Saturday, September 16, 2006

The magic of thrift stores

A recent trip to the thrift store yielded some great finds. I found a cool building set for Eliza that lets you make all kinds of bugs out of a variety of parts. She had made a flying creature that had a claw for a mouth. The kit came with two claws and she wanted to also make a crab of some kind. Since she had already used one of the claws it occurred to me that we could make a fiddler crab, which has one big claw and walks sideways. We had a great time coming up with all kinds of creative creatures, all for the low price of $1.99.

For Scotty I found some pieces of the Gears Gears Gears set that he loves to play with at Nino's house. It was in a bag at the thrift store and was an incomplete set. This one had only half of a train engine, some cool wheels, and ONE eccentric (Scotty would tell you that this is a device that converts rotary motion into reciprocal motion) but my little creative guy figured out how to make something really cool with it! Here is the complete set, which he hasn't seen:

And here he is creating his own unique version of it:

If we had bought this set new, not only would we have paid 30 bucks for it (as opposed to the $2.99 it cost me) but chances are we would have set it up just like in the picture and Scotty would not have been challenged to think outside the box to create his own machine. It was a great exercise in problem solving for him.

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