It is one of the hot, nice last summer days we'll get to enjoy. So I and a friend went to the lake for the afternoon. She has a nine year old daughter, and her daughter brought a friend with her. As we unpacked the car, she took a simple few things out of the trunk for the day's activities: a sketch pad, a chair, a boogie board, two towels, lunch, and a pail.
The pail had inside two tablespoons, a plastic teapot, and a turkey baster. 'A turkey baster?' I laughed. She said: 'Watch, the kids'll be occupied all day.' The kids hit the water, do not pass go, swinging the pail behind them. They splashed, swam, and goofed around with the boogie board for a few minutes. Then they got down to some serious beach renovation by digging trenches, holes, and castles. They dug with the spoons, hauled water with the pail, and endlessly used the turkey baster for a variety of things. Squirt each other. Squirt the seagull flying overhead. Squirt the dug holes. Put dirt on the boogie board and squirt it off.
For four hours they played, and the turkey baster never left their hands. Kids will have fun with the simplest things. If we let them.