What The Otto Kids Do For Fun

We have an hour legislated outside time at our house.  I must confess, it is my favorite time of the day.  I’m not sure it’s their favorite, but once they get going they are hard to stop.  I remember looking out this particular day to see them digging into my freshly seeded “lawn.”  Actually, there were only two seeds left (that the chickens didn’t eat), but I still had to remind myself that the goal of my yard was not looks (or grass), but to be the kind of place my children could dig holes in in the first place.  So cool the jets.

I have often thought that children really couldn’t have more fun than combing a landfill with buckets.  I don’t know where they find this stuff.  But it’s all treasures.


They worked on this particular project for a week.  Hours of entertainment.  Why I keep having my husband haul perfectly good scrap away, I don’t know.  IMG_2091

My favorite is at the end of this clip when Jehu asks for matches.  I’m not sure who was more excited, me or him.  Matches!

Otto children are all messed up.  Or maybe it’s their mother.  But I think the idea that children shouldn’t play with fire is some kind of horrible misconception.  What is more fun that playing with fire?  And seriously, it’s raining.  Give your poor kids some matches.


Even better, one of our trees produces wads of pitch.  Torches!


Next thing you know they’re all outside in their jammies hosting late-night picnics in the flames.IMG_1018

Children and their blossoming creativity, right?  And then they started thinking, “How can we make this mess in mother’s back yard even more hideous?  I know, let’s tag it!”


Five year olds and spray paint.  A dream come true.IMG_1060IMG_1061

It’s getting to be rather hilarious.  I’m kind of afraid of what they’re going to do next.  Because I’m pretty sure cleaning it up has yet to occur to them.  And never will.IMG_1064IMG_1065

Seriously, I don’t know how this reflects on me as a parent.  But I’m gonna die laughing.IMG_1066IMG_1067 (1)IMG_1068

College art installation anyone?IMG_2122

But I do love the way my children can play with garbage.  You can be bored, or you can find all the trash in the yard and turn it into a kingdom.  I was complaining to one of my friends the other day that raising my children without TV and little technology has left them too susceptible it.  But she said, “They will grow up and learn, just like you did.”  (I am another “no TV” survivor.)  The more important question is, do your children know how to play with mud?IMG_2125

Yes, and amen.

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