August 29, 2008

Hands-On Stepping Stones

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"Hop! Hop! Hop! Hop!"

Sometimes it sounds more like: "Bling! Bling! Bling! Bling!" (Think Super Mario Bros., not rappers opining about their bank balances.) Other days, it's simply, "One, two, three, FOUR!"

These calls are part of our comings and goings, where my three boys hop across our front lawn, landing on each of the four round stepping stones connecting our driveway and front door.

Knowing how much the boys love those stepping stones, when I saw make-your-own-stone kits on clearance at the craft store, I jumped on them. The kits I purchased came with everything needed to make our own keepsake garden stones, including colorful rocks and pieces of polished glass for extra (wait for it…) bling.

"We should add some sticks or small pine cones to your stepping stones," I said.

"What about our rubber cars and trains?" asked Jackson.

"Great idea," I said. We'd amassed dozens of colorful, eraser-sized rubber vehicles from the local office store.

I did the prep work, using an old bucket to mix the cement (adults should do this step outdoors -- wear a dust mask). I also readied a damp towel for after the boys pressed their hands into the cement (especially Nolan, who detests all things sticky, slimy, or gooey). Each child carved his name under his hand print using popsicle sticks that came with the kit and then pressed the rocks, polished glass, and a rubber vehicle or two around the perimeter.

Nolan giggled at the ones he made look like they'd crashed into the cement and became stuck, "Like quicksand!" he said. After letting the stepping stones set for two days, they were ready to press into the ground in the garden near our back door.

I wonder what sounds they'll make when they jump on them.

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Hands-On Stepping Stones

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