Sunday, May 17, 2009

Things Dad Made

Lately I've been thinking about the toys and play things my dad made when we were young. He made the usual tree house platform, the tire swing, basketball hoop and wagon. Once he and my brother made a huge ping pong table (it was chin high when I was 6 and I was fairly tall). He also took old roller skates, a wooden fruit box, and some wood and made a scooter. When the fruit box fell off, we had a skate board.

Another time he just put a short piece of 2 by 6 over a nice round piece of an old, cut off, tree limb. We could stand and balance on it. If we were good we could stand on it while rolling the tree limb back and forth underneath. But if you were me, you could take flight. While the pieces of wood went flying one way, I flew the other. I've still got the scars to prove it. Ouch!

However, the two play things I liked best were the pulley on a line from the house to the tree, and the kiddie pool on the patio. First I'll tell about the pulley line. Picture this, we lived in a three story house, the second story being the main floor so the back porch was about fifteen steps up from the patio. Dad strung a rope from the porch down to the apple tree across the patio.

He had an old pulley on the rope and some handle of some kind. We would stand on the porch railing, he'd give us the pulley handle and we'd jump off the railing and fly across the patio down to the apple tree. The bigger kids would stop before they got to the tree, but my little brother, some called him "peanut" for his small stature, didn't stop until he slammed into the apple tree limb. Ouch!! Poor kid.

We had a particularly hot summer (once, just kidding) when I was a kid and my dad built a kiddie pool on the patio with plastic tarps and my mom's quilting frame, and some bricks, I think. He rolled the tarps around the frame many times and somehow crossed the frames at the corners and propped them up on bricks. I was young so I'm not quite sure how he did it so it wouldn't leak, but he did. We filled it with water and played in it for quite awhile.

Dad warned us not to sit on the sides or it might fall and he wouldn't put it back up. Of course we eventually sat on the side or bumped it so the side fell down and gallons and gallons of water went across the patio and onto the lawn. We certainly had green grass after that.

So to all you dads out there, go ahead and build anything for your kids. It doesn't have to be new or from a kit. Use what you've got in the garage or shed. They'll love the hours of play they get from the toys and they'll remember them, and what you did, for a lifetime.


  1. My dad wasn't much of a builder, to busy. But the boys built a tree house once and I loved it! Of course, it wasn't huge (especially with all those kids in it) but it was fun!

  2. I know exactly what you should write about. You know I've always been fascinated by how organized your meal planning is. You should definitely write something about that!

  3. My dad never worked with his hands to fix or create stuff...his thing was sports...but wow, your dad sounds so cool and creative. That pool sounded awesome, and cheap. Popping over from Nans!

  4. Thanks for reading. I know you are busy ladies, but you all got me started on this, LOL! Have great day or night.