And I don't mean just like tickling or goofing off with them. I am curious, how many get down and play "pretend" with them and their toys? I should point out, I have NOT been in the habit of doing this as most of my time is spent cleaning up the messes they make. BUT for Christmas this year, I am changing that. Ok I should say we do play with them and their new toys on Christmas, but then afterwards it's back to business as usual. I have had some really bad few weeks with the boys, they have been REALLY destructive. My mom in aggravating mom fashion has been saying, "Boys need something CONSTRUCTIVE to do." Ok well, I kept ignoring her because I didn't advice at the time, I wanted sympathy LOL Anyway, I digress....I started thinking maybe we don't interact with our kids enough? And if that's the case, what can I do to change that? My daughter LOVES when I play house or Barbies with her. She's the only girl and it is rough on her. So I was trying to find a way that we could ALL play together. I think I have found it, but it isn't going to be totally cheap. There's these playsets called Calico Critters. They are actual little animal families dressed up like people. When I was a kid they were called Maple Town and created by Tonka. Well, Calico Critters was the closest thing I could find and it's by International Playthings (and probably made in China sigh). Here's my idea. I have been scouting eBay trying to find a good deal on a family. Each family is a family of 4, mom dad brother sister (baby twins sold separate but whatever). NO way can I afford those expensive doll houses, and the family sets are $20 each in stores....so trying to find used sets for A LOT less on eBay. Got a piece of plywood here...I figure I will paint it green, "survey" off 4 or 5 little lots (you know, one for each kid) and build a cardboard house on each lot. Maybe build a park, etc. This way we have built our own little town for our families. And this is our new Mommy and Me project. I have this goal of using it to teach them about families, how different families my be, diversity, how towns work, etc. There are even grandparent Critters and I figured we could have some "Grandparents" raising kids etc.....Ok so I want to make it a hands on interactive playtime with me the kids and learning involved. I figure each kid can decide how to layout their own "house lot" just like a home owner would. We can put on fake tree, fake gardens...I can superglue sand for dirt or small stones to line walkways etc. Ok feedback....do you all think I am totally crazy here? I know it might not be totally cost effective, but houses out of cardboard boxes and used pieces of doll furniture as I can find it should help keep costs down...and trying to buy the families used (must confess, I scored 3 family pieces for $5 each..two sets of infant twins and a sister...no parents or grandparents yet LOL) My kids seem pretty excited about it.