Thursday, 7 August 2008

Brain dump: Age appropriate preoccupations for girls

Can I remember what I enjoyed? Today, just for kicks, I'm going to list everything I can think of on the spot that I would have enjoyed doing as a kid.

Crafts, pets, books, penpals, holiday fun like visiting the Acquarium, zoo, museum, art gallery or Royal Easter Show, wandering around in wild places like the bush or suburban vacant blocks, daydreaming, sleepovers with friends, drawing, dancing, baking cakes, playing with lego, playing dress ups, putting on puppet shows, learning magic tricks, writing stories, star gazing, sewing clothes, making friendship bands, braiding a friend's hair, playing a team sport, spending time with grandparents, writing letters to admired people, collecting things, painting, hiding from people, making a film with the family video camera, going to the library, working a part time job, telling ghost stories, conducting amateur investigations, making jewellery, creating a family magazine or newspaper, making a pinata, making a dolls house or the furniture to go into one, learning about how to repair small things on the family car, riding a bike with a friend, climbing a tree, visiting horses, playing spotlight, planting bulbs, making collagage of favourite images, learnign an instrument, playing a board game, writing a really complicated Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story, fabric painting, making a tea pot, correographing a "music video" to a favourite song with friends, creating shadow puppet shows, hypnotising people, making audio recordings of family interviews, trying to levitate a friend, taking a friend with their eyes closed on an imaged journey1, building a hut/fort/cubby house, designing a dream home, watching clouds and the shapes in them, playing handball, playing catch, rollerskating/rollerblading, taking photos, painting egg shells, inventing a board game, playing with dolls, making a diorama2, inventing a perfume, making Christmas decorations, freezing ice blocks, making plaster casts, swimming in a pool, inventing outdoor games with elaborate rules, draw a comic book, play marbles, play elastics, race sbilings or friends, make pieces of origami, grow herbs and vegetables, create an ant farm, put on a majic show, play in a sprinkler, make a tent out of sheets in a bedroom, create a maze, play "Battleship" on paper, create a fish tank, make a flip book, make something using carpentry, learn about a time in history, watch a movie, make salt dough, throw a tea party, press flowers, draw using computer software, paint faces, conduct an archeological dig, make a spell with plants and leaves from the garden, draw the fairies who live in the garden, correograph a ballet, learn how to knit, play word games, learn the names of the constellations, learn about the Greek gods, create a treasure hunt for friends, using a long chain of clues, train a dog to do a trick, attempt to break a record for something like consecutive minutes hula-hooping, learn how to play with a yoyo, learn a cool card trick, play card games, make fashion drawings, make a paper doll, write letters to friends, make an elaborate machine or booby trap, write a recipe book, blow really big bubbles out on the lawn using detergent and a coat hanger, make a terrarium, learn computer programming with "Alice", start to learn a language, make a bag, weave some fabric, make a fortune telling folded paper cone, create a gymnastic routine, decoupage a box like a shoe box, make a pop-up book, draw the local arcitecture, make a bust of one of your parents, create a treasure map, put on a play.

1 My brother and I did this often as kids. We would take turns having our eyes closed, while the other would describe some kind of Indiana Jones-style jungle adventure, guiding the other all around the back yard, spalashing the face with water to simulate a waterfall, dragging under trees to indicate thick jungle undergrowth... My Dad had a canoe which we would play in on the grass in the backyard, telling each other stories about speeding down rapids.

2 I was obsessed with making scenes in shoes boxes for a while. I would generally try to rig up the insides so that small things could be animated externally, while someone looked through a hole in the front. I spent a very long time, one summer, constructing a kind of Dracula's castle scene, complete with stained-glass windows and a vampire that would rise out of a coffin in the middle, drawn up by a thread pulled from outside the box.

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