Monday, March 24, 2008

My Inner Child Was Having Fun Today!

My son's favorite show at present is "The Price Is Right". He likes Drew Carey as host, but he also seems to like Bob Barker just as well. He even knows the announcer's names. Now he's even getting the names of the models, too, because when I let him on the computer, he's often watching You Tube videos of old shows of Price Is Right - even shows dating back to the 1970s and even earlier - even versions of the show from England! He also has his own computer game of the Price Is Right and we will sometimes play "pricing games" in the car when we're driving places. (My son has Asperger's Syndrome, high functioning autism. He's a pretty normal kid, overall, but he does tend to focus his attention on one or two things. His focus now is The Price is Right and also the Magic Treehouse books. Last summer and fall, it was the Magic Schoolbus books and Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, which he still likes.)

At any rate, his birthday is in July, so I got the bright idea over the holidays that maybe for his birthday, we'd have a "Price Is Right" theme, complete with one or two games. I enlisted the help of my brother-in-law, Henk, to build us some of the games. We decided to start on Plinko and week-end before last, he got the plywood out, drilled holes, and then glued pegs into the holes. He also built slots into the bottom and a guide for the bottom and sides of the board, so the Plinko chips don't fall out. This past week-end, I bought paint for it - Eddie said he wanted it to be green. I found a lighter, spring-like mint-colored green. Someone told me it wasn't "manly" enough, but I thought a lighter green would be better. Eddie then told me that he wanted polka dots on it as well as the word "Plinko" written on top.

I painted primer on Saturday, then last night, I painted the mint green over the whole thing. Tonight, I found a fun font and printed out "Plinko" in large letters, cut out the letters and stenciled them onto the top part of the board. Then, I bought a compass to make different sized dots. I painted the letters and dots tonight, too, and I must say, I am pretty pleased with the results! I need to take a picture of it in daylight - tried to take a picture last night when it was dark, but the flash on the camera caused the board to be too light in some areas and too dark in others. So, when it's daylight, I'll take a picture of it and post it on this entry!

My inner child - the one who likes to color and paint and all that - had a grand time painting the dots and the letters! It's also an activity that can give you that zen-like focus. You just slow down, your breathing slows down, and you're focused on making nice lines, shapes, and giving color to the whole works. You're in the moment, in other words, and often times, you don't know what all you're thinking about. It was fun and, better yet, really colorful, too! Eddie is with his dad for a few days so I'm hoping it's all dry by the time he comes home . . . I hope he enjoys it!

The next thing to do is for Henk to make the back support for Plinko, I need to make the numbers for the slots below. But rather than do just one set of numbers and paint them in the slots, I thought that I'd take poster board, cut it into the slot-sizes, put different denominations of numbers so that Eddie can change them when he wants, and then laminate them. So, I still need to make the numbers.

Then, Henk will tackle the Big Wheel that's used to choose contestants for the Showcase Showdown. I think we're going to attempt Cliffhanger, too. There might be two or three other games, but I don't think they will be as involved.


Carver said...

That sounds like great fun. I have a ton of arts and crafts, crayons, markers etc. left over from when I had a child growing up. They are still sitting where they always have in a back bedroom and every now and then to relieve tension I'll start drawing and playing. It's humorous because I'm able to draw like a child (haven't mastered the drawing like an adult part). I've done artists programs towards being free as a child and it was always funny because that part is easy for me. I have trouble with the crafting and care and adult type art. As a matter of fact when my daughter was little, she was determined to draw recognizable figures, faces, etc. so from the time she was in pre-kindergarten, if you put our works side by side it looked like she was the adult artist and I was the child artist.

Jeanne said...

Dee--a work of love. I'm sure Eddie will keep it always, and some day you'll be watching your grandchildren play this game you created for him, with a little help.

I was a child artist too--drew all the time. Then I discovered photography, when I was in high school. But we have lots of art supplies around the house, always. It keeps me calm just to play with them, even if I don't create anything. Oh, in NY, Jacqueline let me play with her button boxes. It sounds silly, but I love buttons, and sorting through them and pulling out my favorites just to show Jacq. or Younger Son was really fun.

Dee said...

Hi Carver and Jeanne,
I started beading more often about ten years ago and I do enjoy it - I love putting different colors together in various designs. But then when I had Eddie, I started storing art supplies - we use them to decorate pumpkins (instead of carving, we glue stuff on for hair, eyes, etc.) and other things. I find I enjoy it more than Eddie . . . he has trouble with fine motor activities . . .

I don't think playing with art or buttons or whatever is not silly! I think it's rather adult to be able to enjoy creative activities like that - it's just too bad society thinks it's silly. It's not! It's expressive and fun and brings in positive energy. Good stuff.