Friday, April 8, 2011

In which we are saved from a grim and grisly fate by a package of party cups

We've been planning a fishing trip all week. Everyone has been super psyched. 
And then. 
We woke up this morning - last official day of spring break - to this kind of a day. 

I think it made it up to 20 degrees around 1pm. Major Bumming. 
The kids reluctantly donned their snow gear for some "FUN in the SNOW!" (I did my best enthusiastic mom thing... ), and went out to muck through the muddy ice. 
That lasted about 20 minutes. (approximately half the time it took me to find all the snow pants and coats and matching boots and mittens, and get them all dressed and out the door) 

And then, suddenly, we were looking at the business end of possibly the longest, most miserable day ever.

I wracked my mommy brain for some kind of fun cold-weather activity we haven't already done 3,584,695,212,800,000 times. (nothing came to mind)

So I let the boys build a fire in the fireplace. (they're getting pretty good at it by now) and I put on some hot chocolate. And for a while, we looked at books. 

Until the boys started arguing about something, and I had to negotiate a reconciliation. Which took forever. And then I looked at the clock at it was only 10:30. 

So we pulled out the decks of cards and played go fish and speed and I taught the boys how to play war and solitaire. 

Which was great until war became more than just the name of the game. Nix the cards. ... after picking three decks up off the floor... and under the couch, and behind the bookshelves... sigh. 


Then naps for the girls... who weren't in the mood to nap, since we hadn't really done anything all morning. 

Temptation to turn on the Spongebob... growing with each passing second. 

Till I opened the cabinet under the sink to get out a clean dishtowel and spotted ... an unopened package of party cups. SALVATION. 

Now to some, an unopened package of party cups is just... well, an unopened package of party cups. But to a desperate mama, and her relentless pack of wolves lovely children, it's an unopened package of possibility and fun. I'm not even kidding. 

This entertained us ALL AFTERNOON. 

First, Owen decided he wanted to make the most gigantic pyramid of cups ever. 

It took a while. 

And a lot of tries. 

Like, 14.

But eventually, he (with the help of his brother) made it to the top. And placed the final piece.

They were so excited. Especially when I told them they could knock it down by throwing stuffed animals at it. 

As we were picking up all the cups, Max had an inspiration for a craft he wanted to make with the cups. It turned out pretty awesome, and he's here to tell you about it. Take it away, Max!

(transcribed by mom)  Hi. It's Max. I made a rocketship today out of these red cups my mom found under the sink. That's where she keeps the stuff we're not 'sposed to touch. 

This is what I used to make the Space ship. Three red cups, that thing from the paper towels, some clear tape, and some scissors. 

First, you have to take one of the cups and cut out the sides like this. The pieces you cut out are going to be the wings, so make them wing-shaped. Throw away the part that's in the picture. Mom, we should have taken a picture of the wings instead. Why did you take a picture of the trash part? (me: sorry.) 

You tape the wing parts to the side of one of the cups. You have to do this first before you put on the top cup. Mom, you don't have a picture of that part. *big sigh. (me: sorry.) Well, after you have the wings on - they need to be so they can move up and down... like wings. 

After that, you tape the top part on, but only tape where the wings aren't. otherwise they won't move. When you do all that, it should look like this:
And it's cool 'cause the wings stay up when you put them up because they get like stuck on the white part of the cup. The wings are 'sposed to be up when the rocket goes off. Then, after it's in space, you can put them down. 

animated gif maker

To make the rocket frushters... wait. What are they called? (me: thrusters) Thrusters, you cut off a piece of the tube. Then cut it so it opens up.

Then you have to cut in in half so you can have two... what are they again? (me: thrusters)  thrusters. I wanted to make four, but my mom said no. You should make four. That would be a lot better. (me: sorry.) 

Then you kind of roll the pieces up so they're smaller tubes and tape them so they can stay. Moooom! You didn't take a picture of that EITHER?! (me:... sorry.)
*Big sigh. Well, hopefully they know what I'm talking about. But then you tape the thr -thrusters to the bottom of the Rocketship. 

Here's a picture of what it looks like when it's done. MOM! Why did you have to put THAT picture on here? I look WEIRD! (me: ... sorry.) 

Well, just tell them to look at this instead. I like this movie. They can even see Logan on the couch. 
Is that it? (me: You could say goodbye.) Oh. Goodbye. I hope you make a rocket like mine 'cause it's really cool and I like it a lot. And kids can do it theirselves, too, so they won't always have to be bugging their moms.

make a gif
   {Make a gif}

Not to be outdone by his little brother, Owen made a little rocket ship of his own. No fancy cutting involved. 

They got out some guys and played with these for a good long time. Then they went online to check out stuff about real rockets and ended up on This Lego Rocket Game where you have to build a rocket and then launch it and see if it will make it into space. They all got really into it, and when their rocket finally made it 190,381 miles up, and the meteors were flying by, an impromptu conga line broke out and they were all dancing around the room singing 'We made it into space - yeah! We made it into space - yeah!' 

And so, we managed to survive the day thanks to some extra party cups and a little ingenuity. 
And we'll reschedule that fishing trip as soon as possible.

Thanks for Playing, folks.
Rhinos and Ranunculus,

Learn how to make animated pictures Here. (it's a LOT easier than you think!)

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Thanks, Max!!

Shibley Smiles

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Jennifer said...

I love that your kids are so creative. The rocket ships looked great. Sucks about the weather though.

Teddi said...

Reminds me of when working with kids, & it was time to go outside. In winter, it took longer to dress & get everyone ready than time actually spent outside. What fun your children had with the party cups! Aren't those the kind of cups of college kegs?

Malinda B said...

Spring greetings from Colorado!
I wanted to thank you for the comment you left, regarding letter writing. It meant alot to me!
I also am looking forward to reading YOUR blog too! Wonderful and inspiring!
May you and your precious family have a beautiful and refreshing spring....and more creations with cups! (It's cardboard at our house)

Under His Wings,
Malinda @
Vintage Homestead Emporium

Mrs. Tuna said...

Great job by all, it would be been bad if everyone had to have 4 hour naps.

Cathy James said...

It's so much fun when you get your hands on something you're not supposed to! Fab rockets boys - I'm going to share them on NurtureStore's facebook page as I think my friends will love your ideas! Lovely to see you at the Play Academy!

Amanda said...

Love your blog! Smiled the whole time I was reading it!!! Your son did an awesome job describing how to make a rocket like his...I will be making these sometime with my older daycare kids! Tell him thanks!

Catherine said...

Love, love the way you guys used cups, such great fun! Your rockets look fab too :)

Jenn Erickson said...

You have a great wit and a way with words!

"Temptation to turn on the Spongebob... growing with each passing second. " -- So been there!!

I really love the way that you and the kids got creative with those cups. Looks like it turned out to be a fun day that is sure to become a treasured family memory!

That animated gif at the bottom of your post is really neat too!

Thank you so much for sharing your good writing, humor and creativity at Rook No. 17!