Camping trips draw to mind such images as fishing for your food with a homemade fishing pole, building a campfire from rubbing two twigs together, or making beds from stacks of leaves. Camping also brings to mind the saying, “necessity is the mother of invention!” When necessity calls, creativity is a good “go to” skill that can accommodate the most simple of needs – especially on a camping trip with a 5 year old seeking entertainment and fun once the tent has been set up. How so? TIC TAC TOE!
While camping at El Capitan, my daughter and I decided to make the game of tic tac toe a little more inventive rather than just drawing marks in the dirt. We proceeded to round up all the game pieces needed to play a colorful game of Xs and Os. Harper hunted and found rocks that were the perfect size to paint (I had some finger paints on hand – you never know!) and then mark with either an X or an O. I also had a piece of felt on hand that was used as the “game board” as Harper painted the lines sideways and up and down to create the nine blank spots. Once the paints dried, a hearty game pack of Tic Tac Toe was now available for kids and adults to enjoy, although the rock hunting and painting probably rated highest to Harper. Easy as 1-2-3, huh? And fun for the kids! I’ll admit that while this game activity wasn’t comparable to catching our food for dinner, or using the stars to guide us back to camp, it did remind this mother that the partnership of necessity and invention is as closely tied to camping almost as much as the partnership of graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate cooked over a campfire for the best Smore’s you’ve ever tasted. Almost.