Friday, August 31, 2007

T. the builder.

Can he build it???? I think the answer is YES! BUT!!!! Only if his parents keep running out getting all the needed supplies!!!

T. is driving me up a wall all week! All he wants to do is build. His request for building supplies is so long I think it will cost a lot of money to get it all. First on the weekend he wanted long boards, scrap pieces of wood, nails, hammer, screws, screwdriver and paint. We gave him lots of all of that then Rob and I told him he needed to wait a few days for us to add anything else to his supply list for that building project. The next day (Monday) he needed tape, paper, a wall, and for me to cut up soda bottles (for a new project). Then (Tuesday) he asked for clear tubing, PVC pipes, and craft foam (I didn't get any of that for him yet). I don't know what he was going to do with that stuff. Then (Wednesday) he wanted dowels, spools, wooden wheels, and tiny flat wood pieces (I did pick up a little of that today)! Thursday we didn't spend much time at home so I don't know if he asked for much. NOW tonight he wants cups, pulleys, rope, spoons, thin flat boards, weights, wire, and a chain! Let me say first I am very proud of him! I think it is amazing how he at the age of 7 can understand how to build with supplies like this. I think it follows right along with his science for this year. BUT!!!! The lists of needs keep coming! I can't keep up! I feel bad because a lot of this stuff is stuff I could get for free or just a few dollars but I know if I give him all he wants then tomorrow he will have another list. On the other hand, I think if I kept getting the supplies he wants that in a few weeks or a month he would be able to build something that would impress everyone (not only his parents). If I quit giving him the supplies will I be taking away a wonderful experience for him? I don't remember my parents telling me no when I was trying to create something. I wonder if he will end up loosing all interest in building large things because his Mom wouldn't provide him with what he needed to build the perfect machine???? I am so confused!!! My hubby works for Lowe's so he can bring home anything that T. needs. I can help T. work out any problems he has with building (I can look up how to build stuff online or ask my parents so i can help him if he runs into trouble). I just wonder if giving him everything he needs even if it is just a small piece of plastic tube is that overindulging a child or is it being a good teacher and letting him learn on his own when he has an interest? Rob is on his way home from work so I will be able to talk this over with Rob when he gets here. I think he will pick up some of the things to keep T. going with this but I don't know if he will bring stuff home every day for the next 6 months! I don't know that we are the kind of parents that will let him take over the entire house with a machine he built. We do have a lot of land and some large out buildings (even an empty barn) so I think we can easily find a way to let him do this. I just wish his list of needs for his projects didn't come at me so fast!

I did come up with an idea that "might" help a bit with this problem. I went out to our garage and got one of the old tool boxes we have. I cleaned it up and put some "building supplies" in it for T. I Don't know if T. is old enough to picture in his head how to use all the supplies like how a pencil can work the same as a wooden dowel or string can work like a belt or chain. I might have to explain things like that to him.

Below is the top shelf of the box. I have magnets, bottle caps, string, pencil, chopsticks, tape, cups, clothes pins, golf tees, plastic spoons, coins, thread spools, and glue (a few things I added after I took the picture). I think some springs, gears, small pulleys, and tubes might be useful for him. I will look into adding them sometime soon.

This is the bottom of the box. it has cardboard, foil, and bottle parts in it. I plan to add some doorbell wire and wire cutters soon as I find what I did with them. Does anyone know of other good building supplies I should add to this box?

OH! One more thing I did today. I am kind of impressed with myself that this worked! T. asked how to make a tool to drop a marble and have it come back up to pick up another marble then drop that one down and so on. I somehow knew a simple way to do this. OK, it is not rocket science but it is something that I would think I would have a hard time figuring out. Maybe I did this in school and it was in my head without me knowing? Anyway, I got a measuring scoop (first toy spoon I could find). I got a marker (first dowel I saw) and I taped the spoon to the marker on the back side of the handle just below the scoop part. I then got some coins (first thing I saw that would work as weights) and I taped them on the back of the scoop down at the very end of the handle.

I then had to look around for a few minutes to find something to put this on to work. I got an empty baby wipe container and set it on the scoop and then I let T. experiment with it. He was amazed that his mom made him such a cool tool! LOL!!!!

Did you see that???? It really works! Shhhh! Please don't tell my son that I wasn't sure it would work! LOL!

I would love any advice you have on the building issue! I have to say that in the past we always found a way to get stuff ASAP for T. to learn with when he had an interest in something. I think my biggest problem with this is he is now at an age that he can picture how to build something with wood and tools in his head and a few minutes later get an idea in his head to build with paper and tape. Then the next day want to build with wheels and ramps. A few hours or a day later build with wire and foil and string. I do think using lots of mediums to experiment with are wonderful learning opportunities BUT I think we should have some limit (like a waiting period). Like when he gets to go in the store and get a dollar toy I only allow him that ONE toy for the week. He then has to wait a week to pick another. KWIM? MY heart is telling me BUT THAT IS A TOY!!! NOT HIS education! He is clearly asking to learn right now! I am so confused! Does anyone have any advice? This is new territory for me! It might not even be a problem. Remember I am very pregnant and very tired. I have a hard time thinking and figuring out the smallest things anymore. I would love to get some advice with this! It would be WONDERFUL if somehow a person who is like my son or a parent that has a child like my son comes across this silly blog and has the time to lead me along with this one! ANYONE??? LOL (hey, it could happen).

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