Me? I was wracking the odd remaining brain cell and trying hard to think what to give to two very special little boys. I love them dearly, but do I love them enough to stand in a round-the-block queue outside Hamleys in a frigid north wind to join the stampede to buy something large and garish and plastic? I think not.
I’ve decided that I'm going to give them each A Very Useful Box for Boys. But I need your help. Here is the draft list so far:
A compass (very useful for finding your way to the tree house)
A telescope (very useful for seeking out pirates when at sea)
A ball of string (very useful for tying up prisoners)
A pair of safety scissors (very useful for cutting string)
A note book (very useful for leaving messages and drawing maps)
A pencil (very useful for writing messages and drawing maps)
A wooden cotton spool, an elastic band, a spent matchstick, a lollipop stick without the lollipop, an inch of candle, wick removed (very useful for making a tank. Instruction will be provided by My Liege who apparently made a legion of tanks when he was a little boy)
A magnet (very useful for picking up paper clips)
A box of paper clips (very useful for making chains and snakes and… stuff)
A forked stick, a length of rubber and a piece of leather (very useful for making a catapult to hit the target tied to a tree and hung on a paper clip)
A spotted scarf (very useful for making flags or kites or for bundling up an apple and a biscuit when you go on adventures)
Now I’ve run out of steam and so this is where I need your help. What else should go into A Very Useful Box for Boys? Please leave your ideas and comments here (if of course you feel so inclined) and at the end of the week I’ll put all your names in a hat and the first name to be drawn will be sent a signed giclée print of one of my paintings. How’s that sound?
okay you got me at the giclee print.
how about uuummmmm. okay my 25 year old son was a small boy once.
i know what about a big felt x to mark any spot they may need to go to.
what an excellent idea! how about a mirror for sending morse code messages; a magnifying glass for looking at small things and also making fire (?!); torch??
love the paintings!
Renee! Thank you, brilliant idea. And into the box goes a big felt x....perfect!
Val, you are a genius - now why didn't I think of something as important and useful as those!
Into the Box they go. Wow, this is getting better and better.
A small jar with holes punch in the lid for "anything that wiggles"
a penknife, every boy should have one (if they are old enough), a good football to kick around, a cap to shade the sun, a cool waterbottle to strap on to bicycles. and of course some funky socks never go amiss. love boys!!
So nice to meet you Tessa, i came to you from Val's. You have absolutly gorgeous photos and paintings! incredible. I love to take photos and to draw(just a little) and so I thought that the boys might like a small disposible camera or colored pencils and a blank book to record their adventures. Great idea!
Fabulous idea, Tessa, and having raised three boys, I've got some ideas. (Several -- the jar with holes poked in the lid and the pen/pencil and a sketchbook -- have already been mentioned.)
A small first aid kit that includes a packet of antibacterial wips, alcohol pads, a small tube of antibiotic ointment and bandaids -- stashed in a ziplock plastic bag to keep them clean and dry.
A crystal or some other "magic stone" for special protection.
An extra pair of socks. Sometimes a little boy's feet mysteriously get wet... even muddy!
Some fishing line and hooks, so they can fashion their own fishing pole out of a long stick.
Survival foods like trail mix or granola bars.
You might package all the items in a small duffle bag or backpack instead of in a box, for portability. A Very Useful Bag for Boys?
a whistle...the kind with a ball in it...
A game to keep them busy when all else fails. Make a treasure bottle... Take an empty soda bottle (or any bottle will do) Fill with fine sand. Now put all kinds of little objects in it. Safey pin, pin, marble, button, charm, tiny toy, penny, bone, shells, coloured glass, seeds, to name a few. Keep a list of what you put in there (there should be quite a few things) Now glue the cap onto the bottle. Now they can spend hours trying to find all the "treasures".
Greetings via the Black Box. I think you should add a magnifying glass. Good for identifying insects and starting fires.
Oops. Just noticed someone else had the same idea.
What about a small net to catch butterflies or tadpoles ( and then set them free unharmed, of course!)
And popsicle sticks, you can't have enough of those!
And what about some sipping straws in pretty stripes, and pipe cleaners in assorted colors!
This illustration is fantastic. I could look at your work for hours and hours. In fact I'm going to catch up right now!
Leola! With 7 grandchildren and your wonderfully artistic imagination, I just knew you’d come up with something fantastic! And the treasure bottle – now that really takes precedence over everything! What fun it’s going to be to put together, too.
Hello my fellow South African! Soulbrush, I couldn’t agree more, a penknife is vital equipment for a boy (even I had one that I treasured when I was a toto!)
Lori Ann – lovely to meet you, too! A disposable camera is just absolutely perfect for A Very Useful Box – thank you for a brilliant idea.
Jeannie – now y’talkin’! A duffel bag the obvious answer – no little boy could go on an adventure without one. I could do a bit of funky appliqué on it to set the scene, right?
Bwana Jeem Pim Picasso – a WHISTLE! Now that is pure genius.
Hi Colleen, so nice to meet you! Yes, a magnifying glass is a definite must-have!
Oh, Studio LoLo – the net is an absolutely stellar idea….imagine the possibilities! And why am I such a doof-ball for not having thought of pipe-cleaners – essential equipment! Thank you so much for popping round. It’s such a total pleasure to see you here.
Thank you, everyone, for posting such excellent tips on how to fill A Very Useful Box for Boys. What sensationally useful delights are in store for them!
I wrote all your names on the back of little bright pink postit notes and stuck them on the fridge, and when a friend come round for coffee, I asked her to pick one...... The winner of a giclee print is LORI ANN!
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