Local Heart, Global Soul

March 28, 2013

Fizz, Whoosh, Slam and Bang…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post, I’m taking you around “de kinderwerkplaats” (the “Children’s Workshop”) in the  Transvaalkwartier of the Hague.

The place has been set up to help the local community but is open to the general public from everywhere, in fact we even heard about  someone even came especially from the province of Friesland in the far north of the Netherlands to visit here!

Upon payment of the entrance fee each child receives a wooden “toolbox” that contains the various  things they will need at  each of the workstations: Styrofoam, a thin piece of wood, ingredients to make their button, etc and from there on in the only difficult choice is “where to start? ”

My advice is now practical: start with the items that might receive paint during or after completion, there’s a drying room for items in a room behind the toilets and if you do the paint stuff first, then it can all be drying whilst you are busy with the rest of the activities.

We alas learned the hard way as Little Mr. ended up carrying a  half dry model he had made, back home in the car and ended up with paint liberally smeared upon his person and clothes, and to be honest probably also spread to the back seat of the car although I haven’t dared look there yet.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Most certainly the bath he had that morning and the pristine condition in which he arrived at the workshop didn’t last long, since he’s a messy little monster  and it’s a shame we didn’t notice soon enough that “de kinderwerkplaats” also provides full overalls, coveralls and painting shirts to protect kids clothes, as he also has a penchant for wiping dirty hands on his clothes.

(I’m thinking of getting shares in the company that makes “Vanish, oxy clean laundry powder we go though so much of it).

The bigger girls  tired out the “volcano’s”first, this involved putting baking soda into the “crater”and then adding vinegar, causing a reaction that caused the volcano to “erupt”, the girls were delighted and not only tried it over an over at the beginning of the visit but also came back to it later…

Then they became rocket scientists… first a cylinder of paper is made and a cone shaped top added,  there’s an enclosed tower reaching to the roof into which you place your rocket and after pumping on a handle that builds up compressed air, all of a sudden your projectile is launched skywards up the tower.  It all happens so fast that you don’t even see your rocket leave the launch pad, and so getting photos was a matter of watching many kids launch theirs, taking photos as fast as I could and getting lucky with a few of them. Depending on the skill of the rocket builder, the rocket could be launched more than once before launch and impact damage rendered it beyond repair.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The first of the cutting implements is a hot wire for cutting through polystyrene ,  and it’s used to make a toy race car (powered by a balloon) which I didn’t get photos of, and a sailing boat, which I did.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The boat pictured first on dry land has a sail and rudder and once complete was launched in a water tank with some artificial wind in the shape of fans … it actually sailed very well, but direction control was a little wanting…

Also with water, another tank helped the city kids imagine what it would be like to go dam building in a stream… something that I did often as a kiwi-kid but our kids have yet to experience. The small bricks can be lined up in a multitude of ways to divert the water but every time a new kid tuned up the finished walls invariably got scuppered. No patience, these engineers.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Street paving skills were next… Little Mr. completed a very neat pattern and called me over to take photos of him beaming with his work in the nick of  time before another kid arrived to demolish the lot and start on his own patterns… (sounds like the local city council, who constantly dig up the same stretch of footpath first for a gas pipe and later for a water one, clearly they did their training courses here)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Later it’s on to the hammering table where nails are beaten into oblivion into thick wooden planks. Judging by the number of mangled nail-heads  this one must be rather therapeutic.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The kids are having a great time discovering that they can build things that “do stuff” and my own laughter is echoed by other parents too, with nervous excitement they now move on to the “dangerous” stuff…

3 Comments »

  1. I saw the first photo and thought it was a pudding 😀

    Comment by The Laughing Housewife — March 28, 2013 @ 11:58 am | Reply

  2. This place is brilliant. In the U.S. at least, kids don’t even seem to think about how things get built, or that these are skills that can earn a living. We really need a place like this!

    Comment by Luddy's Lens — March 29, 2013 @ 8:53 pm | Reply

  3. […]  (links to posts here:   https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/new-1008/    , https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/new-962/   and […]

    Pingback by Literally Here Today and Gone Tomorrow… | Local Heart, Global Soul — April 21, 2013 @ 1:01 am | Reply


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