Sunday, February 20, 2011

When Real Things Need To Get Done

The boys who built it can explain it in great detail, but the workings of The Mangler are a mystery to me. There seem to be a number of moving parts, a kind of imaginary Rube Goldberg contraption, with either an ill-defined or multi-purpose mission.

To the untrained eye, it looks exactly like a pile of sticks, but I think that's supposed to be a part of its beauty as a contraption.

At the center of The Mangler there is always a collection of loose parts, like it's a nest . . .

Or perhaps it's bait of some kind because I've heard it described as a trap, especially once the green coffee beans were added.

Most of the kids are blissfully unaware of The Mangler in their midst. In fact, as far as I can tell, knowledge of it is confined to the two guys who built it with sticks, other people's junk, and their own imaginations. That's part of it's beauty as well.

In other important preschool news, both Ruby and Cora have babies in their tummies, a condition that has been ongoing, off and on, for several weeks. Those babies are perpetually on the verge of "coming out," a situation complicated by the fact that they both have babies that "already got born," and who are "so heavy" that they must constantly be shifted from arm to arm. There is a lot of sighing about these babies.

It has also become apparent that Woodland Park's lack of traditional playground equipment is being corrected. We now have a pair of teeter totters, indoors, no less.

The real genius of these toys is that they can be transformed into ponies at a moment's notice, and made to gallop around the room.

Likewise, our lack of Star Wars style space ships has been satisfactorily addressed.

But not everything we do around here is so useful or important. Sometimes we're just being kids, you know, just decorating . . .

. . . or horsing around . . . 

. . . trying to stay in proper creative and physical shape so we're ready when real things need to get done.

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Anonymous said...

What did they make the teeter totter out of? Is that a toy, or is it something you whipped up?
LOVE them! WANT them... any info would be great! thanks!

Casey Allen said...

My name is Casey Allen, and Im a student at South Alabama in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class
I think this post is too cute! I love watching children play and have such a wild imagination. I hate that as one grows older we tend to lose that. I cant wait to start teaching and watching the children learn and grow through imagination.

Valerie said...

I was able to extract a bit of the Mangler's secret workings: one takes fire rocks (rocks that have been put on lava) and lay them in the middle of the Mangler. Then you put the string down there and take sticks and hit the rocks and they fly up and hit the dragon in the wing, which takes it down. Thereafter one can fight the dragon!
Just another example of all the creative genius in Woodland Park's midst. ;-)

Let the Children Play said...

Wasn't there a mangler last year as well? Or was it a crusher?

Teacher Tom said...

@Anonymous . . . I was going to post about those blocks tomorrow. I've seen them on other people's blogs, but they're quite old and I have no idea where to find them, but I bet I will after tomorrow's post!

@Valerie . . . It's evolved!

@Jenny . . . The "crusher" was an invention of the kids at Alderwood House up in Vancouver, Canada, but I thought of it too when the guys told me they'd built a mangler!