One of the lifeguards and I had set up this play-hut from KidsCraft at our community lake, and so I announced to the children on the beach that it was theirs to play in and to color. Moments later, they swarmed the hut, grabbing markers and drawing on the cardboard hut, the invention of which was inspired by the fact that kids love to play in large appliance boxes.
Originally, I wanted to give it to the pediatric oncology ward at a local hospital, but they didn’t have the room for it. So, I gave it away on MommaSaid in a Freebie Friday contest.
Only then did I discover that it would cost me $130 to mail it through UPS. This, after the Post Office deemed it “unmailable.” So, I asked the good people at KidsCraft if they’d ship one to my winner. (It only costs them $15. Volume, I suppose.)
In exchange, I’d share the one I had with the kids in my community and blog about it. And boy, did that idea turn out to be a win-win-win-win.
The kids didn’t hesitate to climb inside and to take the markers I’d supplied to the outside:
One little girl in a pink swimsuit, pink flip-flops and a pink shirt dug into the bag of markers. “Let me guess,” I said. “You’re looking for pink.” She was amazed at my psychic abilities.
As the day went on, more and more kids added to the creation.
Okay, so it doesn’t look like the pretty picture with flowers and such that was on the box it came in, but the kids thought it was beautiful.
The little kids took it over again after a brief attack by a band of fifth grade boys. I checked their handy work for bad words, but they merely wanted to inform the community that one of them, apparently, smells.
In the end, the kids had a wonderful day with the hut. Also, we learned that markers and sand don’t mix.
The lifeguards have put the hut away until next weekend, when the kids will be allowed to play with it again. Only then it will be BYOM: Bring Your Own Markers.
So, thanks to the nice people at KidsCraft USA for their generosity. The kids thank you, and so do I. I only wish I’d had the same inspiration after we bought a new oven a few years back:
Tell us: Where do your kids love to play?