Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Grocery Store Game

My Daddy used to play a variation of this in restaurants when we went on family vacations. It's great for teaching math skills and making kids aware of the cost of living.

As you enter the store the players pick a prize like a candy bar or magazine.  Maybe even an article of clothing if the game sponsor is flush with funds that day and doesn't want sugared-up kids in the back seat.  The main thing is that the players must agree on the prize.  The game sponsor puts the prize in the cart and the game begins.  As you shop the players keep track of purchases.  At checkout time the player who comes closest to knowing how much the basket of groceries cost wins the prize.

When I introduced the game idea to the girls their first question was could they take paper and pencils into the store.  We decided that would be permissible.  Then they wanted to know if they needed to account for tax.  That was followed by a study of our latest Walmart bill and a discussion of what was taxable and what wasn’t.  Given that I couldn’t fully understand the whole taxable thing myself we decided to keep the game easier at first by not having to account for tax. 

Maybe if we progress to Level Two competition we'll include tax.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Update on the Labyrinth

I  maintained the labyrinth through the winter. And it turned out that the winter was better for the lab than summer.  It just baked in the summer drought and a lot of the grass died, turning it into a field of not much more than dirt and a few wispy lines of paint.  But we had enough rain lately to encourage the grass to start growing again.

For keeping the lines in good shape I have needed to put down new paint lines once in a while.  I bought a stick kind of thing that I can spray the paint while walking and this eliminated the bending over.  The bending over part was very demoralizing.  Get the stick thingy.  Or call me and I can send a picture.

 I found a paint that I like:  Rustoleum Marking paint.  I started out buying it at Lowes then found out they stock it at Walmart.  It's about $5 a can and to do the whole lab takes about four cans.  Fortunately, I'm just on "maintenance mode" right now and it only needs a can or two to keep the lines distinct.

One thing that is helping is that it looks like the paint kills the vegetation under it.  If I look close I can see nothing more than dirt under the white in a lot of places.

 I hope the new grass will provide a stark contrast to the dead zone line  We'll see.