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Would you let your kids do this (fun)?


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So my kids have created this world for their stuffed animals that they built with the amazon boxes that came at Christmas. In this world the plushes can be brought to life by drawing a picture of them and sprinkling cinnamon on the picture (at the kitchen table only!). Then if they accidentally touch the plush, it has to go in the freezer for five minutes to regain its magic. They carry them around with tongs because humans can’t touch them. They have been playing this all week.

 

Dh got home today and was completely flabbergasted that I let them do this-playing with trash and kitchen utensils. Putting stuffed animals in the fridge where food goes?? Cinnamon will bring ants and it wastes food! I was completely caught off guard that this would be so weird.

 

Would you let your kids play this? Am I completely weird? I guess I thought it was a nice way to spend a winter week when all our activities are canceled and it is icy and cold outside. But Dh just couldn’t believe that anyone would allow it. (This is not a marriage fight or anything. Just wondering if this is just way out of the norm for other families)

 

ETA: they clean the cinnamon up right away. We don’t have cinnamon sprinkled papers all over the kitchen or anything

Edited by lovinmyboys
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Yes. In a heartbeat. My husband would have the same reaction as yours.

 

But I am the oldest of 8 children, with the youngest being born when i was almost 17. My husband is the youngest of 2 and was almost never around young kids. We came into marriage with some completely different ideas of how messy children can be.(both literally and figuratively)

Edited by MedicMom
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Yes, but not when my husband is home because it would freak him out. (Stuff like this has been tricky now that he's working from home most of the time. He is pretty in favor of free-range parenting in theory, but bothered by a lot of stuff that to me seems very minor.)

 

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I wouldn't think twice of stuffed animals in the fridge due to food contamination.  Vegetables grow in the ground and are watered with animal feces/water./dirt/rotten matter etc.  Stuffies are Wayyy cleaner than that.   Veggies get washed, and jars/containers aren't licked....so what is the problem? If he thinks that produce is clean, think about a farm workers hands or the grocery store clerks hands.  It isn't like he is washing his hands between the potatoes/mushrooms/carrots.

 

If he is worried about the stuffed animals getting dirty in the fridge.....your floor and kids hands are likely just as dirty especially if you have carpet.

 

The tongs are washable..no problem at all there. The machines they were made on are dirtier than a stuffed animal. 

 

AFAIK cinnamon doesn't attract ants, in fact it repels a few insects.  Unless it is super expensive cinnamon, it is cheap,a natural substance and I wouldn't worry about them playing in it (unless it was irritating their skin).  I assume it gets cleaned up? so why worry?  What is a couple of dollars to bring such imagination to life?

 

 

Imagination....is priceless and should be encouraged!!! They have a thoroughly developed story line which shows a depth of thought and complexity that is sought after in child development.

 

I would not discourage this type of play one little bit!

 

 

 

 

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I would and so would dh, but anything goes as long as it keeps them busy. We have let ds just make up random "recipes" and make them even though we knew he wouldn't eat it from time to time. I'd go for anything if my 6 yo would just stop asking for screen time.

 

And omg they clean up themselves. of course I'd allow it.

Edited by Elizabeth86
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I think Dh and I live in different echo chambers and it really affects our view of the world. My Facebook friends post stuff like this that their kids do all the time, so I think it is pretty normal (and I have the hive to back me up).

 

Dh spends almost no time with people with kids under 10, so he doesn’t see that other kids do this kind of stuff too. And I don’t think people tell dads how much they will miss this kind of stuff- I hear it a lot and believe it so I am more inclined to say in a few years no one will be sprinkling cinnamon on paper 😀.

Edited by lovinmyboys
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I would not but I am not a mess person, I am much more of a noise person.  It really gets to me when my dd makes a mess.  Yes I sometimes let her finger paint but it drives me bonkers.  Give her a drum and I can tune it out.  I know other moms that encourage their kids to be creative in messy ways and it doesn't bother them.  No I don't think it is that weird, it would just drive me nuts.

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I would probably not use cinnamon, just because of the whole issue with breathing it in. Overall though, I think he should go outside for five minutes to regain his magic ;)

But honestly, most imaginative play is somewhat messy, and therefore best avoided when *my* DH is around. I didn’t realize until recently, but DH has a copy of an old picture saved on his phone of the boys (the little one in a diaper!) standing at the kitchen sink playing in bubbles, and some of those bubbles are coming over the edge. He still can’t believe I went to get the camera with bubbles coming over the edge! And he still doesn’t know how much messier it got, with cups of bubbles going in and out of the microwave (not working), all over the counter, etc. I get a bit tearful thinking about what a great day that was!

 

He doesn’t keep the picture of the day we used paint and foot and hand prints to colour in the kids’ silhouette cutouts ... probably too traumatic...

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We don’t have a kitchen table, negligible empty countertop space and I only have 1oz of ground cinnamon in my house because two of us hate the smell of cinnamon. My kids are welcomed to make a mess at my patio table with whatever unwanted and expired spices they can find. My patio table is already dust covered anyway.

 

My husband and I grew up as city kids in small apartment units. Our toys are mostly imaginary so we can have afternoon tea with invisible cups, sugar cubes and milk jugs. When you have at least 8 people in 818sqft, most toys have to be small (Aladdin/poker cards) or imaginary.

 

My husband would be annoyed with anyone who opens the freezer more than needed. We get a puddle of water whenever the freezer door isn’t shut well. So it is not about contamination but rather about shortening the refrigerator’s lifespan.

 

ETA:

Cinnamon and other home remedies are no fight for the local ants invasion. So far only ant poison has worked. Apparently the Argentine ants are displacing the native harvester ants.

Edited by Arcadia
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My only issue with it would be if the boxes ended up scattered all over the house, in the middle of the floor, and began to start to look like trash, rather than a world for stuffies built with boxes and perhaps tape - not just jumbled lumps of cardboard box remains scattered with paper shards.

 

But that's probably just because my kid isn't as awesomely creative as yours are. Mine would use the box for 5 min, then he'd walk away, leave it in the middle of the floor, we'd walk over it and trip over it for days only for it to be said, when told the box needs to get put away or thrown away that "I'm playing with it though!"

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 Then if they accidentally touch the plush, it has to go in the freezer for five minutes to regain its magic.  

 

 

This is the only thing that would give me pause, because I wouldn't want four kids opening and closing the freezer again and again. Because one of them will surely not close it, and all the meat will thaw, and then your dh will not really not get behind the imaginative play, lol. 

 

I'd tell the kids that there are always at least two ways to regain magic, and they need to figure out another one.Other than that, I'd be fine with it, and tell dh to chill. 

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He doesn’t keep the picture of the day we used paint and foot and hand prints to colour in the kids’ silhouette cutouts ... probably too traumatic...

My husband pays for art classes for our kids so that the messy stuff is not done at home. We run the bubble machine at the bigger neighborhood park, my husband would happily buy the supplies (more than enough for any other kids who may be there) and drive us to the park.

 

My in-laws don’t tolerate mess. All mess has to be done in public school or at the park. All his relatives are public schooled, a few of his aunts have higher tolerance for mess but they will clean up immediately after their guests. They clean up even when they are guests at our house just because their cleanliness standards are higher.

 

ETA:

My husband does all the housework other than cooking. He would wash the dishes as well. So he does get a say since he would be the one cleaning the mess and vacuuming. DS12 would sweep the patio so he can make a mess there.

Edited by Arcadia
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My kids are all grown up  now, but these kinds of spontaneous imaginative games make up some of our best memories and stories.

 

If you husband complains, tell him it could be worse:  my youngest son hated raisins.  I didn't find out until years and years later that his brother used that loathing and, at one point, put raisins in a row across the doorway to keep my youngest son out of their shared bedroom.  :sneaky2:  (It couldn't have lasted long, but apparently, eldest wanted some time to himself to work on a Lego project, undisturbed.) 

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Yes, I would be thrilled that they used their imaginations to develop a complex world.  Actually, one of mine (now 11) is still very into that sort of thing and is about 50x messier than yours.  :P  As long as it all gets cleaned up, no problem.

 

I don't think the cinnamon is a problem as far as insects.  If we're talking sugar or butter, then no.  :)

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If dh suggested otherwise he could stay home with them for a day and invent new game to entertain them himself.

My husband has done that many times. My oldest has always been stuck in a book or math problems and lost to the world for hours forgetting his meals as well since he was a small kid. My younger boy would get quiz on Art History, Music History, Capitals of the world, Spelling, the 50 states and their capitals. Younger boy would finally give up on answering and find a homework to do. Even math homework is more appealing than answering what are the Scandinavian countries and their capital cities as well as spell them correctly.

 

 

ETA:

My husband would teach them Shakespeare and poetry too :lol: He made DS12 read The old man and the sea as well as Romeo & Juliet because kid was bored.

Edited by Arcadia
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