Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Messy Seque

I bet you saw this coming: the water table becomes the mud table. Gross. I hold onto my belief that one MUST allow children to play this way AND that this IS the alternative to television that our children need. Still. It's not lost on me that this is a godawful mess that *I* ultimately clean up.


Speaking of television, one of the few shows that I let the boys watch is Sendung mit dem Elefant from Germany. Honestly, such a great television show. Recently, they slowly sank a plate, or "boat," in an aquarium by dropping coins atop it to demonstrate buoyancy. On the show, it was a game: the person who sinks the "boat" loses. We had to mimic that experiment at home. In our game-experiment, Mattias was happy to lose (by sinking the "boat") and Noah was happy to let Mattias lose, thus winning himself. Everyone felt like a winner. It's unclear whether any scientific principles were actually learned, but as I alluded to, they were happy. The table was covered in water by the end. The mess was not lost on me, nor was the irony that it was inspired by watching a television show.

[photo removed, because sometimes I do that]

At least this inspiration doesn't come from a television show: legos. Is this pile not three times the size of my child? I'm brainstorming a lego organizing solution. I've spent hours sitting on the floor, or at the table, playing with legos over the past year. I think I'm getting some idea of just how the boys' brains are operating when they sit in front of this huge pile and play. That processing will be key to my organizational system. Some ideas, like, say, organizing legos by color, look pretty, but would be useless in the end, because that is NOT how one plays with legos. (In fact, I suspect organizing legos by color might actually make them more frustrating to play with.) My organizational idea is awesome so far, and I'd love to just do it. But I've got my hands pretty full cleaning up mud and water and legos. (Sigh.)

6 comments:

Sara Struckman said...

A friend of mine uses this: http://www.target.com/p/lego-sort-n-store-head/-/A-13718711#prodSlot=medium_1_12&term=lego+box I've been meaning to get one, but I feel like it's overpriced and ugly. She swears by it though. At the moment, our legos are stored in random boxes throughout the house. Not the best solution at all. I do love them though.

Oh, and I'm going to have my husband make a water table this summer. I suppose I should be ready for the mud...

Ann Wyse said...

Oh, that lego head is interesting. I'm going to have to check it out in person, because it's hard to imagine it's wonderfulness - but I'm definitely willing to be surprised.

Yay! More mud tables! ;-) Denver can never have too many....

Anonymous said...

Once again, IKEA might offer the key...
I just came back from a weekend at a friend's house. They have three boys, tons of old and new lego plus Star Wars lego. They spread it out on the floor in a dedicated space, sometimes on a bedsheet. And two walls consist of this:
http://www.ikea.com/de/de/catalog/categories/departments/childrens_ikea/series/19027/
But it is not the mom sorting everything away - it's the BOYS. Because only they know where all the special pieces go. The oldest is nine, the younger ones are six - I guess they did not know from the very beginning, but grew into it. The system helped them a lot, maybe it is an idea for you, too?

Katie said...

I will be so curious to see your organizing system. That backyard mud set up is fabulous!

Dan and Amanda Meyer said...

The boys sort by color at our house. They always seem to know exactly what piece they want, and having them in different color bins helps them to find that ONE piece. We also have one room whose floor is completely dedicated to Legos - so we can shut the door when it's a horrible mess. This system is okay, but when the day comes to clean everything up, it can be quite a lengthy process with lots of complaining by the boys.

Pregnantly Plump said...

I'm not a huge fan of messiness either. But I try to be fun and let the boys do messy things. I just fuss later about the cleanup. I'm no help with legos. Mine aren't into them. Little Elvis used to organize his cars in ways that made absolutely no sense to me, but they worked for him.