Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Inspiration from Great-Grandpa #2

If you missed my first post about my great-grandpa, you'll find more of the story here.  He was a very smart guy and one who loved to get right down at kid level and play.  We spent a few weeks each summer at their little house with he and Great-Grandma.  They would have been great teachers - well, actually, they were great teachers to everyone who knew them.

We had so much fun there, often when my parents would come to pick us up we were reluctant to leave (sorry, Mom, I now understand how that feels!) so he would chase us around the yard and make it a game of tag and "safe" was the backseat of the car.

He loved to come up with simple but fun new things for us to play with.  While the girls far outnumbered the boys in the family, we were all tough farm girls and loved sports and getting in the dirt as much as any little boy.  There were usually three of us there at the same time - my youngest aunt, my brother and I.  We loved to play baseball but often he and Grandma had chores to do, meals to prep, etc. so they couldn't sit there and pitch to us all day.  So he came up with this simple batting jug that he would tie to the trees that we could bat with the plastic wiffle ball bats.  We spent hours and hours swinging at these things.  I couldn't even tell you how many of these he made for us - we would crush them until they were flat as a pancake and then he'd make us another.  He also took some of these and cut a flap out just above the window and put birdseed inside for the finches and chickadees.

You need an empty water jug or washed out milk jug, a couple colors of spray paint, and string (I used baler twine from my hay).  

Just spray paint the outside randomly in layers of color.  Make sure to coat the bottoms too.  It takes very little paint so this is a good project for leftovers.  Let them sit in the sun about 5 minutes and they will be totally dry.

Tie the twine around the handle and knot a few times to make sure it won't come undone (remember this is going to take a beating like a pinata).  Then find a tree branch to hang it from and let the kids go to town on it.  Be careful about the string length - you don't want it to be a danger to kids or pets.  I like to leave enough extra length that I can raise or lower it as the kids want but then loop the excess in a knot at the top of the tree branch.  Also, when the kids are done for the day, I raise it up out of the way so no kids or pets can get tangled in it.  This picture is before I trimmed the excess off.

Here is the Princess demonstrating how much fun it is.  They get lots of giggles trying to get the jug stuck up in the tree too, haha.  She suggested last night that you could fill it with candy and use it as a pinata for a party too.  I think she's right.  Before you paint, you could cut three sides about half up the jug, fill it with candy and then tape it shut with masking tape or washy tape.  Leave the cap on the top.  Then spray paint.


Full Circle Creations said...

It sounds like you had a great time and have very special memories of your Great Grandparents! Reminds me of the special times I had with my grandparents. Thank you so much for sharing this at the All Star Block Party!


Anonymous said...

What a fun idea..and what a fun time... days like this are so special.

Thanks for sharing at the ALL STARS BLOCK PARTY

Michelle Day said...

What great memories you have of your Grandparents. This looks like fun. Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday last week. I can't wait to see what you link up this week. Have a wonderful weekend.