There was rarely a dull moment in my household growing up. There were four of us kids in the family—my older brother, me, and my two younger sisters—and my parents had a strict family rule that we couldn’t watch more than 30 minutes of TV a day. While we all had hobbies and activities that we liked doing on our own during the week, we often ended up creating innovative games and activities together on weekends. Given that today is National Siblings Day 2017, I thought I’d take a few minutes to share my list of the top 5 crazy creative things I did with my siblings growing up (and don’t judge!).
***Sibling Day Idea: Create a digital layout for your sibs! Mix and match digital papers and elements for a look that is uniquely you. This layout features digitals from Forever Yours, Cap & Gown and Cool Serenity.***
5) Water Gymnastics.
We were blessed to have a pool in our backyard at home and a cabin on a lake, so it’s no wonder that summer water activities make this National Sibling Day list. What we’d do is get floating air mattresses and let some of the air out of them. Then, we’d stick the mattresses underwater, careful to fill them with just enough water to slightly submerge them below the water level, but not so much that they would sink. When the mattresses were filled to the appropriate level of difficulty (i.e., more water for my brother and I since we were older and less for the two younger girls), we would go out into the lake or pool and try to stand and do tricks on the mattresses that had basically turned into waterbeds on waves. This typically resulted in many hilarious water-wipeouts and hours of entertainment.
4) Barbie Movies.
I had 42 Barbie Dolls. Yes, you read that correctly; 42 Barbies. They were always on my Christmas and birthday lists, and in addition to typical schoolgirl Barbie games, I enjoyed making softball teams and lineups for them (rolling a dice to determine what they “hit” and if they were “out” when they got to a base). But on some special Saturday mornings, my brother would join in the fun and we’d create movies with my Barbies. We usually spent well over an hour brainstorming hilarious plots and getting the dolls into the best costumes for their roles. Then, my brother would pull out the video camera and a comical improv movie would ensue. You never knew when the floor of the Barbie mansion would suddenly fall out, something inevitably always broke—furniture, a doll’s head—and watching our movies after-the-fact, we were usually doubled-over with laughter.
3) Paper Airplanes Meet Ceiling Fans.
This one is exactly how it sounds; we threw paper airplanes into ceiling fans. It was a game that all four of us kids could play together but ONLY at our great aunt and uncle’s house when they were babysitting us. There was something so funny about watching your airplane get sucked up and spit out by the fan, and something delightfully exciting when it got stuck and we thought we broke the fan. Again, this game could go on for hours, and when one plane was too mangled to fly, we’d just make a new one and “honor” the plane that had to retire with a small celebration.
2) Animal Friends.
What do the following animals have in common: a pack mule, jaguar, fish and giraffe? These were all animal characters that I invented and acted out for my youngest sister to “care for.” Each one had their own noises and tendencies (e.g., when Pack Mule was present, I’d make my hands into hooves and make grunting noises; Giraffe was a tough one because I wasn’t sure about the noise it should make, so I made up my own… a loud oooh-woooo-oooh that my sister was especially fond of). I don’t think we went more than a day without her “animals” showing up from the time I invented them until the day I left for college. There’s also a fun cassette tape of all the animals talking together, which I made on my karaoke system for a family road trip down to Chicago. This tape of the “animals” is still a popular topic of discussion at our family Christmas gatherings almost 17 years later.
1) The Tram System.
The tram system was BY FAR the craziest creative thing my siblings and I did together during our childhood. My brother and I invented it one day when we were babysitting our sisters, and it became an activity that we reenacted and enhanced often. It required lots of resources and strategic planning on our part.
First, we set up a series of “tram stations” throughout the upstairs balcony, the stairway landings and down by the front door to our house. Then, we collected items that could be used as trams—things such as baskets with handles, purses and even one of my sister’s small toy houses that had windows that we could string rope through. When we had our stations and trams set up, it was time to get strategic. We gathered several ropes and designed intricate rope courses between all the tram stations. After the course was set up, we’d make up a storyline and my sisters would have to get their toys from a starting point down to the final tram station at the front door. Not only was it fun for the girls, my brother and I found it delightfully funny when one of the trams would get going too fast and slam into a wall (my mother didn’t find this as amusing as we did when she saw the wall). We even sometimes made the tram system go out a second-story window down to an outdoor station in the yard!
So, that’s my list of crazy creative things I did with my siblings growing up. What are yours? Tell us in the comments section below and post it on our Facebook page using #NationalSiblingsDay!
Brittany–CM Marketing Team
Digital Layout Created by Beth Thomander using Forever Yours, Cap & Gown and Cool Serenity Digital Collections