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Monday, June 22, 2009

Grasshopper Chairs

When we were kids we didn't have computers, video games and electronic gadgets that kids have today.

We played outside. All day, in the summer.

We never had cell phones. When Mom wanted us back home, she would go to the front door and holler. We eventually heard her and came home.

It didn't take much to keep us busy or amuse us during the day. We found many things to do and to play.

After rainy days we would dam up the creek. We would make two or three in a row. The largest one would be in front and one by one we would tear down the dams and see if the first one could hold all the water. It was fun getting in the creek and getting our feet and hands muddy.

We swung from grapevines hanging in the trees in the woods by our house.

We played horseshoes, bad minton and croquet. We played games such as - red light green light, freeze tag, ring around the rosie, red rover- red rover, hide and seek, mother may I?, and chased lightning bugs at night.

And, we sat and pulled the petals off of daisies while we recited "she loves me, she loves me not."

We made whistles from blades of grass, searched for 4 leaf clovers and made grasshopper chairs.

You want to know how to make grasshopper chairs?

First, you go out and find yourself some plantain. (I didn't know they were called that, I called them grasshopper plants). My cousin Vera says the younger ones work best, they bend easier.

You make the back of the chair first.

Turn your hand upside down and lay the stems flat across your hand and then fold the 'legs' of the chair over them and down in between your fingers. This holds your seat together.

Keep laying the stems flat across your hand and folding the stem beside of it over and down in between your finger to hold it in place.

After you have your seat as big as you want it, grab hold of the stems under your hand and slide your fingers out. The back of your chair will flip up and you will have yourself a grasshopper chair.

Now take a stem and tie it around the legs of your chair to hold it together.

I'm sorry the instructions are pretty confusing. But if you have a bunch of plantain in your yard, get some and give it a try. Teach your kids how to do this vanishing craft.

I thank Vera of Intouchwith for refreshing my memory on how to make them. I couldn't remember how the chair bottom was held together. We sat around the picnic table after our family reunion and she showed me how to do it.

We made them all the time when we were kids. I remember Mom showing me how to do it. I'd say she made them when she was young, too.

I think they are kinda pretty.

What do you remember doing when you were a child? Did you ever make grasshopper chairs?


  1. Janet, what a great post! Did you ever play hop scotch in the dirt?

  2. Thats pretty cool, I'll have to remember this and show my nephews. Did you ever blow onto a dandilion to see how many children you would have?

  3. That is so cute..never heard of it before..I used to sit for hours making clover chains..Have you ever made holly hock dolls?

  4. Hi all, Yes I remember playing hopscotch in the dirt and blowing on a dandelion to see how many kids I was going to have. Gloria I vaguely remember clover chains, but don't know how to make holly hock dolls. I've got holly hocks, you'll have to tell me how.

  5. Yes, Jan I remember. Another fun thing we did...even after we were grown I did it with my kids...we made slicky slides out of large cardboard boxes and slid on them down banks...even the dogs got in on the fun...remember the old home video Mom made of that?

  6. Janet,
    I love this posting. It brought back many childhood memories of my siblings and me playing outside. The grasshopper chair sure was interesting and the photos illustrated it very well.

  7. Janet, I remember playing hide & seek and freeze tag, we could never get enough people to play red rover. We were rarely allowed to play in the creek, just too dangerous and I think I'd die if my kids played in a creek today, its a shame we've let everything get so polluted and dangerous for our kids to enjoy these things today.

  8. I remember all those things. And playing in the creek at Grandmas. She had a kiddie pool that we put water and rocks in for the crawdads we caught.
    I have never seen a grasshopper chair. I've got some of those annyoying weeds growing in my yard. Now I have a good use for them and they are no longer annoying weeds. I can't wait to show my granddaughters how to do this. So I must go practice.
    Thanks for this. Great post!

  9. Our favorite game was jacks. We got the biggest callous on the side of our palms from playing so much. :) We also dug up the dirt in the yard and sifted it through old screens like we were prospectors. We found all kinds of keys and broken glass, but we thought we had treasures. xxoo

  10. My poor deprived children, who lived most of their life without these devices, would have loved this!!! We just might have to try this as adults. Great post:)

  11. Hi Janet...
    The GOOD old days...I have 2 younger sisters and we would play in the 3 season porch on the front of the neighbor kids when I was in grade school...and we played some of the same games. I never heard of a grasshopper chair! I remember catching them and they would "spit" in our hands!
    Deb :)

  12. When I was little-I used those same plants to make crowns, necklaces, and bracelets. The chair was so neat!

  13. I grew up in Nelson County Va. My grandmother taught me to make the very same thing except she called it a grasshoppers nest. Ron Sites

    1. Hi, Ron. So glad you commented. I've never heard them called nests before.

    2. Hi, Ron. So glad you commented. I've never heard them called nests before.


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