So its pretty cold these days. Can't say I like it. I know its barely January, but I would just like to note that I am pretty much DONE with winter. That being said, though the weather is awful, it does make for some pretty nice ice on the pond. And so, we go skating with the kids. Or as I like to call it "45 minutes of getting outside gear on, for 15 minutes of falling down"Its important to have your Grandpa on hand when you are trying to stand on those darn skates.
We've also got one of these fancy things. Perfect for the not-so-accomplished skater. Though while Grandpa often has the latest and greatest things to play with, he also has some good, erm - antiques.
But this little thing was the real hit of the day. What is it, you ask? Good question. Grandpa charmingly calls it a "Priksleigh" in Dutch, or a "Pick Sled" in English. The story on this is that when my Dad (aka Grandpa) was 9 or 10 he had one of these because he sustained a concussion one year and was not allowed to skate on real skates. But of course, staying off the frozen canals where all his friends were skating was NOT an option. So he pushed himself around on a little sled like this. Much less of a chance of injury, being so near the ground and all. And he was almost as fast on it as he had been on proper skates, having no trouble keeping up with the other boys as they flew around the canals of our little farming community. But what and arm workout! I can only imagine that he was the most ripped little boy in the settlement that winter. Interesting side note; my Grandpa's Dad (that would be my Opa) used one of these as a grown up for hunting purposes. He'd lay on it on his stomach and slide along the ice on the ditches all stealthy-like to sneak up on water fowl and rabbits and whatnot that he wanted to catch.
Anyhow, if you want to make one its a simple enough concept. First you getcherself a couple of sticks. An old broom handle works nicely. Then you drill holes into those sticks and pound some nails into the end of those holes so that they pointy side sticks out. Yep, that looks like a real safe toy!
Then you get a piece of board. And a chunk of two by four. Cut some slots into the bottom of the two by four and then jam some old skate blades in there. Then hammer the whole deal together. Like I said real safe. (Seriously though, since this is the internet and I have no idea who is reading this, I will just add a disclaimer: This is NOT a child's toy. If you do make one of these they should only be used by a responsible adult, or at the very least with adult supervision at all times. Helmets are also a good idea.)
Because you know, at three-years-old skating is not really "fun" yet. Good thing we had those helmets on. Lots of falls. And luckily there are so many big people around to help. Someone's gotta get in there with a wadded up Kleenex to wipe the cold, runny noses. That's what big people are for.