Travel Diary » Photo Friday: Ice paleontology and trampolines
11pm. Two fans and one glass filled with iced water. And still the sweat is dripping off me. My legs are stuck to the chair. I think it's safe to say that tomorrow is going to be just as hot as today ... and yesterday and the day before.
Our first few weeks back in Penang were the end of the wet season. Daily storms and a few days each week that were overcast with occasional showers. These are the days I love in Penang. It's cool, the air is fresh and the thunder is amazing. Walking in light rain when it's 28 degrees feels so good. But the past two weeks have marked the start of the half a year in Penang that's hot and generally pretty dry. This week has been worse than the normal. Those -25 degrees Celsius European winter days are starting to feel pretty nice about nice.
Noah wrote this a few weeks ago to a friend (under protest of course!) while it was still raining most days and bearable. That pretty much sums up my feeling at the moment. How can it be so hot at 11pm?
So what do you do when you have a really hot spell in the tropics to keep the kids occupied? A lot of indoor play, swims and visits to the mall! And anything that you can think of that involves ice or water.
The other day I saw a blog post for a fantastic idea of something to do with kids on a hot day - excavating toy dinosaurs from ice. I called Noah and Hayley over to show them. They made it as far as the first photo before they were out in the backyard with every dinosaur they owned, several large tupperware containers and hoses. I guess they liked the idea. Another travelling family is staying at a guesthouse on our street this week. We messaged them and sure enough their two youngest boys wanted to try it too.
I soon had a freezer filled with containers of water and dinosaurs. Good thing I haven't been grocery shopping this week and my freezer was practically empty!
The next day when it was nicely frozen we tipped out our giant ice cubes on the driveway and the kids set to work with every tool they thought might be useful. Ice cream scoops, spoons, spatulas, hammers, salt and warm water.
Hammers were the best tool for the job, although we had to have a discussion about why you wouldn't use hammers is this was a real dinosaur dig!
Half an hour later we had the dinosaurs freed and a drive way covered in ice.
There was only one possible progression from here - collect all the ice and tip it onto the trampoline for some icy jumping fun!
In case you'd like to do this too, here are the steps (although it's pretty obvious!)
1) Direct your children to find dinosaurs (or other plastic/metal toys) of various sizes and weights. You want them to be different sizes as you have to use different techniques to get a smaller toy free of the ice than a larger toy - that adds to the challenge and prolongs the activity! Different weights helps ensure that some dinos will float to the top and some will stay on the bottom when you add the water - that way the dinos are distributed all throughout the ice, not just floating on the top or bottom.
2) Select a large plastic container and add your toys. It's a good idea to have one container per child. Fill it with water and make sure you are happy with the arrangement of dinosaurs. Place it in the freezer and leave overnight.
3) The next day tip out your ice and set about collecting every kitchen/garden tool you think might be useful. Ice and water is going to go everywhere so make sure you have a large area outside to work. We did it on our driveway but the original post we read suggested completing the activity inside a small plastic wading pool.
And there you have it - a great solution for keeping kids occupied on a hot day in the tropics. Icy paleontology fun!
Thanks to Delicious Baby for another Photo Friday.