As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Hidden Art of Homemaking {Chapter 11: Creative Recreation}

I suppose I should begin my ramblings on this chapter by sharing Mrs. Schaeffer's definition of "creative recreation."

Firstly, it is recreation which produces creative results, stimulates creativity, refreshes one's ideas and stirs one to 'produce'.  Secondly, it is recreation which is the result of original ideas, creative because someone has creatively planned an evening, a day, an occupation which in itself is fresh and different.

Next, I will confess that I am not a nature girl.  Never have been.  Even as a child, I was more often found inside with my nose in a book or playing paper dolls or sewing clothes for my Barbies than I was found outside looking at bugs or gazing at the stars or digging in the earth.  

So when the first half of this chapter was all  about getting out of our "insulation" of walls and taking walks for miles (miles!) across fields and beside lakes and over hills and maybe even taking a sleeping bag and sleeping under the stars wherever the walk has taken you...  Well, I must confess that these pages made me squirm uncomfortably in my arm chair in my air conditioned haven.  

When I have taken the time and the effort to "get out" of my comfort zone, it has always been well-rewarded.  When we take off for the day (or for a few hours) and go to the park, or take a hike, or lie on a blanket in the back yard and find constellations, I always wonder why I don't take the time more often.  It is my ideal, but I rarely get there. 

One particular school year, I had determined that we would go on a nature walk once a week.  That doesn't sound like a lot, does it?  On week two, Kati nearly stepped on a snake, and we lost our resolve to go on nature walks. I know that sounds pathetic to some of you nature gals (and Charlotte Mason mamas who are reading this because of Cindy's book club), but that is the reality of it.*

Now that my confessions are made, I can agree wholeheartedly with Mrs. Schaeffer that children and adults alike would be far better served by creative recreation than by sitting passively in front of the television for hours at a time.  We have never been a "no TV" family, but we have always had strict limitations on viewing--on the quality of the programming, of course, but also on the quantity.  Even good television shows and movies can dull the brain if they replace other pursuits.  (We remove time limitations under certain circumstances such as illness.)  

For young children, I prefer open-ended toys.  By open-ended, I mean that the toy is not a specific character nor must it be played with in a certain way.  Open-ended toys encourage imagination and creativity, not simply a recreation of someone else's imagination.  Blocks (wooden, Lego, foam) are a perfect example.  Blocks can be anything...houses, farms, cities, bridges, tents, forts, people, food.  A box of dress-up supplies are open-ended and encourage all sorts of imaginative play.  Craft and art supplies also supply creative fun.  

Ryan played for hours at a time with his little Fisher Price people and the barn and town. They survived the test of time and now belong to his children.  

Bekah played for hours at a time with her Fisher Price doll house. Just last week, it was packed up and taken to the attic to wait for her own children.  She also loved her Woodkins, which she played with in church. 

I think that "creative recreation" can also include
  • playing with and caring for pets
  • performing skits
  • playing house or town or doctor
  • playing games
  • jigsaw puzzles
  • sewing, knitting, crocheting
  • building
  • gardening
  • drawing, painting sketching
  • playing an instrument, writing music

All of these are thoughtful or meaningful or productive ways to spend one's time.  

I warned you that this was going to be a rambling post!  Ramble I have...and now I'm just going to land.  

* Although I am an "indoor" person, my husband is an "outdoor" person, and some of my children are too!

Do you have any thoughts on creative recreation?


Continuing the book club discussion of The Hidden Art of Homemaking at Ordo Amoris...
Click ~here~ for all the posts in the discussion. 


  1. I'm like you. I the old fashioned toys, games and crafts that let you use your imagination.

    Stay cool and enjoy your weekend!

  2. I am not one of your outside children, though I am learning to stretch my boundaries this summer.

  3. :D I'm in your camp...not a fan of lots of outdoorsy activities especially when it's too hot. Time to s t r e t c h...

  4. I love nature, but I despise bugs and can't stand to be dirty! LOL...

  5. I love the outdoors in the Autumn of the year. It's cool and it's beautiful, so that's when I prefer to be outdoors.

    I don't mind a hike then, or time spent outdoors. We do love to sit out on clear nights anytime of the year and enjoy the night sky.


  6. You are inspiring me with ideas for gifts for the grandchildren! Forgot about Woodkins!

  7. Great post! I did not enjoy nature one bit...not until I started homeschooling and then I got a tad bit obsessed. I am with you on the sorts of toys you like.

  8. I agree with your toy ideas. I played with the vintage Fisher Price toys as a child and then went to ebay to find some for my own kids. I like being outside, but some days with the little girls and mosquitoes and mud, it just seems too daunting. :)


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