Cambrian: Opinion

Two ways to release your inner child

I felt considerably older after seeing quite a few young men and women whom I’ve known since they were much shorter than me at the Fourth of July celebration recently. Sigh. I used to have such fun with my own kids and everyone else’s being creative and silly.

OK, so I am rather a goofball and I do remotely artistic things. But, it was so nice to have an excuse to “play” more.

One shouldn’t have to have an excuse, should she? No.

So, whether you have kids, grandkids, neighbors, roommates who act like kids or you just want to mess around, here are two of my favorites:

Giant Twister game

Get an old canvas painter’s drop cloth or even an old bed sheet. Measure out lines (or not!) to lay out your colored circles. Use a dinner plate or similar size round template, trace, and then use acrylic paint to make your red, yellow, green and blue spots on which to place feet and hands.

You’re not likely to have a spinner, so instead, paint popsicle sticks as follows: one each of red, green, blue and yellow and then four “word” sticks: left hand, right hand, left foot, right foot.

The person calling the action will draw one color and one body part. Play it out on the lawn to accommodate the canvas as well as to get some sunshine. You’ll also likely make new friends at the park, since who can resist a giant game of Twister?

Sand candles

This requires a trip to the beach and a camp stove invite a neighbor who has one to join you!

Recycle old crayons and candles by taking off wrappers, scraping anything gross off them and breaking them up to remove old wicks. Take them, along with the stove, oven mitts, a wooden spoon, wicks (check at the hardware store), scissors and a large empty tin can (the big ol’ refried bean size is fine but a coffee can is even better! Ask at businesses and churches).

Find a place not too close to the waves but still near a moist sand area to set up the stove. Put the candles/crayons into your old can on one of the burners. Light and slowly melt. You can use the wooden spoon to pick out bits.

Meanwhile, (someone should stay attending the stove) find some good, damp sand and make an impression in it using your fist or an object like a cup or anything else that makes a cool shape.

Cut a piece of wick that reaches top to bottom of your hole plus extra to tie around a found stick that will lay across the top, dangling the string into the hole. Make sense?

Then, carefully, using mitts, remove the can of wax from the stove and pour slowly into your sand mold. Give it quite a few minutes — 20 or more — to completely cool and harden. Gently dig around your shaped candle, remove from the ground, dust off extra sand and admire! Be sure to clean up after yourself on the beach.

Why can’t grown-ups go to summer camp and have fun like this? Maybe I’ll have to work on that.