Do You Remember Your Childhood Building Projects?

| 9/3/2009 9:55:15 AM

My paternal grandmother lived about three hours away from my family, so I saw her only once or twice a year. But two summers, after third and fourth grades, I spent a week at Grandma’s house, along with my cousin, who also was my age.

We spent our week doing pretty much the same thing each day: In the morning, there were some chores to do, then we would walk to a neighborhood park that had a wading pool. Once during the week, Grandma would give us each ten cents (this was 1954) and we would get a brown paper bag of penny candy from the little store across from the park. After lunch we took an hour nap. My cousin had a bout of scarlet fever and she needed to rest each day, so I did also — I usually read for the whole hour. Then we might play Go Fish with Grandma.

But the best indoor activity we did each day was building marble mazes out of blocks made from 4-inch 1-by-4s. Grandma had a whole box of them that a friend gave to her. They were perfect for building castles and houses, but especially for making marble slides and mazes. We spent hours, both summers, spreading our creations across the living room floor. I can still remember the piney smell of the blocks.

Kids love to build forts and space ships, and create secret places to dream and imagine. What was your most cherished childhood building project? Share your childhood memories in the comments below.

Dawn Pfahl
12/3/2009 9:21:21 PM

I used to love making forts out of couch cushions, blankets, and whatever else I could scavenge inside, and snow caves in the winter. When I was in middle school we moved to a new home with a lot of acreage, and my new project became building an actual FORT in the woods. I dragged fallen pines to a circle of standing trees that made a great lookout spot and set up 4' high walls spiked with the dead branches of the trees, complete with a gate at the front and a small hollow in which to store interesting forest finds. I planned on covering it with tarps to keep out the worst of the weather, but I never got the chance. The fort was easily 20' in diameter, and I'm pretty sure it's still standing, albeit a bit decomposed at this point.

Vicki Mangum
9/11/2009 6:33:06 PM

One of my favorite childhood memories were the camping trips that my sisters took. We would spread a sheet over the kitchen table and extend it by spreading the sheet or sheets over the chairs around the table as well. We would then climb under and go camping with all of our camping equipment. It was always an adventure the different "spots" that we would experience. We sometimes even slept in our tents at night to extend our camping trip. On other occasions we would line up our dining room chairs to form a train. Then we would travel the country side experiencing America. We always had a blast as we traveled different places. We certainly had a great imagination and it was so much fun.

9/9/2009 9:54:03 PM

During my childhood my siblings, friends and I built many 'forts' tree houses, and shacks. My favorite endeavor had to have been the summer we discovered a "secret" arroyo near our house (in the desert). In this arroyo were sandstone shelves that ran about ten feet up from the bottom of the arroyo, and were just wide enough for us kids to walk on. There were small indents in the sides, and some were small caves, to which we took sharp sticks and stones to carve them out even more. So that by the end of the summer we had a series of small caves along a narrow walk. We also found a place where the water had carved out a huge room, just the right size for our two horses. It was open on one side and on the arroyo floor. When the monsoon rains came our little cliff dwelling 'city' was washed away. Fortunately none of us were there during any flash floods.

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