Monday, July 14, 2008

Digging It!

Jake had his birthday party this past Sunday. Never mind that his birthday was in December. He never had his "friend" party then so that he could wait until summer and have a pool party. He had a great time and everyone was so thoughtful with gifts!

One gift was a digging for dinosaur bones kit. He received a plaster block that had bones buried inside. It came with a digging tool (a big and small scraper) and a brush. Maddie has been itching to get at this gift and they finally got started this afternoon after lunch.

I anticipated a bit of a mess so I advised the kids to take this small, innocent block of plaster outside to the table on the deck. We laid out a few newspapers to catch the bits of plaster. These turned out to be completely unnecessary because they were completely worthless. Maddie and Jake started digging/scratching and then would brush away what was left - dust.

After a bit Jake's friend, Jacob, came over and he started to help. Eventually Maddie went to play with Rachel and the boys took over. Soon Alex joined in and the three boys were gung-ho to get this dig accomplished.

These three pictures were less than 15 minutes into the dig!
Words cannot even describe what a mess this stuff produces. Our deck was unbelievably dusty/dirty. There are plaster dust footprints everywhere. Our patio door is covered with hand prints. The deck has actually changed colors around the perimeter of the table.

This was not an accidental pictures of the deck - this is a partial sample of what the two colors were!
That's just the outdoors that I can spray clean. The kids? Whoa. About an hour into the dig I patted Jake on the belly and a puff of dust exploded around him; his friends were in no better condition. Shortly after that they all came in and pulled out Jake's safety goggles from his tool kits. Before these boys left I actually called their moms to warn them; I know I'd wonder what they'd been into if it wasn't at my house and I hadn't been watching. They. Were. Filthy. In fact, they had changed color. It was in their hair, all over their faces, their legs and arms. I'm fairly certain it even made it down their underwear.

But this was so fun. Fun for them, and so fun to watch. With each bone they uncovered it was like they were real archaeologists. A couple of them would hop up and down in excitement. Another would shout, "found another bone!" When it was time to "clean" the block, the cleaner yelled, "TIME TO BLOW" and they all leaned back and he let out a gust of wind. They had all the bones neatly brushed off and laid out on a separate chair that was surprisingly clean. And amazingly there were only one or two spats of whose turn it was to do whatever job. They were getting along great! The only drawback was not enough digging equipment; we had to pull out toothpicks. I would have handed out plastic knives, but I thought that would bring a set of phone calls when they ran home telling their moms they "played with knives at the Murphy house." Unfortunately I didn't get an after picture before the boys left. Needless to say, Jake went straight to the garage and stripped down to his undies (the only reason those stayed on was because he didn't want to run through the house naked.) At a little after 4pm in the afternoon he was in the shower.

To be honest, I had reservations that this toy would provide any entertainment. I was so wrong. It managed to keep three boys and three rotating girls completely absorbed for almost four hours straight. This stuff is the "Dino Excavation Kit" sold at Pottery Barn Kids and I do believe we are going to be buying out any remaining stock so if you are interested - get there fast.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anything that keeps kids occupied for 4 hours is well worth the dust! Grandma