Today I’d thought I’ll share a favourite homemade toy/activity of Bea’s – a water pipe system. Bea really enjoys playing with water – if there are vegetables soaking in the basin, you can be sure they are going to get an extra rinse and rub from her! One day, I visited my regular hardware store and came across a section where they had all sorts of pipe connectors and I though how fun if there were a few of them and she could create whatever sort of pipe system she wanted. The only snag was that I had to charm my way to getting the pipes cut into much short pieces (they come in about 2 meters length) M: Hi, can you cut the pipe shorter for me? (foot in the door technique – don’t tell them you want it cut into 10 pieces) SW (Shop Worker): Sure- how much short you want? M: (First you smile sheepishly.. then say it) Errr… 10 pieces SW : (Looks very shocked) What?!! 10 PIECES??!!! No TIME!! Why you want like dat? M: Aiya… help me la… for my daughter la… her school project (I have come to realise that everyone emphatises with with word “school project” – it takes the blame off you – puts you in the light that you are some poor parent who has been given some crazy errand) SW: Okay, Okay. Hey, Ah XX , you come here and help her cut the pipe. There was some employee hierarchy here. So I had a kind looking foreign worker come to help. Lo and behold, he even uses the right tool to cut the pipe (his supervisor was using a hand saw that left me thinking that I would have to sand paper the rough edges). Now I could see that this little man came from a country where waiting is a norm, just like Malaysia too (yes, Malaysians are use to waiting) because he was very accommodating to my requests of cutting the pipe to different lengths and patiently doing a good job too. It’s been a year since then, and boy, has this toy been a fast favourite of Bea’s in the patio.
1. Lay it out on the floor
2. As your design starts to take shape, think of how many pots you are going to water.
3. Conduct some preliminary testing
4. Now, proof that it works!
5. Try out different combinations
6. Turn the invention into something else!