Day 3: Domino Day
You might ask yourself, what in the heck can you do on Domino Day?
To be fair, I wasn’t entirely sure myself. I’ve never really played the game of dominoes. In fact, depending on the day, I thought the game was either too easy or too complicated (I had a hard time thinking you could make a game out of lining up “pips”). What I really had in mind was the fun I used to have lining dominoes up and tipping them over. So I thought this would be a good opportunity to unlock the mystery of dominoes and also to knock a few things over. I have it on good authority that nine year old boys love mysteries and also love to knock things over.
First, I introduced the boys to the world of Domino Tumbling with a set of Domino Express dominoes. The set includes stairs, loop de loops and rings of fire, among other things. R.J. was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t real fire, but we worked through it.
We also discussed the concept of “breaks”. See the line of dominoes Charlie has set up? If one were to accidently knock over a domino, a lot of effort would be wasted. The “experts” leave a gap in the line every so often so that a tipped domino can’t knock the whole thing down.
We discussed some other logistics as well. Like the idea that placing dominoes in front of a door might be problematic……ummm….not a good idea for the long term… (on the other hand, look at the very difficult cross over play Ben is attempting…not bad, not bad at all)
Once the boys were done playing with the dominoes (they were done when some tiles were inadvertently knocked over), we moved on to the next project for Domino Day.
This particular project was a favorite of mine, and I couldn’t wait to have the boys get started. I had stumbled on a website that produced art from dominoes!!! The website is www.dominoartwork.com. Check it out when you get a chance. Brilliant work by a man named Robert Bosch. They use integer processing to make pictures of out dominoes. Using complete sets of double nine dominoes, they have produced pictures of Abe Lincoln, the Statue of Liberty and President Obama…for starters.
Using a key, the dominoes are positioned in a such a way that a picture is formed from the “pips” on the dominoes.
I can guarantee that this was NOT an easy process. You have to place the dominoes precisely.
I had each of the three boys construct one third of the puzzle. Charlie is placing the last tile on his portion.
All three boys were impressed with their accomplishment. (Grandmama and Grampy were impressed as well). I am going to post the entire process as a separate blog, but wanted to share this with you now, ’cause it’s really cool. When you step back from the puzzle and close your eyes just a little bit, it looks like Abe Lincoln, don’t you think?
So we decided it was time to take our annual trip to a place I call “Kid Vegas”. You know the place. There must be one near you. Fudge, moccasins, T-shirts galore. Wonder spots, water parks, go carts, roller coasters, two headed snakes and large balls of twine. Now, if you are a kid reading this blog, you stopped reading when I mentioned Water Park.
Here’s the deal.
Grandmama and Grampy will NOT take kids to the Water Park.
We decided years ago that we would save that particular pleasure for fleet footed and waterproof Mommies and Daddies. I promise you, our grand-kids do Not want to see Grandmama run (or what I call running) through the water park. While the sight of me dragging through the water park would introduce them to the literary and movie classic, the Hunchback of Notre Dame (think Quasimodo, calling out “sanctuary, sanctuary” as he drags himself to the bell tower and you’ ll get a good idea of what I am talking about), there is nothing fun (or safe) about this venture.
In our case, however, we DO have Robot World (a science exploratorium). Every year since camp began, we have gone to Robot World. IT NEVER gets old.
This blue robot stands at attention outside of Robot World (actually, I don’t think it is called Robot World, but that’s what we have called it for years, so too late to change the name now)
Here they are at Robot World in 2005.
You would think they would be tired of going, but each year they find something new.
They are all good readers and very curious, so it was fun to watch them explore the exploratorium.
BTW, Grampy has decided to boycott Robot World. He calculated that he has gone to Robot World 14 times over the past few years. He also calculated that 14 is one time too many. (He waited in the car with a good book)
Big excitement. This was the first year they were tall enough to ride the Bike on the tight rope. (and yes, I did it too…..several, several years ago)
Then lunch at our favorite diner. I know, I know….it feels like we’ve had a full day already and we are just now stopping for lunch? Have you figured out that the space/time continuum is completely wonked when you are with nine year olds? Are you tired yet?
Then we went on a “Duck” (an amphibious vehicle from the Korean War – hey….I got to write amphibious again. What are the odds?)
Beautiful scenery. See the eagle shape in the rock?
And then a stop to visit the President…..(actually it’s a cardboard cutout!! Completely fooled you, didn’t I?)
Okay. I admit it. I was completely suckered in to this “Top Secret Experience”. Evidently there was a terrible disaster, or some space creatures visited, or we are in an alternate universe.
The Guide wasn’t particularly clear on the details, but the end result was that the White House got turned upside down. In a completely random event, George Washington was alive again and someone nailed his wooden feet to the ceiling, Right? He had wooden feet? Oh, wait a minute, I think it was wooden teeth.
Here’s one of the aliens now!! Or is it Elvis? I guess we’ll never really know…..
I had to use my camera flash to make it through the completely black hallways. (I have NO idea what that had to do with the White House being turned upside down). I caught this picture of R.J. with one of the flashes. Look at his eyes. You can almost hear the nervous laughter. heheheheheheh
Ben was almost melded to me during the walk through the dark halls. Charlie and R.J. hung on to each other for dear life. It wasn’t actually scary, but it was very startling!! There were blasts of air and some things that dropped and popped. Just enough to frighten us, but I was still trying to figure out what this had to do with the White House being upside down. Anyone? Any ideas?
I went on the website for this “experience” and it said we would “Marvel” “Discover” “Explore” and “Revel”. Now I am really perplexed. Revel? Really?
Okay, enough of this. Back to Domino Day. We went back home, had some dinner and then began construction on the big cat daddy of domino tumbling.
This is worthy of it’s own special post, but I wanted to whet your appetite for what’s to come. This took the boys a couple of hours to construct (note the breaks). They tried it a couple of times without the breaks, but finally saw the wisdom and have now fully embraced the break principle. Just wait until you see the video. Verrry impressive.
We had so many domino activities, we never got around to actually playing the game of dominoes. Oh well. There’s always next year….