Sunday, December 19, 2010

Train Engine

Yesterday Alyce finished the last section of her Lowe's train.  In previous weeks Alyce and I put together the caboose and passenger cars.  This week we put together the engine.  Alyce's friend Gideon wasn't able to show up this week as he had a doctors appointment.  On the way to Lowe's Alyce was asking if Gideon was going to be there and when I had to break the news to her she was pretty broken up.  By the time we got our packet of materials and hammer Alyce had gotten over it.  We picked up a packet of materials for Gideon so he could finish his train.  Alyce was very protective of his packet and kept reminding me that it was Gideons; very cute.

Alyce's hammering skills have improved throughout this project.  Her swings have much more confidence with longer swings and more energy behind them.  With that confidence came a decrease in accuracy as half the swings were off the mark.  Some of that can be attributed to hand eye coordination but the rest comes from inattention.  While I was holding the pieces Alyce's swings went wild onto my fingers.  In pain I'd look up and she would be looking around rather than focusing on what she was doing.

The engine turned out great.  If I had my way I would have left the train natural wood and forgone the stickers.  But Alyce's favorite part is decorating the train and again she chose the holiday stickers.  That made two train cars decorated with holiday stickers and one decorated with freight train stickers.  When we got back home Alyce wanted to switch the stickers on the caboose and luckily I had saved them from a few weeks ago and mom switched them out.  Now all parts of our train match.

I really enjoyed this project.  In just a few weeks Alyce's skills with tools have improved.  Over the years with more complex projects I hope Alyce learns more skills like reading directions, taking measurements, and the use of more complex tools.  I don't expect her to become a master carpenter, but being able to assemble a new toy or furniture should be within her abilities when she has kids of her own.

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