Saturday, April 28, 2012

Wooden Robot

Ruben and I made this lovely toy robot last week:

After building some robots out of blocks, and then taking them apart to move them a few times, Ruben asked if I could help him glue the blocks together.  He had some specific ideas about how he wanted them stuck together, pointing to each joint and telling me, "Hot glue here and here and hinge this so it swings like this and hinge this so it bends like that..."

I love it when we make toys together.  While he drew on the face and body, I figured out how to make the joints that he wanted.  I drilled some holes and threaded elastic through them. 

This would probably be a lot prettier if I had attached the elastic to some buttons or something like that, but we were on a roll and wanted to play with it as soon as possible.  I tied some sloppy knots, and it worked just fine.

I got the idea to wood burn Ruben's drawings onto the blocks from this post on Made by Joel, and I think that this is the best part of all.  It was so easy, too; he drew on the blocks with a pencil, and I carefully traced his lines with the wood-burner.  (If you have a chance to do this with a child's drawings or handwriting, please do it!  It looks so good, and I'm sure it will age beautifully.)

Ruben and I are both so proud of this spontaneous project!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Praying Mantis

I could imagine a farm life with cats and dogs and chickens and a goat.  Maybe rabbits, and horses too.  I know that living with animals is good for all people, and the responsibility of daily maintenance and witnessing the life cycle especially abound with deep lessons for kids. 

But, this is no farm life, so we do what we can.  Just a few days after releasing Ruben's caterpillar-turned-butterfly, we took our second tentative step into the world of pets with this graceful praying mantis that Diego found on our front lawn:

She is an elegant insect, don't you think?