Quiet, contemplative activities to do together to bring out conversation and to connect with your children.
Sunshine pouring through our yellow room window drew our 9-year-old in. And she wanted me to join her and her baskets of yarn, cord and string for some me-and-her time. And that's just the thing about string things. They are good for together time. Anyway you play with them—knot, knit, braid, crochet—the relaxing repetition nurtures calm togetherness. Perfect for drawing out our daughter's conversations of what has been bothering her and making her happy, what she's been reading and thinking about, her wishes, her hopeful thoughts...working with the yarn in my hands is a calming, quiet occupation while I listen.
My grandmother has often occupied herself with the calming pastime of string play—crocheting intricate dainty doilies. The pretty lacy scallops exude a beautiful fragility, now slightly shaky looped threads made by her 94-year-old hands. She taught me to crochet chains of yarn when I was my daughter's age. Now I show our daughter how make a second row on her chain while I tell her about those special crochet lessons with my grandmother.
Do you see our daughter's favorite ring in the top picture? A mood ring. It's blue while we play with our yarn. The mood ring chart (I never used to believe in this sort of thing) accompanying the ring equated blue with 'happy, peaceful and relaxed. Inner tranquility"...
...Must be the yarn and string. The coming of spring. And our special me-and-her time.
for your own special together time
Other simple tasks that allow thoughts and small talk—special together time—
~ gardening, digging in the dirt
~ taking a nature walk
~ playing catch (or rolling a ball with a young one)
~ finger painting
~ playing with play dough and kneading bread dough.
And, if string IS your thing, gather any yarn or string you have on hand. And, someone. You don't need to know how to knit or crochet to spend time together talking over a ball of yarn or string. Make simple braided bracelets or even pom poms*—both relaxing, repetitive handwork that will allow plenty of thought left over for talking and listening. Really it doesn't matter which string task you choose, the talking and stories told will be a more precious keepsake to hold on to than what you make with the yarn or string.
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