Sunday, May 22, 2011

Messy Art Again and All the Rain

This last week has been a very busy one for us. At least I remembered to take my camera with me, most of the time.
M asked to do a Big Messy Art project! Hooray, this has never happened before since he'd rather do almost anything else than paint. But this time he asked, no, insisted, on doing the "blow-dryer art". Remembering lessons learned the last time we tried this project, I prepared a couple of ping-pong balls, paint thinned with water, and a piece of paper securely taped to the box.
Also this week - we've had quite a lot of rain, but in between all the showers and thunderstorms we managed to go pick some mulberries. Actually, we got to go a couple of times, once with Chris and then, during the week - just M and I. For that second trip I got an old trike out of the attic. It's an old Kettler that I picked up at a Kids Exchange sale a year or so ago. I thought I got a good deal on it, but turned out the bike needed new set of tires which meant that the entire rear wheels assembly had to be changed. So for right now it's running as is and I'm just counting on M outgrowing his trike soon enough.
Big surprise this year - turns out, M can ride a trike all by himself... on a smooth surface and preferably on a slight downhill slope. Anything rough or uphill requires too much work, so he stops pedaling and asks me to push him. But boy, he loves riding downhill, going as fast as he can. Except that he keeps looking over his shoulder to make sure I'm not holding the bike. And when he does this, the bike swerves widely which scares me a whole lot since the breaks aren't all that great either.
Still, we managed to get as far along the Art Museum trail as the Two Mulberries. You see, the mulberries at the trailhead get picked a lot. When we got there, there weren't that many berries within easy reach. But most casual walkers don't go far enough into the woods and runners and bikers don't care about stopping and snacking. So it's left to us, serious berry hunters, to pick and eat them berries.
With our bellies full (we also had a mini-picnic half-way to the mulberries), we started heading back, but got caught in a downpour. So M pedaled and I pushed and panting we got to a little pavilion half-way to the car. It's a very nice pavilion with sweeping views of the entire Museum Park, but we never before made it there.
Another thing we did this week was testing our water wall. I saw this idea here and liked it 'cause it looked so simple. Besides, I already had all the components - a big piece of left-over peg board and lots of containers. So I took the next step - handed it all to Chris and told him that, when put together properly, it would make a terrific water toy (yes, he is a very patient and understanding man).
He set to work. Turned out that the bolts I had didn't match the holes in the pegboard. Nothing some drilling couldn't fix though. M seemed to be interested mostly in getting a hold of the drill. Once the wall was assembled, he showed remarkably little interest in it. Hmm, back to the drawing board since he generally likes everything that is remotely like a marble run. I might try PVC pipes and clear tubing instead.
At the end of the week we made a great discovery. We found a new (to us) park not far from the house (15-minute drive). The awesome feature of this park is its slides. They are built into the slopes. Somehow this makes them a lot more attractive to children of all ages (and to adults as well). M and a bunch of other boys from the local homeschooling group spent close to 2 hrs on these slides! Or rather on the rubberized slopes. There's something very compelling in being able to slide down the hillside.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link. I'm glad our wall inspired you! My little ones really enjoy making the wall work with sections of rain gutters in addition to the other pieces we have. It is definitely more popular with the water than it is with sand, but it is used on a daily basis. Some of the children just love to move the nuts and bolts around. They are fascinated by the workings of the wing nuts. I hope it holds more attention and works out for you with the tubing!