, air, fire, and water more fun than legos or rocking-horses (to pick a few)? Ponder this . . .
When’s the last time you (or your children)

  • Went rock-climbing.
  • Went hiking.
  • Made a sand-castle.
  • Played with clay or slid around in a clay-pit.
  • Dug a hole.
  • Made mud-pies.
  • Daubed mud on your face for camoflauge.
  • Gardened.


  • Built and flew a kite.
  • Made a pinwheel.
  • Made and flew a flag or banner or pennant.
  • Sailed a boat.
  • Noticed cottonwood flying through the air, or leaves, or flower-petals.
  • Blew bubbles.
  • Released a balloon.
  • Flew in a hot-air balloon race or watched one.


  • Made a campfire or bonfire
  • Learned to light a stove indoors.
  • Made candles and lit them.
  • Made a jack-o-lantern.
  • Made luminaries with paper bags, candles, and sand and set them in the snow.
  • Used a real lantern to light your way.
  • Shot fireworks.


  • Swam.
  • Sailed a toy boat.
  • Paddled a canoe or kayak.
  • Rowed.
  • Had a water-balloon fight or a squirt-gun flight.
  • Ate ice.
  • Ran through the sprinkler.
  • Watered the lawn.
  • Played in a really good storm.
  • Saw a rainbow.
  • Had a snow-ball fight.
  • Built a snow-man, snow-fort, and made snow angels.
  • Went sledding.
  • Went ice-skating.
  • Played hockey.

I'll think of some more later.



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