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1. The gift of dirt.  Every child enjoys watching sand sliding through their fingers. Let them dig down into layers of dirt and clay and feel the difference between fine sand and rough grit. While they are busily engaged in uglifying a corner of your small suburban yard with an old spoon or heaving shovel-fulls of heavy dirt behind your country barn, they are digging into their imaginations. They are wondering if they really could dig to China or if their dolls will enjoy their sand cake when it comes out of the oven.DSCF1884

Their moms (that’s us) peer out the kitchen window and sigh at one more mess. It’s easy for us to miss the magic. We forget that children don’t develop in a neat and tidy way so…give them dirt!

2. The gift of a good book.  Fire their imaginations with words that are rich and colorful and deep. Even young children can think robust thoughts. Especially young children! So engage those minds! Honey for a Child’s Heart will inspire you to change your family as you share great books with them. It’s full of book lists and wonderful ideas.  P1020471abby on books

3. The gift of water. It’s wonderful if you can spend a day at the beach, chase the waves and contemplate the vastness of the universe but if you can’t? Turn on a hose, give your child a bucket of water and watch their delight! Water is a gift from God and many a child has spent hours building a moat or a tiny lake and floating leaves on a cupful of water. Let them!

4. The gift of alone time. Yes, if your children are young, be there! But you can be nearby without constantly  interjecting in their world. Yes, they need to know that a strong adult presence is nearby but they also need to be left alone. Give them the gift of unscheduled time. Let them be king of their mountain! DSCF0622