ELECTRICITY: a fundamental property of matter caused by the presence and motion of electrons, protons, or positrons, manifesting itself as attraction, repulsion, luminous and heating effects, and the like
Son has been spending a great deal of time working on inventions lately. There are many upsides to this newfound fascination, including the ability to “upcycle” just about any piece of household garbage. Toilet paper tube? Aluminum foil? Random piece of a broken toy? Into the invention box it goes!
Today, Son made an elevator out of a lifesaver box operated by old yarn and sewing bobbin pulleys with structural support provided by the china hutch. Then, he moved on to an invention that included old walkman headphones duct-taped to a block of wood and “plugged in” to the hole in the top of an empty spool of thread. Generous amounts of tape and pipe cleaners we applied in random locations. He was so pleased with his creation. The next thing I knew, he had removed a battery from one of his trains and was taping it to the block of wood.
He was positively stumped when the invention didn’t come to life. He added wire. He added metal. He added water.* He added magnets. No dice. He called Papa to announce that he needed to learn more about electricity.
It was just a lazy afternoon of experimenting and creating, but I loved it. I loved witnessing the way Son’s brain is putting together bits and pieces of information about how the world works. I loved seeing his persistence when he encountered an unexpected problem. I loved Son’s willingness to ask for help once he’d exhausted his own ideas. I loved seeing Husband’s old walkman put to good use.
*Apparently, I need to revisit the hazards of mixing electricity and water. It seems that I effectively conveyed the science of conductivity but didn’t hold his attention all the way through the DANGER! part of the message.