Found Items: Dungeon Map

This was found in an old bass clarinet case previously used by a middle-schooler. I thought I’d have some fun with it.Dungeon
Are you in the market for a new home? Seeking adventure? This one-of-kind dungeon may be just what you’re looking for! It features many of the hottest trends in minimalist, underground living.
Facts:
  • Easy access to Dwarven city
  • Multiple all-purpose dungeons can be easily transformed into a home theater, sitting room, or office space
  • Main living space features a large, open floor plan
  • Comes with starting supplies and wood
  • Large monument spanning two walls in main living space is a great conversation starter!
  • Numerous hidden doors with chambers of various sizes (not shown on map)
  • Off-the-grid geothermal heating/cooling
 Contact Dungeon Master now for private showing!
Dungeon Map

Game of Thrones: A Song of Cardboard and Packing Tape

Five kings kids. One Throne. In celebration of HBO’s fifth season of Game of Thrones, I’m reposting some pictures of the cardboard keep, complete with iron cardboard throne. Castle, front viewView from above Photo Aug 24, 10 51 01 AMflagpoleUnfortunately, the cardboard keep no longer stands. We eventually had to reclaim our playroom floor space. The cardboard was repurposed as a Dalek costume.

Game of Thrones returns to HBO on April 12th at 9PM. While you’re waiting, check out Sesame Street: Game of Chairs.

How to Find Walking Labyrinths 

labyrinthMy family recently came across a walking labyrinth for the first time and now we’re hooked. We literally stumbled onto it during a college campus visit. Thinking that I would be the only one excited about this, I was surprised when both of my young kids jumped in and walked the entire length with complete focus.

Of course, I was quite impressed by this. It was a ten minute, non-digital oasis when I didn’t have to field questions about snacks or break up arguments. They were totally in the zone.
It is a simple, yet powerful, principal; you are set into forward motion, you have momentum, and knowing the end is not too far away, you’re committed to twisting, turning, and spiraling until you reach it. What a great exercise for focus in an age when people (of all ages) can use it the most! I left wanting more, so I’ve since tracked down several other nearby labryinths and we’re excited to visit them.

To find labyrinths near you, visit labyrinthlocator.com, where you can search a large database of labyrinths that includes useful information such as: directions, accessibility, hours, pictures, etc. You can search by city, zip code, or state. Both private and public labyrinths are listed, and while some aren’t open to the public, it’s still fascinating to view the pictures and marvel at these labors of love.

Sorting through data by state produced too many results over too wide of an area to sift through. Yet, I didn’t want to exclude any nearby small towns located in other zip codes that were still within reasonable driving range to me. A map of nearby labyrinths would be ideal, but since that wasn’t an available feature, my solution was utilizing zipmap.net to make a short list of a few zip codes within an acceptable driving range, then searching each of them on the labyrinth locator. I quickly found several labyrinths very close to me, and was especially surprised to find that I drive right past a few of them daily. Now that I know they are there and available to the public, it’s on my spring to-do list to hit as many as possible.

A day or so after our first labyrinth find, I noticed something interesting about a carpet at preschool. Carpet LabyrinthI think this may be an example of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon at work. It’s amazing what you can notice, or miss, depending on how you look at things and whether or not your mind is primed.

If you visit any labyrinths near you, send a picture and I’ll post them here! Stay curious and keep exploring!

Lucky

Make a Mischievous Leprechaun on a Shelf with Lucky Charms Cereal

LuckyForget Elf on a Shelf. Leprechauns are the original mischievous pranksters. Take Lucky—when he’s not cobbling shoes or hiding gold treasure, you can bet he’s out there playing tricks on unsuspecting citizens. One year, he turned most everything in our family room upside down. We knew it had to be him because the inside of our toilet bowls were suspiciously bright green!

Treasure

Marshmallow charms and other treasure.

While his presence can be annoying, it does have its advantages. You see, Lucky never hides his entire treasure at the end of a rainbow. He always reserves a few gold coins and some Lucky Charms to hide for the kids. I think he does this to mess with the Easter Bunny, but that’s just my theory.

Lucky can stop by your house this year, too! Just grab some Lucky Charms and carefully cut him out of the box. I made a stand for mine by decorating a cardboard toilet paper tube and taping him to the inside edge.

Pick out some of the marshmallow charms (they’re magically delicious!) and make some little treasure bags to hide on St. Patrick’s Day before Lucky’s grand appearance. Sure, the kids will notice that he’s missing from the box long before then, but that will just add to the suspense.

Where did he go?

Where did he go?

For wee little ones, try leaving some rainbow streamers or a trail of clover confetti leading to your treasures to make them easier to find. Remember, you don’t have to make a daily commitment with this like you do Elf on a Shelf, though you certainly could if you’re into that. The investment is basically nil, especially if anyone in your family enjoys eating Lucky Charms! Lucky 2If Lucky visits your home, please send some photos my way so I can post them here!

Hear Me Say Words on the Cool Tools Podcast

The latest Cool Tools podcast has just been released, and I am extremely humbled and honored to be the featured guest. It was so exciting to speak about several of my favorite and most fun tools with hosts Kevin Kelly and Mark Frauenfelder. We discussed juggling balls, kite winders, a caricature drawing guide, and more!

The podcast is part of the fantastic Cool Tools web site, which features a uniquely wonderful tool each weekday. I love how the site focuses on user-generated reviews of tried and tested tools that people are passionate about.

In late 2013, Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities, was announced. It’s a mammoth paperback companion book to Cool Tools, featuring 10 years of reviews featured on the site. Unable to ignore my enthusiasm about the upcoming book, my wife immediately pre-ordered it for me as a gift, and I’ve been happily perusing its giant pages ever since.

Cool Tools

You can download the latest Cool Tools podcast to your device via iTunes, or listen directly from the Cool Tools website.