In the cold weather months I am so thankful for the local fast food establishments with playlands! It is cheap entertainment for a bunch of kids. Yesterday I took a van-load of kids, all the elementary age down to the babies and we went to meet Grandma at the Arctic Circle playland. These indoor playgrounds have slides and tunnels, sometimes a ball pit, ladders, sometimes they have different themes like a ship or jungle. The kids expend lots of energy. I am not a proponent of fast food but I figure as seldom as they have it, it’s worth the playground experience, otherwise the house turns into the jungle gym! We once met a couple at one of them who were from California and they were surprised, saying, “Anything like this in California, you have to pay for! This is great!”
Hmmm, we didn’t know how great we really had it, I guess.
On the way there, three of the kids started bickering and crying. “He touched me and I didn’t want him to!” or ”She’s leaning into my seat!” I tell them firmly, “If you can’t behave in the car, when we get to the playland you will have to sit and fold your arms.” (It’s like ‘time-out’ in public) It worked. You know why? Because they know I mean business! Privileges are earned, not handed out. Good behavior gets rewarded. I also have the option to leave someone home with another mom who might not have gotten their chores done that day. But on this particular day, they all made it! Grandma was glad to see them, too!
Our kids are great with the toddlers, taking them around to each activity, helping them go down the slide, through the tunnel etc., but there comes a time when they just want to run and play! They soon got tired of the slide, after all, it’s not really meant for 6th graders, and started playing tag.
It got loud and crazy. It was all fun and games til someone got hurt…little Tori got knocked over by someone running by. She wasn’t hurt too bad, just a little lovin’ and she wanted to be off playing again with the ‘big kids.’
Then, someone has to go to the bathroom, and then another and then another. I feel like I have to have eyes everywhere, watching…counting heads…counting again.
Oftentimes there are other kids who want to join in the fun with them, although sometimes I think we intimidate people because we fill the capacity of the area with just our family! This time it was less than half of us, though, so only 11! Great day for a playland!