Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A 36-foot egg drop and many silly videos later

Aditya was prancing around the living room three days ago and managed to injure his toe on a coffee table, so, while Suresh was away at a conference in Italy, I grounded us for three days to give the toe a chance to heal. (Thanks to all our family and friends who sent in get-well wishes and notes of concern ... you'll see in a later video that Aditya is now running around and is just fine).

The problem was this: we have no toys here in our apartment, so in an attempt to amuse the children, I said off-handedly at dinner, "Who wants to do an egg drop from our balcony tomorrow?" We live on the fourth floor of an apartment building and I thought it would be a perfect place to try out this kind of project - dramatic enough to keep the kids' interest.

The boys' expressions said it all. They were IN.  They were so excited that, unbeknownst to me, they stayed up together past their bed time creating a list of materials they would need for the egg drop in the morning.  The next morning they presented me with a list:

aluminum foil
packing peanuts
bubble wrap

Laughingly, I told them we'd go to the nearby grocery store and only use stuff we could find there as well as any items we could recycle from home.

We ended up with:

scrubbing sponges
rubber bands
a cardboard box
plastic straws
aluminum foil
wooden clothespins
an empty plastic bottle
paper plates
a broken bungee cord

 The boys were very excited.  They got to work.  They were so worried about the eggs breaking that I boiled a couple so they could run some prototypes first, dropping contraptions from about 10 feet instead of 36. I gave them very little input and guidance about design, wanting to know what they'd come up with themselves. Rohan favored balloons and sponge padding. Aditya entertained ideas involving bungee cord armor, balloons, parachutes, packing material made of straw pieces, and paper airplanes.  It took us two days of trial and error to finally get to the point where the boys were willing to try their contraptions with a raw egg from our balcony railing, which I measured using string and a ruler to be about 36 feet of the ground.

Here are both boys explaining their final contraptions. You can see the Aditya was so intent on finishing his project today he didn't bother to get out of his robe for the video.

Here's what happened:  Rohan went first.

We nervously unwrapped his egg.

Then it was Aditya's turn. The contraption came apart half way down.

Oh, the suspense!

Aditya's victory lap: no toe problems here!

I think we can be officially freed from house arrest to go out on the toe and have more wide-ranging adventures. Tenants living below us can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

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