Pia has been having a tough time getting back into the school routine after a long and fun-filled winter break. There have been tears. And I am a sucker for the Pia tears. As an incentive to go to school (incentive? bribe? snookering?) I have been making little after school surprises. I keep a drawer of magazine ideas that I can pull out for times like this, and Family Fun ideas come into heavy rotation. Yesterday I made the simple magnetic sand box that was featured in their December2010/January 2011 issue. I love ideas like this that are crazy simple and take all of 10 minutes to put together, but are so cool and out of the ordinary.
I strayed from the Family Fun directions a bit, somewhat out of laziness and somewhat out of necessity. Their directions called for an acrylic photo frame so that the sandbox would have a clear top. I opted for a plain old cardboard box that was open on top (in this case, the bottom of a board game box) so that we could easily rescue any items that needed rescuing (ok, ok, I didn’t have an acrylic frame on hand). And instead of a marker cap on a string like they suggested, I used a paint stirrer with a magnet on the end as the magic mover. This seemed like a better option since it would fit slimly under the box, just slide the stirrer under the sandbox and magically move the rocks and animals (who have magnets glued to their bottoms as well). While it is fun to just move the different elements around, we also discovered the magnets are great for drawing letters in the sand.
Of course, this mini sand box reminded Pia of the winter of ’09 when we (foolishly) had a sandbox in the basement. At that time we were suckers for any activity that didn’t require Pia to move around much as she was in a cast. Surely we have moved away from such foolish and messy activities. Right? So, so wrong.
It appears we will once again be keeping the broom handy throughout the winter months. Sand is just too much fun to resist.