Friday, January 01, 2010

Friday Photo Shootout - Under Construction

Thanks to Gordon for this week's prompt. For more FPS posts, click on the big black camera on my sidebar.

Under construction in these photos:

1. People

2. Imaginary architecture

3. Family memories

We spent a belated Christmas in Vancouver, mostly with the grandbabies. We carried our gifts along - not too many, as the young family is in danger of outgrowing its very tall house just because of the number of toys they have. We bought books for the children - Tin Tin books from my husband, Fancy Nancy and Green Eggs and Ham from me. I suffer from an irrational fear that our grandchildren will grow up to have USB ports surgically implanted (in their jaws, maybe?) and never know the pleasure of holding a real book. I was pleased to see their mom reading to them -- and to see that the books we brought along weren't the only ones they owned. (I knew that. Really I did. It's just that  electronic toys and learning tools are ubiquitous now. It's not that I feared their parents wouldn't provide books, but I was afraid that books might not be able to compete with the flashy new technology for the children's attention. Never fear. Books still work their magic.)

But the #1 hit present of the season was this one:

It consists of a bench in which there are eight holes and eight brightly coloured pegs that fit into the holes - and there is a mallet.  In a fit of gender bias, I bought Jasper a hard hat and the workbench - which, by the way, became known immediately as Bang-Bang. What happened was that Jasper played with it, Jasmine set aside her princess dress-up stuff to play with it, their mother and father and uncle played with it...Well, you get the picture. Everybody loved playing with the Bang-Bang.

The adults also had a wonderful time watching the children play Bang-Bang and seeing (particularly little Jasper's) eye-hand co-ordination improving as we watched.  Of course, for all the banging, no actual structure got built, but in the imagination of the children, it seemed whole cities grew right there on the playroom floor.

Mostly, though, what was built was one of those memories that make parents and grandparents go all soft around the eyes, the kind that will be revisited again and again over the years.


Karen said...

We've had that Bang-Bang for years, and you're right - they love it! Our 3 year old grandson has graduated to building Lego block cities, but all of them still love books. I theorize that the book experience as much as anything else is what they love - a big lap, a pair of arms surrounding them, the closeness and hush of the room, and the journey to wherever the book takes them.

An aside (that she'd kill me for telling) - On Christmas Eve, as I was reading Clement C. Moore's Twas the Night Before Christmas to the grandchildren, my sister, who had had a few too many, decided to act it out as I read. The kids were fascinated at her over-the-top gestures. When I finished the story, they all cheered for her and one of the three-year-olds cheered, "Again, again, again!"

John Hayes said...

What a wonderful visit you've described! "Green Eggs & Ham" was one of my very favorite books.

Chef E said...

I believe as long as a mother holds her child and calms them with her voice softly reading a book- then we are safe; until school and that is when the computer really sets in.

Hopefully like when mine were young I stayed away from TV and the computer while they wanted and needed attention, only nap time occasionally.

What cuties, and I look forward to influencing my grand children one day!

Patty said...

Children are the best constructors, arn't they?

GingerV said...

some of the classic books and toys just keep 'on giving'. nothing better that seeing the grandchildren play with the toys that their parents played with and if I remember correctly I had one of those too.... jeez was that 55 years or so ago....?

Doreen said...

my kids had that toy when they were little. guess it will always be around! great shoot out!

happy new year!!

Sandra Leigh said...

Good morning, everyone, and happy new year. I've been at work or asleep, haven't had time to reply. Now I have to go catch up at FPS before it's Next Friday!

Pauline said...

I purposely didn't give a single book to any of my grandchildren this Christmas, thought I was getting a bit too predictable. I was thrilled when one of them commented that they will miss their book this year. Love the story about the bang-bang!

Gordon said...

Family memories! Great thought! Very good commentary, also. I enjoyed it very much.

Sandra Leigh said...

Pauline, that's funny! It's okay to be predictable, you know, if you can be counted on to do something wonderful - like share your love of reading with your grandchildren.

Thank you, Gordon - and thanks for the inspiration.

J9 said...

I remember that bench - I had one, as did my boys!

~JarieLyn~ said...

Great post. I love giving books as gifts, especially to children. My brother had the "bang bang" when he was a kid.

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