A concrete idea

I got the lowdown on the Cutester’s day at school today, coming home on the back seat of the W6.

So. This boy wanted her to join in with his game at playtime. She agreed, so long as he gave her the Special Stone he had brought to school (it was shiny). Deal.

First, stones being a bit of a theme, they brought the classroom copy of Rocks and Minerals out into the playground for a spot of geology/archeology. Before long they got lucky – they found a neolithic tool under the playhouse.

‘We looked it up in the book. It was a special tool for sharpening flint,’ the Cutester explained. Imagine! On the very same term they are studying the Stone Age. Cancel that trip to the British Museum!

Next, they found an activity in the book: making concrete.

All the ingredients were listed. Gravel: loads of it lying around, no problem. Sand: easy, just raid the sandpit in the infants’ playground. Cement: hmm. Well, dried earth looks pretty much like the same thing, so that’ll do. Water: the playground water fountain, literally on tap.

They assembled all the dry ingredients on top of a low brick wall and then the Cutester went to fetch some water. She could get a little from the fountain into her cupped hands, but by the time she got back to the mixing site, it had all drained through her fingers.

‘Now I’ll try,’ said the Boy.

He went to the fountain, came back with his cheeks bulging, and spat the contents out into the middle of the pile.

Hey presto! Concrete.

(They’re still waiting for it to set, mind.)

The beautiful thing is that if you ask the Cutester what goes into concrete the answer now includes ‘spit’.

I’ve promised her we’ll make concrete at home with real cement this weekend. I can’t think of anything more fun. In fact this could be a good play street activity – ‘Come on kids, let’s make a concrete bunker! This’ll stop the traffic!’

And I hope that the Cutester, somewhere deep down inside, never ever stops being eight.

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