Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May Gnome Boat Race

Since I was a little girl May has always been the month of the Gnome Boat Races
My Mom had a gnome calander that had it listed as a holiday in May.
So we had our first race in the bathtub with walnuts.
This graduated over time to styrofoam boats (homemade of course)
at the creek in the meadow near our home. 
We held a race last year in our back yard in a small swimming pool in July.

Yesterday we had an impromptu "race" with some visiting friends.

What you need:
* Boats

These happen to be half a walnut shell left over from some walnuts
we got this fall and I'm just getting around to shelling (thank you my sista!).

*Excited swarm of kids
(By far the easiest thing to obtain after all what's not to be excited about...water with things that float and sink and free license to play)

* A body of water
(We chose an "ocean" made from a roasting pan)

"I won!"

*Don't forget a little delight

Look says our handsome friend,
There are boats "that sink and float.  There are some wet ones and some dry ones."

We began by trying to fill the hollow with clay cut a paper sail and poke a toothpick through it secured to the boat by the clay.  Most of those boats sank.  Or at the very least capsized.  I was too busy cutting new sails (to replace the waterlogged ones)  to take pictures or discover the true cause of our not-so-seaworthy boats.    Perhaps one day when there is more time for experimenting and the intrigue to try we'll do that.  For yesterday it was enough just to play with walnut shells in the water.

A little note should you wish to try something like this:  whole nuts work just as well.  If you want to have a true race you need a "starting line" (like a broomstick or chopstick depending on the size of your water body) that you can hold all boats in place.  I would recommend no more than 2 contestants at a time.  This helps keep head crashing to a minimum and all parties get a fair chance at being low enough to get enough wind to propel their boat across the water. 

Happy May!
It's getting happier by the day.

1 comment:

mia said...

Oh I LOVE the Gnome idea! We just make may baskets here =)