We didn’t plan it this way, but she reminded us that her school had a carnival on Saturday. She’d been looking forward to it all year. Not even a trip to her mamaw and papaw’s house could woo her away. So we made it an impromptu mother-daughter day. The boys went to romp with their cousin while their dad helped his dad with a construction project, while we girls stayed home.

daughter hunting for fossils

She and I watched a movie and munched on popcorn together Friday night. We made hot breakfast Saturday, then cruised AllRecipes.com for Thanksgiving dinner ideas and made a Pinterest board. We went to the carnival and got her hair done at the Wacky Salon, made sand art and a blinged-out keychain, ate cotton candy, and played some games. We had lunch together outside Panera Bread, her with her Chick-fil-A sandwich and I with my half-sammie and bowl of soup.

Reading in the woods

Then, we took our dog to a local park to hunt fossils. Saturday may have been the last beautiful fall day this season, so it was easy to say yes. She puttered around the leaf confetti while I read a book and kept our dog from tormenting the chipmunks. Then, my daughter found the clay.

making a clay-and-rock creation

We played and lolligagged and soaked up the sun for two hours that afternoon, then fell onto our couch in the evening for another movie and dinner cuddled under a blanket. She declared it the best day ever.

I love that my kids love simple things like boxes, mud, and stones, in spite of all our gadgets and gismos, flashy games, and climate-controlled houses. Simple things… entertaining children for thousands of years.

What simple things entertain your children? Have you ever considering wrapping up rocks, mud, and boxes for Christmas instead of buying the latest gadget?

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