"Being a good dad starts with presence not presents"
The smell of paint, the whiz of a drill and a sprinkling of sawdust can only mean one thing. Our back yard climbing wall project is going full tilt, and it's excitement all round. As an avid climber and having worked as a climbing instructor for many years obviously I love it that my kids are into climbing to. So this weekend we decided to upgrade a small climbing wall in the back yard to a cool double wall. I though it would be awesome to write this post in case anyone out there was thinking the same and needed a little inspiration or guidance. I also threw in a few money saving tips because who doesn't like a deal.
Step 1: Getting Materials is the first step to any project. We are using two sheets of outdoor plywood, paint, bag of 100 3/8 t-nuts, climbing holds (or things to stick on the wall), screws (to put the wall up), bolts (sized to t-nuts)
Next the tools. In this project I used a tape measure, sharpie, drill, 1/2 inch wood drill bit, small roller, paint spreader, hex key set and a hammer
"bump, bump, whooaa, hahaha" Lucy laughs as she rides around the garden center sitting on the flat cart pretending to fall over. It's a beautiful summer day and as we stroll through the plants looking and smelling lavender for inspiration Lucy pipes up 'A Butterfly' and points to a small glass butterfly on a stick. She is memorized and the decision is made. This year we are planting a little butterfly garden.
My three year old daughter appears at the bottom of the stair's dressed in a bright blue princess dress. Every time we make beer together it's a must. She pulls a chair up to the table. Hot air rises from the mash tun filling the house with the smell of malted barley. Carefully she takes a spoon and scoops up the citra hops in to a small container my wife has placed on the scale. Filling the container to the correct weight and emptying it in to a cheese cloth waiting to be tied up and dropped into our brew later.
I know what you're thinking, this seems like a blog for the brewing section but there is more going on here. In the time we spend brewing together Lucy learns about cleanliness, accuracy, timing and a host of other life skills. As she measures the hops into the container she practices focus and accuracy. As we add them during the boiling she learns about timing. As she helps to adjust the water through the wort chiller she learns about thermodynamics and when the yeast is finally added she is hearing how it converts one thing into another. Although she may not understand everything that is going on, her mind is being opened up to new ideas, and ways of thinking.
Deep down I hope that by teaching my daughters about brewing and alcohol from a young age it will help them in later life. Maybe to make more good decisions about drinking responsibly and even have some resilience to pier pressure by removing the the mystery around alcohol.
So if you are looking to do something with your kids that could be educational, fun and let you end up with some good beer, why not have a go. The knowledge you could be imparting might be used by your kids for the rest of their life but even more importantly your are learning these things together, in a way that's fun and those memories will definitely last forever.