Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Toy for the Scientist

Brian was absolutely no help in offering up his wish list for Christmas this year so I decided to peruse our local upscale toy store for a creative gift of some sort. I remember reading about Buckyballs on C. Jane's blog so they were on my radar of possibilities. I found Nano dots instead. (I wonder which brand is the original.) They were pricey, but I had to get SOMETHING fun for Brian to accompany the boring shirts and ties I had already purchased.

Source
Ironically, they were the very last present we opened at our house on Christmas day. They had fallen beneath a chair almost lost and forgotten. Brian opened them in the usual cheerful and grateful manner, but I sensed a bit of indifference.

The kids were the ones who found them the most entertaining over the next few weeks. I left them out on our kitchen counter to encourage creativity and to deter the kids from their usual down time activities of TV and computer games. I had a bit of success.

Among other things, Abby made a mouse


and Travis made an elephant.


One evening last week I forced the Nano dots into my husband's hands and told him to "play" while I finished up dinner.

Suddenly, his indifference turned to curiosity and amazement.

"This is really interesting!"

"The minimization of energy is so different than what I expected."

"No wonder the lattices have dislocations."

HUH?

On and on it went. I laughed at him and then wrote it all down. He was hooked. A successful gift--appreciated a few weeks late, but appreciated none the less.

I love that scientist of mine.


16 comments:

Ginger said...

Those look so neat! I love those kinds of "toys". I'm always fascinated by all the different things you can do with that sort of thing. One of my favorites is still the metal balls that hang down from a bar and act like a pendulum when the ball crashes down it causes the ball on the other end to move upwards... anyway. You know what I mean... I hope?!

I love the pic of your hubby with your cat. It's a great shot!

Rachel said...

hehehe!

Marvett Smith said...

Looks so interesting!

Sue said...

My son loved his Buckyballs that I gave him last Christmas.

=)

Natalie said...

love those things. Except I spend ages trying to build a perfect box which is much harder than it seems. No scientific brain here :)

JennyLynn said...

I have not heard of these. They look interesting.

Laura said...

He is a very cute geek or is it dork? I am never sure which one...but adorable nonetheless!

Wendys Hat said...

I saw those at Macy's while shopping for Christmas. Now I want some!

Mom to Many said...

Cool toy!

Joy For Your Journey said...

I have never even heard of them, but I wish I had read about this before our Christmas. My husband didn't really get anything very exciting this year.

Julie Boerio-Goates said...

Brian will probably turn it into a research problem, or a homework or quiz question for one of his classes. I'm going to look for these for Steve.

Life is good! said...

i love the mouse and elephant. we have some and i only can make a bracelet and other lame stuff. i'm gonna try to build a zoo of animals with them. i'll let you know how it goes! by the way i love those magnets!

J. said...

That is an awesome gift. I'll have to check that out. I think my son would love it.

Kristin said...

Heeheehee - don't know what it is about magnets that makes them so "magnetic"! My grown up kids just love them, two of them got similar magnetic games this Christmas also! I'm amazed at the doodles they keep coming up with them!

Kristin

Sunshine for your Soul said...

lol. that is so cute. as i was reading what he said, i was a bit confused too!
they look like a ton of fun though!

Julie said...

Julie, he actually HAS been thinking of just such a homework problem!