Grit House of Cards

card house

Any Brady Bunch fans out there? Remember the episode when the the kids are building this enormous card house? The episode is called “54-40 and Fight.” The girls and boys fight over 94 books of trading stamps ; the boys want to redeem them for a rowboat while the girls want a sewing machine. The stamps must be used quickly as the trading stamp company is going out of business. Chaos ensues as attempts to reach a compromise are nowhere in sight. So Carol and Mike decide on a competition to be held in order to settle this: the building of a house of cards, with the winner being awarded the power to decide. The girls win because Tiger comes running in and bumps into Peter; who knocks the cards over (my brain holds the memories of such random things sometimes). But in the end, the girls’ sense of compromise wins out and they buy a portable color television set.

There was always an abundance of playing cards in my house growing up. Competitive games of War, Go Fish and more were a regular occurrence among me and my family. We also used the cards to build houses as well. Now, our creations were nothing like the card house built in that Brady Bunch episode as I am certain those cards were glued together. But I can remember spending countless hours trying to perfect a decent one-story card house as a child. Then I came across the website The Family Dinner Project. Their recent newsletter talked about fantastic activities that reinforce resiliency. One of them was to spend time with your kids to build a card house. So guess what we did today?

The Family Dinner Project was absolutely right when they said this activity, “…offers a few simple, old-fashioned lessons in patience, frustration, hope, disappointment, faith, and starting over.” As my six-year old daughter and I dove into our card house there was a rich mix of frustration and satisfaction. Laughter followed by yelling followed by high fives! I must commend my daughter though in that she didn’t once try to walk away from the activity after spending a good half hour with no results. There were numerous iterations of, “Oh, man! This is taking forever!” But after much time passed and we completed our first simple house (photos attached), she stayed the course even after I stopped and she kept building her own house design.

Build your own house of cards with your kids and send me your pics! Remember, it’s about learning how to bounce back from our setbacks and finding ways to enjoy the journey along the way!

card house audrey







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