Sunday, June 22, 2008
Trash to Treasure
"Ladies and gentlemen....Welcome to Turrrrrrrtllllllllle Racewaaaaaaaay!"
Yes, you can almost hear the PA announcer's shout as you look at...What? Turtle Raceway, a creation of Daughter #1, inspired by her conversations with a fellow classmate. The goal was to make a track for her friend's turtle. It was more than just a backyard project; it became an obsession!
Ever environmentally conscious (to the point where I almost feel her Dad and I went overboard in our instruction/demonstration), Daughter #1 was on a quest. First, it was to start recycling in her classroom. Every day in her backback, she brought home the recyclables. But, that soon got to be too much. As I explained to her teacher, "We have become not just a recycling depository but a recycling PROCESSING center." (And a little bit too hands-on at that!)
Then, Daughter #1 started bringing home non-recyclables. "Mom, these are for Turtle Raceway." Huh? She explained that even though she couldn't recycle things like candy wrappers and bottle caps that they could still be re-used (another one of those 3Rs).
All I could think was her and her friend playing with "garbage" in the yard. So, I said, when HER mother calls to have this playdate at HER house, you'll be ready. Well, her friend suddenly decided she wasn't interested. (Of course.)
So, Daughter #1 started in, taking the box that my sister had sent a 45-pound stack of hand-me-downs and birthday gifts, and taped loads of candy wrappers and bottle caps. She drew the track. She made a souvenir stand. She made a tub (out of a Pringles' single-serving cup). She wrote the copy for the ads! She had a blast!!
And the flag flying over the grandstand--made out of an old drinking straw and one of her spelling words from this past year--says it all:
We won't have a turtle run races. (We almost had a squirrel!) Matchbox cars work well in there. The best part is that Turtle Raceway was self-driven and continues to be a highlight of Daughter #1's early summer days. (Maintenance is a huge issue with an outdoor track!)
Not just trash turned into a treasure (noun) but, for Daughter #1 trash to treasure (verb)....until we get one more really good rainstorm. (She didn't construct a retractable dome roof!)