Monday, September 27th, 2010
Simple fun: balls, blocks and tubes
Sunday afternoon, I attempted to engage my 2-year-old son in some good ol’ fashioned block building. He was having none of it. Instead, he began placing blocks upright around the room. Hey, okay, whatever floats your boat. You have fun kid. I’m going to check my e-mail.
The next thing I know, he’s trying to kick the blocks down using a Nerf baseball.
My six-year-old daughter loved the idea of playing this new game with her brother.
You might call it Foot Bowling. Or maybe Soccer Sticks. We called it Wilson Ball.
My daughter refined the game by placing the blocks in a single row. It was aesthetically pleasing, but made it much harder to hit more than one or two blocks, usually obtained via a ricochet off the back of our couch or bookshelf.
When the excitement eventually wore off, I invented a new game called Papa Ball. Actually, my son balked at the name, so we called it Wilson Ball to appease 2-year-old rage.
I set up a string of block towers at one end of the room and my kids sat on a futon at the other end. Then, they rolled a ball through a long cardboard tube. The ball slid across the floor and laid waste to the block towers.
The tube came from a bolt of fabric, perhaps 5 feet long. The plastic balls came from a toddler toy, probably from a garage sale and probably broken. I have the balls, but not the toy.
Sister often helped her brother aim the tube.
Anyhow, hey, simple fun!
Pretty soon, my daughter fell into the trap of creating ornate tower structures using three different types of blocks…
I say trap because then my daughter’s towers started getting taller, and she got flustered when her towers fell under the stress of her own building process.
The more time spent building, the less time spent knocking things down. My son grew impatient, his skin turned green, and the most astonishing growth spurt you’ve ever seen took place.
Hulk smashed her tower with his fists of
rage honest fun.
A couple cooling time outs later, it was sister’s turn to invent a game. She created Sister Ball, or as we called it, Wilson Ball.
She placed the tube on the floor and pushed balls toward the block tower. Firing three balls at the same time, destruction was guaranteed. The kids were able to shoot the balls at a much higher speed, so there was an added degree of excitement.
In the end though, Papa/Wilson Ball had the greatest longevity. We returned to it with moderate success for a while longer. There’s just something cool about sliding a ball down a long tube toward destruction.