The kid in blue is my ten-year-old. Chandler has a Wii, a PS3, an X-Box 360, and hundreds of DVDs to choose from. He has access to the internet. He has books and comic books to read.
Oh, and air-conditioning. He has lots and lots of air-conditioning inside his room.
So what does he do in the middle of the afternoon of July 4th? He goes out into the sweltering weather and digs in the sand we put out back for the above-ground pool we had last year. (My wife didn't like the pool after last year so she got rid of it. Now I'm saving up to put in a rigid-sided above-ground pool next year because she misses a pool. This is why men go crazy!)
Lately, Chandler has gotten fascinated with playing in the dirt. Building cities, moats (he had to borrow the waterhose for that), castles, and attacking his playmates. (I guess that whole theory of land-grab wars has gotta start sometime.)
All you need is a gang of guys willing to brave the heat with you, loose sand, and an imagination.
Oh, and a happy-go-lucky dog. Nothing quite like getting dirty and covered with dog musk and sweat before you go back into the house.
Scientists make a big deal out of terraforming new planets. I suggest throwing about a zillion play buckets, a zillion shovels, and a zillion kids onto a frontier planet. Give 'em till lunch and presto! The whole planet will be terraformed.
One of the bad things about backyard play with your dog is that eventually the dog will get bored and decide what you're doing is interesting.
Or maybe he just wants to exercise his creative instincts as well.
This is Max. He weighs 118 pounds and could probably eat all these kids in the picture at a single sitting, judging from his weekly feed bill.
As you might guess, Max's favorite movies involve gigantic monsters terrorizing and destroying cities! His hero is Godzilla.