I used to work with a guy. He was an outdoorsy type. I once saw him reach into some plants that were marked 'poison oak'. He grabbed a handful and showed me that the plants weren't in fact poison oak, but rather some other kind of plant that looked like poison oak. We used to go on walks on our break along a river, and he would hand me all the edible plants.
He once told me that he didn't much care for all these new electronic games. In fact, he didn't have much use for toys at all. He told me once, 'all a kid needs is a stick, and some rope'.
I don't think I completely understood what he meant until last night.
My wife met somebody through a homeschooling organization, and we've been trying to get together. I knew her husband through work, but only a little. We went over last night and in their back yard they had a few very large trees, a zip line, several lengths of rope, some pvc pipe sticks, and a few bows.
The kids were in heaven.
They swung, flung, zipped, rode, spun, flew, whacked, shot, and in short, had a ball. We hadn't even made it to the van before all of the kids were asking if they could come back tomorrow.
So remember this come next Christmas. Don't but the wiis, don't buy the legos. Go to home depot, buy a large piece of rope, buy some sticks, and maybe even this book, and your kids will thank you.