Summer is coming. It feels like a long time coming, but it is coming. Sunny days in the garden seem like a distant memory right now, but before you know it you will be pinning down your offspring in a bid to slather them in sun-cream and dedicating an entire drawer of the freezer to ice lollies. So now is a great time to remind yourself of the rules for kids playing in the garden.
1 If you see a wasp you must scream like you have just broken your arm so all responsible adults have a minor heart attack. Keep screaming until the wasp has gone. Resume screaming when it comes back again 10 seconds later.
2 Demand to play with water at any opportunity. Paddling pools are the ultimate recepticle for said water, water guns come a very close second. Even a bucket will do. The object with any water is to get as wet as possible.
3 Dig things. You do not have to restrict yourself to your sandpit. Flower beds and gravel paths are perfectly acceptable places to dig.
4 If you are feeling a bit peckish soil is a great from of nourishment and always to hand in the garden.
5 Find an insect and make it your pet by placing it in a plastic tub with a few leaves and calling him ‘Ken’. Woodlouse are preferable. Be absolutely heartbroken when you go outside to play the next day and find that ‘Ken’ has gone. Replace ‘Ken’ with a ladybird called ‘Dotty’.
6 Get naked at any opportunity.*
7 Ask Mummy really important questions like “Why don’t you have a willy” really loudly so your neighbours can hear.
8 Bounce on a trampoline until your shorts fall down. Then use this as an excuse to follow the aforementioned rule number six.
9 Make a perfume for Mummy by mixing grass, water, daisies and a bit of mud. Insist that she wears your beautiful perfume.
10 Refuse to admit that you have outgrown your cosy coupe car and squeeze yourself into it. You will probably require a grown ups help to get back out again.
11 Demand an ice lolly or ice cream every 32 minutes. If your demands are being refused you may request milk shakes and ice.
12 Whinge whine and wiggle whenever a grown up tries to apply sun-cream to you.
13 Refuse to wear a hat.
14 Request bubbles and demand that the grown up lets you have a go. When it’s your turn spill the bubble liquid everywhere and then cry.
15 Get as dirty as possible. Grown ups love getting grass stains out of clothes.
16 When planting seeds it is important to check on their progress at least 15 times a day and question your responsible adult as to why nothing has grown yet.
17 Play houses are very versatile. They can be a house, cafe, garage, shop, police station. Whatever you want. Just be sure that your grown up is on hand to make signs for your chosen purpose and provide as many props as possible.
18 Request all meals be eaten outside.
19 Kick a ball over a fence at least once every day.
20 Present Nana with a bouquet of hand picked flowers from her favourite flower bed. Ensure you remove all of the flowers from all of the plants when doing this**.
* My boys seemed incapable of keeping their clothes on in the garden last Summer. So much so that when we took them swimming at our local leisure centre the three year old had a major tantrum in the changing rooms because he wanted to go in the swimming pool naked!
** True story! Never take your eyes off a toddler in the garden.
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