12 July 2011

Bucket, Rope, and Pulley


We got this idea from some of our camping buddies last year. I posted about it briefly on ohdeedoh

This year's pulley made its way up to the rooftop tent down to our spare picnic table, which turned out to be endless amounts of fun. Spud had a blast receiving surprises in the bucket, anything from found items around the campsite or little trinkets from his toy bin. Even more fun, though, was him sending down snacks down to his fellow campers (I wish I had a picture of that!).

The parts that I really like about this activity is how compact it is ... we had the rope anyway for tying down stuff on the car. It's inexpensive (just a few bucks for the pulley itself). And it's amazing to watch Spud learn and experiment and get frustrated but push through it as he set up the pulley system (with parental assistance of course).

Instead of just setting it up for him or telling him how it should be done based on our experience, we let him come up with ideas, test them (and moaned with him when it didn't work), and tried again. Repeatedly. I mean you are camping ... what's the hurry? These are life lessons in a nutshell. And when it's all said and done he is so proud of what he made. Then, of course, there are hours of fun eating delivered marshmallows for days to come. So what's better than that?

Tips: in Spud's experimenting he found that adding weight to the pulley made it go faster which is why that stick is attached at the top of the bucket. The other good thing is to attached a string to the bucket, tying the other end to the place you want to retrieve it from.

Note: Hubs bought this pulley strong enough to hold, I don't know, adult weight, so there might be a DIY zip line in our future. I hope!