Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Build a driftwood fort

While trying to get into Manhattan recently with the family, there was a big traffic jam on the Triboro bridge, so we decided to try to make the best of the day and explore Randall's Island.

We followed the street signs all over the island looking for a promised nature center, but when we couldn't find it, we decided to just take a stroll down by the waterfront.

Someone had found a bit of driftwood, and left this sculpture for us to find:

From Fort on Randalls Island

That provided the spark.  We found our own piece of driftwood and stuck it in the sandy soil, then we found a few more pieces, then some pipes.  We at first thought we might make a crocodile, and then it morphed into an airplane, and then we found a few more boards and it became a one-room house, and then we needed chairs and a bed, and keys, and then we needed to expand to have one room for my son and one room for my daughter.

Randall's Island is technically part of the Borough of Manhattan, and this may have been the only driftwood fort built on Manhattan that day.  There are about 100 baseball fields on Randall's Island, and all of them had games in progress.  At least 2,000 kids playing by a set of rules, monitored and supervised.

I was glad to have this serendipitous outdoor experience with the kids.  While I did the heavy lifting, it was their imagination that took over.  Samuel saw a waterbird floating and called it a sea serpent.  A piece of driftwood became a light saber to fend it off.  An old iron pipe became a tube that would send him messages of impending danger.

Go and build something without a plan.

From Fort on Randalls Island

From Fort on Randalls Island

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