Tag Archives: puzzles and games

Our adventures this week in pictures and video 2012-45

We started the week with some slightly crazed kids thanks to Halloween.

We also hadn’t gotten a lot of good video and me in my freaky tall blue creature halloween costume so we spent some time on the weekend putting it back on and trying things out.

Our circus school was closed last week so we missed our regular classes.  It didn’t stop my son, as I found these videos he took of himself practicing the silks.

We stepped in to Kimberly Jackson on Queen Monday after our drop-in and we saw some really nice handcrafted wooden tables that they are having a sale on atm.

Tuesday I was trying to get the kids out of the house to play, but they just seemed to want to stay in.  We ended up building some bridges out of Kapla blocks (beam and cantilever), and then put it into practice as I became a human beam bridge, and my daughter was the load.

They got some exercise by playing on their homemade trapeze they have in their bedroom.

We did get out of the house in the afternoon though and started raking our leaves — mostly to have a pile to jump in, and a few to add to our compost.  Poor tree not getting fresh soil.

We discovered Richard Wiseman‘s Quirkology feed on Youtube and we proceeded to duplicate some of his puzzles and challenges.

Game wise we’ve been playing a lot of Mastermind.

Thursday we headed down to The 90th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.  We started out in the Spirit of the Horse area and watched the Toronto Police Mounted Unit, Elaine Ward demonstrate Western Style Dressage with her horse Maverick, and a Thoroughbred horse too.

We continued the horse theme as we ate our lunch in the Horse Palace watching some of the competitors for the horse jumping warm up.  My son spotted a horse he liked the look of and we followed them into the Ricoh Coliseum to see them compete.  It was Onisha and her driver, Olympian, Reed Kessler as they were competing in the Brickenden Trophy International Jumper Class.

The highlight of the Education Barn was the pig truck.  The kids watched, fascinated, as the dozen or so piglets nursed from their mother, and as the two, 6 week old (and much larger), pigs cuddled each other.

I’m always interested in the over-sized vegetables.  This year the corn-stalk was over 21 feet tall!

What did you do this week?

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Howto Try Trihexaflexagon

We finally managed to get a hexaflexagon working!  Check out the video of my son demonstrating.

If you’re having trouble getting started too, here’s a recap of our journey.

We were introduced to them a few weeks ago thanks to vihart‘s great video (via my friend Kate), but stumbled around at first trying to figure them out.   We watched Danny Halvern’s Hexahexaflexagon movie and had some success putting them together with a compass and ruler but it was very time-consuming and we didn’t get many iterations before giving up.  We read over the hexaflexagon construction instructions but were still overwhelmed.  We found a page that talked about the different ways to flex it, but it was still too much to get us off the ground.  I went back to basics and read Martin Gardner‘s original Scientific American Book of Puzzles and Games which probably would have worked if I had taken the time doing it myself, but couldn’t work trying to get the kids to do them as well.  I found a template (and was confused by the having both sides on one side) but, didn’t have a colour printer available so was stumped again.  How were we ever going to get folding?!

And along came the Celebration of Mind Gathering for Gardner.  Their party organizer’s kit finally collected together a simple set of Trihexaflexagon templates in the same spot that we could work with.  We printed out numerous of their blank templates (note to self: modify this to include the numbers for the absolute newbs) and after a few attempts at numbering and colouring it for the kids we got one put together.  Woot!  My son has already modify it to include putting the pattern in the middle and watching it go to the outside and he wanted to do two more before bed, but there is plenty of time for it now.  Are hexahexaflexagon’s next?

Update: Day Two.  We’ve made a few more videos as we worked through our folds and more.  First up is me walking you through the tri and the hexa hexaflexagons.