Alternately titled: Sticks, Mud, and a Puzzle; What Else Could a Kid Need?
Last Sunday, we had K3 and Toad for most of the afternoon. They rode home from church with us, and while I was cooking lunch, they and DH worked on putting together Toad's favorite puzzle. I have to admit, it was quite entertaining listening to the dialog between an engineer (DH) and a two year old (Toad) while they chose pieces and figured out where each piece went.
DH: "Which piece do you want to do next?"
Toad: "This one."
DH: "What does it have on it?"
Toad: "Part of the tire."
Silence while Toad attempted to put the piece where he thought it should hook to the part of the puzzle they'd all ready completed.
Followed by DH: "Tires don't go in the engine compartment!"
And the next piece. . .
DH: "What is on that one?"
Toad: "A tire." He proceeds to try to put it on the front of the tractor.
DH, trying to help: "Look at the treads; they're pretty big. I think that is a rear tire."
Toad tries to put the piece where the other front tire goes.
DH: "No, look at it. The treads are big."
Toad tries five times to jam the piece into the front of the tractor. DH finally offers him a different piece.
Toad: "This one has green."
DH: "Where on the tractor do you see green?"
Toad: "The steps for the farmer to climb on."
He proceeds to put the 'steps' in the correct spot, and grabs the same tire piece as he had before, again attempting to put it in the front of the tractor. . .
DH: "Tires don't go in the engine compartment!"
The puzzle finally got completed, all tires in their correct locations, and boy was Toad proud.
After lunch, we all put on our outdoor gear and headed out to the woods. DH hooked the wood hauler trailer onto the tractor so the kids wouldn't have to walk all the way. Unfortunately, the debris on the trailer from hauling in firewood on Saturday was a bit muddy. . . K3's barely worn new snow pants will never be the same.
The kids had a blast in the woods while DH cut up some recent blow-downs. They 'skated' on frozen puddles. They tried to break air bubbles that had frozen in the ice by pounding the bubbles with sticks. They examined woodpecker holes in trees. They used sticks to beat pinata-style on a bunch of leaves that were still on a tree branch high over their heads. They even talked DH into letting each of them climb the ladder to the maple stand and sit in the chair up there, 'looking for deer' like he does when he is hunting.
They had a ton of fun, most of it with nothing more complicated than a stick and some imagination.