Monday, September 17, 2012
Bits and Pieces
The reason I named this post Bits and Pieces is that it is the whole idea of collecting and storing all the bits and pieces that we will surely need if things go South in the future. I was reading a blog on the net and found someone talking about collecting games, cards and other things for entertainment in the worst case scenario. I realized that even though I have collected these things, I haven’t discussed it on here. So let’s break it down into a few different categories. Let’s start with entertainment. I will post other articles under “Bits and Pieces” later concerning other subjects.
With no power what would you like to do on long winter days shut indoors? Play cards? Play board games? Put puzzles together? Draw or Paint artwork? Do you play and instrument? These are all good things to do but do you have the games, puzzles, cards, paints and art materials, puzzle books? If not the Dollar Tree have many treasures for your chest of sanity saving simple games such as checkers, chess, dice, cards, children’s card games, puzzles, puzzle books, and even some art supplies. Check it out and pick up some for your future. Check online and buy a book of card games and rules. Hoyle makes one that is good. For the kids don’t forget marbles, jacks, pickup sticks, baseballs and bats, basketballs and hoops, badminton sets, croquet sets, soccer balls, and any other game paraphernalia that you family is interested in. If you need to be quiet you might consider the indoor games. Older people might be interested in horseshoes and croquet or holey board (which is easy to make yourself). Buy a roll of the banquet table paper that comes in approx. a hundred foot roll. The kids can draw for a very long time on this paper and use it to make holiday decorations and adults can play Pictionary with it as well. Just have an adult cut it into smaller sheet size pieces. It will save you a bundle! Get recipes for play dough, sidewalk chalk, goop, silly putty, etc. on the net. Print it out and put it in a binder reserved for entertainment ideas. Make sure you buy the items to make some of the items above such as salt in bulk, flour, plaster, etc. I will post the links to some of these items I have listed in this article at the bottom of each section. Children will drive adults crazy if you don’t have a way to keep them occupied. Noisy kids playing and having fun is much easier to cope with than noisy kids saying “I’m bored” or being fussy and crying because they are tired of sitting around or just doing chores and no play.
I have set up a wooden box that is like a small footlocker with a padlock on it which is filled with lots of interesting things like small magic sets from the Dollar Tree, string for making different things like we did as kids by making a circle of string or a roll of butchers twine and making shapes, yoyo’s, domino’s, children’s puzzles, match game cards, old maid cards, jacks, pickup sticks, Nerf balls, army men, small dinosaur sets, farm sets, marbles, hot wheel cars, Noah Ark sets, chalk boards and chalk, crayons and coloring books, building blocks, etc. Find the stuff as inexpensively as possible. I have gotten many things from unlikely places. Stop at a new construction site and ask if you can pick up the throw away pieces of 2 X 4’s which are not pressure treated! Take them home and spend an hour or two sanding the edges and ends with a belt or orbital sander to make them safe, these will make the very best building blocks! Go to a craft store and buy marbles which are meant for crafts and flower vases. If you can’t buy different colors then buy some glass paint pens and paint them a few different colors to keep kids happy knowing which ones are theirs. Make your own chalk with plaster of paris, don’t throw away broken crayons! Put them into a box for later melting and making new ones in rainbow colors that will thrill your kids!
I have lots of construction paper in my box as well as brads, stapler and staples, also lots of pencils, #2 and colored pencils. I am not a big fan of markers because they dry up and the kids can destroy their clothes and your walls and furniture with them. You will have to choose what you want to store for your own kids, grandkids and other children who may be in your home. The one thing I would like to suggest is to get extra games that have a lot of pieces because they will invariably get lost. I have a couple of Monopoly games and Clue games for that reason. I do not ever let my grandkids know what is in my “Treasure Chest” that way if they are good and I know that they are going to be stuck for a long time indoors I can pull it out and pick out something that is new and exciting even if it was cheap and ordinary in the old days. Don’t forget printing out the instructions for playing – Statues, Mother May I, Simon Says, Red Light-Green Light, Tag, Hide and Seek, Hula Hoops, Frisbee, and many other games children played in the “Old Days” when I was a kid. Kids used to be able to occupy themselves and taught each other these games. My whole neighborhood got together and had foot races, baseball games, marble tournaments, Hop Scotch, Jump Rope and we performed in our own “Circus” for the parents and we just had a ball playing and being creative. The kids today don’t know that kind of creativity any longer. They think drawing in a computer program is ‘drawing’ and they think playing a game is playing it on a game system.
Maybe if we had an “Old Days” family night and taught the kids a few of the old time games and interacted with them they would be more receptive to these things when that is all they will have after a disaster happens. Think back to your childhood, what did you play with? What were your favorite toys? What were your favorite games? Of course I mean those that didn’t require electricity or batteries. Think about it. Go to some yard sales, thrift stores, craft stores, and dollar stores and come up with your own ideas. The internet is a great place for ideas if you type the right thing in you will be surprised how many ideas you will get. Good luck!