This week, one of our favorite Mission : Impossible missions was for the kids to make a zipline course to run their guys (toy figurines) on. They absolutely loved it!
Here's what you need to make one of you own :
- Twine or cord
- Paper clips
1 - Tie your lengths of cord from a high spot (tree branch, gutter, nail, whatever!), and run it down to a low spot. Anchor the cord there, and tie it so that the cord is pulled taught.
2 - Bend open some paperclips, and tape them to the hands of your 'guys'. You'll have to improvise on this a little bit depending on what your toys' hands look like, how far apart they are, and all. But, it's pretty easy stuff. I'm sure you can manage. Just tape 'em generously.
3 - Hook the guys, by the paper clips, onto the high part of the cords, and let 'em go!
This was an awesome activity, and here's why - it involved problem solving, teamwork, creativity, athleticism/kinesthetic play , imaginative play and more. When I first told the kids what we were doing and gave them the supplies, they were looking to me as the expert to guide them into what they were supposed to do where and when. That's not how I work with this stuff. At all.
So I stood out there with them, and soon they started suggesting things, kind of timidly, like, 'We could tie it up here.' Soon they were feeling confidence in themselves and that they were the experts of this activity. Then they were climbing trees to tie the cord up REALLY high, figuring out different ways of taping on the paper clips that might work better, and suggesting getting soap out to rub on the cords to see if it would make the guys slide down even faster. It was so fun to watch them bounce ideas off of each other and try things out, to adjust and fine-tune and tweak things as they went!
I love this stuff. Seriously, this is why homeschooling is where my heart is. If only I could somehow just give my kids the tools that they need, a tiny bit of encouragement here and there, and then let them take it where they will, with confidence that they will succeed. That's such a scary thought, though, isn't it? It feels like this huge risky gamble - yet I know people who do it well! Huh.
Anyway, back to the ziplines - fun. Lots of fun. We still have a few of the lines strung up, and I'm sure they'll continue to get used here and there, until it's time to tear them down and throw them away.