My entertainment task – along with hearing all your ideas for various frugal games and activities – got me feeling all nostalgic about my childhood this week. I grew up in the late seventies/early eighties and, although I had plenty of toys, back then I was just as happy playing with things I’d made myself. Whenever I wanted something new my mother would suggest to me that I tried to make it myself and – believe it or not, considering how poor my DIY skills are nowadays – I often did. I vaguely remember a furious period of making numerous dolls’ houses out of cardboard boxes, a bijou des res hideaway in the back garden composed of a few plastic bags tied to a bush and some old bricks as paving stones. I think I even tried (unsuccessfully) to install a primitive plumbing system using straws and an old lemonade bottle. There were also numerous dolls and dolls’ clothes made (no doubt appallingly) from old socks. I wonder why the trend never caught on? Or perhaps, judging from recent catwalk shows, it did…
Following my board game of Nine Mens’ Morris, I’d been wracking my brains to think of something different to do that would involve venturing out into the great British outdoors. The weather has been pretty lousy this week. Then it came to me – I would make a kite. After all, it’s been windy enough lately. I’m not very handy but it seemed fairly simple to do, even for a technically challenged individual such as myself. Once again, the internet was invaluable. I found a website showing me how to put a simple kite together using nothing but a plastic bag, some twigs from the garden, twine and sticky tape. I remember my Dad making me one when I was little with a bin bag and some bamboo canes, along with a catapult which probably wouldn’t be considered a very PC toy nowadays. But I was a big fan of the Beano and Dennis the Menace.
For once I found the instructions fairly easy to follow and in no time at all I was outside in the back garden trying to coax my new creation to take to the skies. The kite was slightly reluctant (I like to think it was shy) and so at DJ’s suggestion that it needed ‘more drag’ we tied on some extra bits of paper to the tail. Then he laughed at me as I ran around the garden like a lunatic trying to catch the wind with it and then (as you can see from the photo above) got it stuck on the washing line. It’s amazing how much fun you can have with something made entirely from rubbish, really. I’m tempted to take it out to a better kite-flying spot in the park over the weekend and see how the pair of us get on. We might get a few funny looks from those with smarter models, but who cares?
Did you make your own toys or other games as a child? With all the technology available to us have we forgotten how to be creative and have frugal fun? Leave a message and let me know your thoughts.
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