Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Great Equalizer: Cars and (Monster) Trucks

As a mother of two boys almost exactly three-and-a-half years apart, I am always appreciative of those special activities that 'bridge the gap.' Thus, a new series of blog posts is born: The Great Equalizers. These are the toys, games, and objects of affection that are adored by Big B and little b alike.

Today, as Big B and Papa prepare for their third annual father-son trip to the Monster Truck Show, I am grateful for The Great Equalizer that bonds (most) males worldwide: cars and trucks. And let's just go ahead and amend that to cover anything that requires gasoline and has an engine. This includes, of course, our family's four-wheeler collection. Both Big B and little b have cried at the sound of the four-wheeler engine shutting off. I believe the ability to operate these vehicles properly is deep in the blood of all three men in my house.
Let us not forget the tractor, in all its many seductive forms. The scooping, the digging, the purring, the beeping, the mowing, the plowing, the lifting, the shifting: ultimately, the meditative repetition. This, I can understand.And of course, the ultimate thrill: being allowed to 'drive' Papa's truck while sitting on his lap. Some of our favorite car and truck activities:
--Blank label stickers make a great indoor 'track' for cars and trucks. Courses can loop, climb furniture, etc.
--Chalk 'tracks' outside
--Dumping sand / shells into the sandbox with dumptrucks

--Making a parade with all toy cars and trucks, lining them up by order of size

--Making ramps / parking garages / crash courses with building blocks

--Good old fashioned races

--With small toy cars, a cookie sheet, some art paper and kid-safe paint, a masterpiece can be created! We find it works best to put the paper on the cookie sheet, some paint on the paper, then move the car through the paint and across the paper. The tire tracks make a great texture.

But for now, we prepare for Monster Jam, creating our own monster truck show in the backyard.

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