Today, I took my little girl and my little boy to a nearby Kids/Green Festival with our good friends. We made our way to the Village Park, where the kids' play area was located...kids can only stand looking at arts and crafts booths for a short time, after all. Also, Pippin and Lucy joined us for the day and they kept barking at the chickens wandering around the street. What can I say, I live where a lot of old fashioned values are held, and these values include allowing chickens (and dogs) to run free without fear of being caught, feathered, killed, and eaten.
The play area had at least 4 bounce houses and a climbing wall. Not as much as a carnival, but enough to keep the kids busy for the afternoon. My friend and I bought each of the children a wristband that allowed them unlimited "rides" in the bounce houses and the climbing wall...there may have been more than this, but this is all my kids cared about.
The bounce houses were the first things that the kids wanted to play in. In fact, my little boy (3 years old last month) LOVED one in particular and his wristband paid for itself in 10 minutes. By the way, each of the wristbands cost $10 - GAH! $20 for my two kids seemed like a lot, but I keep reminding myself that going to the outdoor event was free and we didn't splurge and buy food. Plus without the bracelets, it would have been $3 per "ride" and given that my little guy went into the aforementioned bounce house 10 times, $10 for his bracelet was a bargain.
My favorite part of this day was watching my little girl attempt the climbing wall, all by herself. In fact, her friend reported that she was waiting in line for it, but it didn't hit me that she was serious about doing it until I saw her halfway up the wall. I think that the wall must have been 20 feet high. Sitting on a bench behind her little brother's bounce house, I watched her climb carefully up the wall, not caring that other children were climbing faster or that they were climbing only halfway up before they let themselves down. There she was, determined to go as high as she could, looking for foot/handholds to help her reach the top. What made me really proud was that she didn't panic; she didn't yell for help or look around helplessly for someone to rescue her.
When she came down from the wall, she came to me with a big smile on her face. She did it, all by herself. Most importantly, she made a commitment, and fulfilled it, without assistance. My little girl is growing up fast.