If You Build it…

Crowley is geeking over the Olympics. Carrying his Olympic torch around. Glued to TV. It’s cute. Unexpected. But cute.

When I am not beside myself with nerves for the athletes… and their mothers, I am marveling with pure wonder at how beautiful London looks and what a lovely Olympics this has been so far. Sneaking sand volleyball into one of the most formal locations on earth is a stunning move! Here’s a quote from the Wall Street Journal: “London’s beach-volleyball site might rank as this Olympics’ most-striking venue. The purpose-built, roughly-15,000-seat stadium sits on a gravelly lot that historically served as royal parade grounds. The Prime Minister’s official Downing Street residence is visible from the stands, and Buckingham Palace is also nearby.”  I found this cool time-elapse video of construction of the Olympic stadium!

Our Olympic lesson today? Construction and building. And this lesson tastes great, too… no matter your age.

SUPPLIES:

1. Marshmallows of any shape, size or color

2. Toothpicks

DIRECTIONS:

Set them out on a tray and have your Olympian discover some of the first concepts of building like stability, weight-bearing and load distribution. This is one of those activities where you can hand over the supplies and sit back. I found that Crowley and his cousin barely said a word to me while they were building and trying to make their structures stand  on their own.

There is also a great new book out called Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site  by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. Told in rhyme, this is a sweet story of good nights that offers a parade of truck types and their jobs.

Speaking of construction sites, one of our favorite field trips is to find the biggest construction site in town and visit. I will never forget when Crowley, his beloved Cranky the Crane (of Thomas & Friends fame) and I claimed a local park bench to watch the big cranes work to build a hospital. C was so overwhelmed with awe that when he spotted  the foreman going over the day’s schedule, he shouted out, “ARE YOU WORKING ON A PLAN?”

They fell in love with him and before you know it, C was giving the commands over the walkie-talkie to move their 6-story crane. At one point the the crew moved the hooks of the crane over to show their biggest fan. And Crowley looked at them and asked, “Swing like a monkey?” And in an instant, there went the foreman, swinging on the hooks of that giant crane! I kid you not, I nearly cried because I knew this magical interaction meant the world to my little man. And with out a doubt, after that adventure, C understands how a crane works.

TODDLER TAKE AWAYS:

1) Marshmallow building is a tactile, sensory experience. Great exercise for fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, problem solving

2) The book helps with rhyming and building vocabulary and an understanding of how construction equipment works.

3) Visiting a real construction site brings it all together. This directly connects play to the real world we live in and makes every construction site there after… a sight to behold!

And the best part is… your little one, like mine, thinks he just had the best day of his entire life!

Anna

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s