Benno’s back at it

He always nails it. 

No denying that.

Benno is still Benno in his hunkered experience. Starting business after business. The last two days alone we have seen the rising of two major enterprises. He has started a  “detailing” and has opened “Broadway” right here in our hunkered life.

The detailing business has some victims. Truly no device is safe in this house. However, what I LOVE most about this business is his heart and thoughtfulness. The video below reminds me that kids are really listening. That we feel as parents we are experts on them. That we know them and that their view is limited. But is it? As Benno’s analysis of me is pretty dead on. They are experts on us too. A lot to learn from these miniature human reflections that we created.

The video also cracks me up when Benno assumes that Steve’s middle name must be LEVIN (my maiden) name like the rest of us. I’m into it. We may need to get that legally changed! And just one correction…Benno states that I work for VCS, not true. But kicking cancer’s ass- TRUE.

And then the part about Mind the Gap…I mean…he ain’t wrong. Painful, but not wrong. I never said he was delicate with his words.

And then there is the play he has written and yesterday was “casting for.” No joke. He made everyone in the house audition for roles. He made us “read” different lines and then gave us feedback. Here is Jacob  in auditions and trying to execute on Benno’s director cues that he should be shoveling “begrudgingly.” I mean…I love this video for so many reason. I had no idea that he knew what that word meant and we have some strong actors here!

But all of this magic came with inspiration and I want to share some of the things that we adults can do to set up our kids for INDEPENDENT fun for hours.


I have started a playwright unit with the kids. This is a great way to engage reluctant readers and is suitable for ALL ages. It also takes TIME! And for those who miss Broadway…here is your own version:) Grab some popcorn your children will entertain you.

You can google “Reader’s theater scripts” and find loads of great child-friendly plays for kids to perform. You can also buy premade kid-friendly scrips from teachers for three dollars. After reading and performing a few plays, challenge your 2nd and older children to do a rewrite. The challenge is that they have to communicate the same moral of a play you already read (in teaching we call this an anchor text). Not only does this task lend itself for discussions on reading comprehension, it also, gives the child structure in their writing and a place to reference. You can extend the lesson to point to examples of dialogue versus narration, etc. So Benno’s play is based on the moral of sharing and friendship from the “Rainbow Fish” story, but is set at a construction site! Such creativity! 

I also challenged Benno to make his set and create costumes. HOURS this is taking him.

And the detailing idea came from loads of recycled art and engineering projects. Remember these?

Instead of dumping them as you reorganize your house, have them build and make art with them! Personalization is at the core of the crafting business and it makes sense today more than ever. Kids are trying to find their way to differentiate themselves. Drawing on their own sneakers, etc to show their personality. This inspired Benno to personalize his “gear,” but for others, this may be a great way to get younger kids to start a fashion line without needing the sewing skills. Give them sharpies and some old things they would never wear and POOF new outfits:)

And you can always relaunch the pet rock. lol. Hey, sharpies and a rock can lead to hours of creativity and fun.


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