Queen Marie was over for the weekend (a special treat), and had brought her new puppy! I had every intention of going into the woods to cut my own tree, but time was short. We decided to purchase one instead, and use that half-day for many other things we wanted to do.
Each of the kids got their tub of ornaments, and we enjoyed decorating it together, while listening to Christmas music. Queen Marie was itching to play some board games, too, so we made sure to take care of that. She also needed some driving practice, so we went for a spin in my car without incident.
Every season, local groups do fund raisers, and this year’s landed us with a nice wreath, and an apple pie. The wreath is certainly providing a greater duration of enjoyment. We took the kids to an old-fashioned community dance, as they were unable to make one last year. While they enjoyed it, it helped us realize which social skills the kids are proficient in, and which need more focus.
As the schools let out for “Winter Break” things really kicked into high gear. I usually work through the break, but this year I took a couple days to be with the kids. One goal I had for that time was building a “kick sled.”
Last year I saw one at the parade, and kids were having a blast with it. To describe it, I’d say it’s a dog-sled made for people only. One pushes & rides, while the other sits on the front. I was eager to get one, but the kits were $200-$300 to start! Instead of purchasing one, I picked up a pair of old skis from the thrift store for $2, and raided my shop for lumber.
The bindings seemed difficult to remove, so I took another blogger’s approach, and just built blocks of wood to secure like boots. Across this I attached a 2×8 to reinforce, and act as a step to stand on. Looking back, this was too low, as it drags in deep snow.
I chose to make it 24” wide, because it allows my big feet to job between the skis, it’s easy on measurements, and less likely to tip. The wider stance, and the wide skis led to it not turning very easily. I built most all the rest out of 2 by 4’s I had laying around. Most were just measured as I went. Fourty inches tall (it seemed) was a good height for both kids or adults to push it.
On the two supports going forward, I drilled and attached 2 screws on each side. The trick here, is to counter-sink the holes, so the screw heads don’t stick out. I also needed a way for the kids to stop this thing, as it was likely to actually work. For this, I cut a piece of old tire, and ran a bunch of screws through it. It digs in real well, even when a light kid steps on it.
The seat was easily created from a piece of plywood, and attached at whatever height looked good. An extra 2×4 here and there made it much more stout. We had to wait a couple days for some more snow, but it’s working. A few more tweaks are needed.
If you’re considering such a project, just go for it. We spent 30 minutes here & there (because it’s too cold in the shop) and knocked it out in just a few sessions.