We are a lot of fun at The Rec. We come up with all kinds of crazy plans to make sure the kids have fun and memorable experiences. Over the years, we’ve done some things that have been really good ideas and we’ve also done some things that have been terrible ideas. Here are some examples:
- Ant Farm—When you have ants in your home, you call an exterminator. When we have ants at The Rec, we call an exterminator. Why, then, would we have thought that buying a flimsy plastic “farm” and filling it with Fire Ants was a good idea? I mean, ants are fascinating creatures and all—did you know that they build a little cemetery and drag their dead friends into it? But what happens when someone uncaps the lid? I’ll tell you exactly what happens. Ants find their way out of the nice farm home you provided and spread out everywhere in your room. And who wants to catch them and try to stuff them back in the tiny hole they came out of? No one! Who HAD to catch them? Me. Bad idea. Very bad idea.
- Hatching Chicks—Watching a chick hatch from an egg is absolutely breathtaking. It is a beautiful moment of new life and hope and you can actually hear angels singing when it happens. We thought this would be such a great experience for the kids so we got an incubator, procured some eggs, carefully tended the humidity levels and temperature and waited. One morning before school, two of the eggs started rocking and moving around. Tiny little holes appeared in the shell and we held our breath…..until it was time for the buses to come and then the kids had to go to school. Unfortunately, they missed the best parts of the whole experience, but Susan and I stayed and watched. One of the chicks hatched out perfectly. The other chick still had not absorbed the remainder of the yolk sac through his navel. (Did you even know that chickens have belly buttons? Crazy!) We immediately researched the problem and found out that the chicken would likely die because of infection. Some people had limited success with a little “chicken surgery” using dental floss to tie off the yolk sac and seal up the navel. Unfortunately, in that nice warm incubator, the yolk was now stuck to his little chicky belly and we had to give him a little chicky bath to get it loose enough to tie on the dental floss. All of this trauma gave him a little chicky heart attack and the kids got to learn about new life AND death all in the same day. Very bad idea.
- Homemade Ice Cream—Doesn’t that sound fun? You take a small zipper bag of the ingredients and place it inside a gallon size bag of ice and rock salt and then you shake it up until the ice cream hardens. That would all be such a great idea if the children just shook it like the kids in the pictures did. No….our kids were way too wild and before we knew it, the bags were leaking and salty water and sticky ice cream fixings were all over the floor. Also, not one of our better ideas.
I could tell you stories of coloring Easter eggs and carving pumpkins and using rubber gloves like udders for painting during farm week. The list of bad ideas we’ve had is a mile long, in fact! The good thing is, the bad ideas DO make GOOD stories.