Today is the last day of school, a little half-day (during which CG's kindergarten class is going to lead the school in singing the German State Song, something she's very proud of). She'll have a mix of summer camps and family time this summer, and I'm feeling alternately stressed and relaxed about the rest of the summer (note to the world: we professors do not "have the summer off," and even if my professorial side did, my administrative work continues apace. May and June are crunch time in my office, and next year I'll be better prepared for that). All of which is to say that a book like The Double-Daring Book for Girls is just my speed at the moment. The sequel to The Daring Book for Girls (which I reviewed for Mother Talk) is similarly formatted--lots of short activities/information for girls, on everything from stargazing to how to make a scarecrow, how to throw and catch a football, how to whittle. Mel invited the Mother Talk bloggers to participate in a virtual book shower for the sequel, and invited us all to double dare our readers about something in the book. She challenged her Brownie troop to see who could tie a sarong the fastest.
I looked through the book for activities I'd want to do. There are plenty (stargaze, make a lava lamp, do lanyards (which I learned are called scoubidou by some people), calligraphy. But I'm really drawn to the more encylopedic sections of the book. I love the list of collective nouns* for animals (a rhumba of rattlesnakes! a business of ferrets! an unkindness, or a conspiracy, of ravens!); I love the list of moons (January's Wolf Moon, July's Buck Moon or Thunder Moon). The randomness of these sorts of entries makes the world seem so captivating, and I love just flipping pages.
There's a section on slumber party games that includes "This is a What?" I know that game as "This is a Spoon," and I think of it as a rainy day game--I learned it as a thing to do on a rainy summer afternoon at a cottage on Georgian Bay. Sit around a table, or in a circle, and the leader holds up a spoon, passes it to the right, with the following dialogue:
- Giver: This is a spoon.
- Receiver: A what?
- Giver: A spoon.
- Receiver: A what?
- Giver: A spoon
- Receiver: Oh, a spoon!
Seems pretty simple and not too interesting, yes? Well, the leader gets one object going, and then starts another object moving around in the other direction (or you can have two people start simultaneously). pretty soon people will be playing roles of both giver and receiver, flipping heads around to keep the dialogue going. It's very, very funny. Give it a try.
So what's your favorite rainy day game?
*The OED says that an unkindness of ravens is obsolete (last citation was 1486); it doesn't list the rattlesnake sense of rhumba.