I’m taking you away from work today to share with you my
husband’s latest adventure.
We were out for a bike ride one day, not long ago, and as we
were crossing the train tracks my husband insisted on stopping
to take some measurements.
He has an idea to ride his bike on the rails from here down island.
So he measured and took pictures of the width and height of a rail,
the distance between the rails and went home to create.
On the internet he found pictures of how other people have adapted
their bikes and set to work finding items to piece a rail bike together.
Everything he used was recycled, except one bolt that he had to buy.
The front part is an old dry ground training ski, the outrigger is a
scooter that we found abandoned, and the connecting bars are from
an old cartop carrier and a piece of bamboo. Plus he also used lots of
zipties and old bike tubes.
All ready to try it out he quickly learned that balancing it would be difficult.
“When we ride a bike we turn the handle bars to help keep us balanced”
he tells me. He couldn’t do that on the rail bike.
He also discovered that the bamboo wasn’t strong enough to keep the bike
from leaning inward and pushing the outrigger off the track. So he replaced
the bamboo with another metal bar from the cartop carrier.
Once that was fixed and an additional bracing bar was added he was ready to go.
As I watched him develop his idea and build it, problem solve and recreate it reminded me how children play. They learn through what interests them. A child will explore an item of interest, take it apart, rebuild it, change it or make something new all the time learning many different concepts. And most importantly learning by doing not by being told “this is how it’s done or this is the way it should be”.
Doesn't his smile just tell it all?
Note: The rail line that my husband is riding on has no trains in operation this year so risk is limited.
In a future post I’ll talk about how I’ve been developing an area in our centre
where children can use their imaginations and create using loose parts.