Teaching Kids Self Reliance and How to Create a Fun Toy, On Their Own, Out of Seemingly Nothing!
Need a fun activity to keep the grandkids busy? This little project can quickly become a family tradition, and you likely already have everything you need. Just a few walnuts, some toothpicks, a little glue and some paper. It will be a hit.
It was thanksgiving day many years ago and my kids were all keyed-up waiting for the turkey to come out of the oven and getting into every thing while seemingly at the same time having nothing to do. They were cracking walnuts and making the usual mess when I noticed that one of the half shells was not shattered and it look like the hull of a dingy.
A light came on in my head and I said “lets have a sail boat race”. After explaining that we were going to take the walnut shells that were not shattered and make small sail boats out of them. The idea was a hit and we started carefully separating the remaining walnuts. It turned out to be one of those times when there was less of a mess around the nut tray than ever before simply because most of the mess was now being eaten.
Since that first time it has become a tradition that each kid would build their own “walnut sailing ship” mainly at thanksgiving to compete in the “Great Race“. Some of the “ships” subsequently ended up as personal place holders at the table. The tradition did not end with the crew off to college as it still hangs on today when they come home.
Wes Marden's eBook "Build Your Own Model Ship Case" will walk you step by step to build your own model display case. His book was discussed in Model Ship World as “pretty clever” & “handy” when constructing a wood & glass display case for a tall model sailing ships.