Quick. What month is it? Did you say Dinovember? Then you might be one of the coolest parents in the world, right behind Refe and Susan Tuma, aka the mom and dad who have created a prehistoric parenting movement to convince kids that plastic dinosaurs are ALIIIIIVE!
The project got off the ground last year, when one of the Tumas' four kids was dealing with some health issues. For fun, mom Susan set up their plastic dinosaurs with some toothbrushes by the sink as a joke, and their middle daughter proclaimed they'd come to life at night. And a month-long project was born!
Today the Tumas have more than 200,000 folks following along on their Dinovember Facebook page as they create crazy hijinks for T-Rex and pals every night. We asked them how they keep things interesting ... and don't they ever have a night when they're just too exhausted to throw a dino disaster?
Here's what Susan Tuma had to say:
On how they find the energy to keep the fun alive:
I have four children, and one of them is 5 weeks old. I don't have the time or the energy! It's not something that has to be elaborate at all. Half of the time last year we tossed some cereal around and made a little mess that our kids would have made the next morning anyway. Our house is already a mess, so no big deal!
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On where their ideas come from:
The ideas aren't usually planned out. We pretty much wander the house until inspiration strikes. The dinosaurs have come to life a bit for us as well now, so it's not too hard to imagine what they might come up with.
On whether they've ever been caught by the kids:
Every night we have a panic moment when somebody gets up and stumbles down the steps for a glass of water. But so far, so good!
On the kids' response:
The kids LOVE the dinosaurs and talked about them all year last year. They immediately search the house and get a good laugh at whatever escapade has occurred. When the dinosaurs graffitied the wall, our 5-year-old daughter said, "Mom, maybe it's time to have a garage sale ..." Our 6-year-old VERY quickly objected.
On why the parents love it:
One of the things that happened is that it engaged a part of us that we hadn't been able to connect with in a long time: we were having FUN.
As an artist, I hardly ever get to engage the creative part of myself with so many young kids. They're all under 7 years old! Fingerpainting doesn't exactly fulfill my creative heart. There's something about doing what you love (even if it's dinosaur-themed) that is energizing. My husband is a writer -- this sparked his imagination and allowed him to think up stories to engage our children with. We do stay up a little later in November, but it's something that's really revitalized our family. And if it gets to be too elaborate, we can always just have the dinosaurs have a movie night.
We're totally inspired to throw a dino-riffic disaster in our homes, how about you? I think number 4 would be hilarious!
What do your kids think their toys get up to at night?
Image via Refe and Susan Tuma