Kristen: Hi, I'm Kristen and I'm here with Debi, in her herb garden. And we're answering some questions. So, question for the day is, "What can a young mom with three kids, under the age of four, who lives in the city...? What are some good summer activities to keep the kids busy and outside?"
Debi: Well, the easiest thing to do is to have chickens, pigs, cows, goats, and all that kind of stuff.
Kristen: This is in the city. [laughs]
Debi: OK. Well, if they're not busy with chores and milking the cow and everything, you can, in the city you can always have a mud pie. I remember, years ago, there was this very sophisticated lady that approached me, and she told me she had three small children. And she created a mud city in her back yard. It was like, ten feet long and four feet wide where she allowed the children to just water it down and make a mud slide city. They made bridges. They rode their cars. They had several pictures of it.
I was amazed. The children were just covered with mud. They were cool and they learned so much about creating bridges and building. And she taught them through the summer about their mud pies, and all that kind of stuff.
And then another mother told me that her little boy was really into fire engines. So, she bought him a little fire hat, and she had a little fire engine. And every day she would read him a story about a fire engine. And then, when he woke up from his nap, she would say, "Come quick, come quick and see what somebody has written on the sidewalk."
And she would take chalk and draw pictures about something on fire. Like, she would draw a picture of a house on fire, a flower on fire, something on the concrete driveway. And he would get the water hose out and put out the fire. It wasn't really a fire. It was just drawn in chalk.
Kristen: That's exciting.
Debi: And every single day, she did that. And he was laughing about it after he was six or eight years old, that he would think that was a real fire. But his mother had really cultivated... I thought that was a good idea.
Debi: I know another mother that carefully planted sunflowers where they would create a fence where the children would have to walk through the sunflowers, and the other small flowers to get back to a hidden garden. So, she read them the book, "The Hidden Garden." And that was their hidden garden, behind the flowers. As the sunflowers grew, they made it more and more of a jungle. So, there are all kinds of things you can do with children.
Debi: What are some ideas you've had?
Kristen: Well, I was just thinking, at Lowes, or any hardware store, they would have little herb pots for sale and you grow your own cooking herbs for the summer. And that would be fun for them to go, "Oh, we're making spaghetti sauce tonight. Go pick me, the oregano and the basil."And you can just buy that, probably at Wal‑Mart.
Kristen: Yeah. I remember when Shoshanna was nine years old, I bought one little cup of chocolate mint, one little three‑dollar cup. And I showed her how you could break it off and stick it in dirt. And in three days, we'd pull it up and it'd have a few little roots on it. It was just really fast. Over the course of the summer, she made more than $300 off of the one pot by just breaking it off, sticking it in the dirt and making it available to people. She learned how to be a peddler of wares.
She learned how to pot flowers. She learned how to talk to people; how to sell. And it made an herbalist out of her. And that was when she was...
Kristen: It made her money, too.
Debi: Yeah, it made her money, too. So, she used that money to buy more herbs, and grow more things the next year.
Kristen: And then, if you're in the city too, I'm thinking that there are more people, so you've got co‑ops, some school co‑ops, swimming pools, and libraries, and that sort of thing.
Debi: Now, we used the library a lot when mine were young.
Kristen: Oh, yeah. Those are some ideas for you.
Pearls of Wisdom follows the No Greater Joy team as they discuss and answer questions about raising children, marriage, simple living, gardening, homeschooling, and more! Each week will cover different topics - topics that YOU - the viewer choose! This is a great show for the whole family and anyone who wants some extra "Pearls of Wisdom" to come their way.