Category Archives: Star Wars

Days 21 & 22: Drawing Peanuts & Go-Fish

Operation Play is still in motion!  I make this announcement because I’ve fallen behind a couple days on the updates.

Wednesday night was football and gymnastics-free for the first time in many months.  We all watched the Snoopy Valentine’s special we keep on our DVR, and this prompted the play of the day.  J wanted to draw Peanuts characters.  We paused certain frames to get the characters we wanted in a clear shot, then armed with our pencils, copied away.  J drew a very detailed scene of Charlie Brown and Linus talking near a mailbox with houses in the background.  He also drew Snoopy winding up a phonograph and Schroeder playing his piano.  J is the fastest draw in the west, so to his three I drew one:  a made-up scene with Linus, Charlie Brown, and Snoopy on a ladder.

Last night was especially fun in my opinion.  We played Go-Fish! I had never played with a standard deck of cards before (only played with kid’s fishy cards), so I quickly googled some directions.  And unlike other play times this month, I set some motherly boundaries instead of letting him take the lead: I had him learn to hold his cards properly.  I also told him to refer to “Jacks, Queens, Kings & Aces” as such, and not “J’s, Q’s, K’s, & A’s.”  I said, “It is tricky at first, because all things are, but I’m a great person to practice with because I won’t cheat–I’m your mom.  And I’m not a cowboy, so I don’t have a gun.”

(J’s Dad has a story of playing cards with his tough rancher grandpa growing up, and as he touched Grandpa’s cards the old cowboy snapped, “If this was the Old West, I’d have shot ya.” )

We had a great time.  But I can see what you’re thinking.  “No Star Wars?”  Don’t jump to conclusions.  We used this deck of cards:

FYI: We played the Villains deckDay 21 Stats: Drawing Peanuts characters, 20 minutes, H asleep, Aunt with E, a refreshing change of focus from Star Wars for Mom

Day 22 Stats: Go-Fish, 45 minutes, played “the real way,” girls asleep, teaching moment received well, awesome Star Wars cards


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Day 19: Lego’s

Yesterday, as usual, we had limited time.  I let J stay up a little past bedtime so we could get in our full 20 minutes.  He had no hesitation in choosing Lego’s, so into his room we went and I was lost at sea.  I am clueless about how to play Lego’s, even though we have done so more than once in this project.  He had his Millenium Falcon, a Ty-Fighter, and a bunch of Lego Star Wars guys.  I mindlessly connected some of the guys to the wings of the Ty-Fighter and then knocked them off with a small marble that was sitting nearby.  Within moments, it became a game.  J assigned points to each guy; higher points for guys who were more difficult to knock down.  Then we took turns and tallied the points.  We played for three rounds.

I think J is pretty smart kid.  And what a turn of events for me: I begin doing something because I’m a fish out of water (mindlessly knocking down Lego guys) and he turns it into something mindful.

Day 19 Stats: Lego guy marble game, 20 minutes, girls asleep, Mom’s lackadaisical play turns on J’s attentiveness

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Day 13: Star Wars Guys

Return of the JediAre you seeing a theme?  Yes, J was bitten by the Galactic bug when he was but a youngling of two.   Here we are six years later, and nothing has changed but his understanding of the episodes.  Tonight he announced that only fans of Return of the Jedi could play and that we would each choose one guy from that film and create a new adventure for him or her.  Then we would switch.  Halfway through he decided to ask me comprehension questions about the adventure he played out for me.  I had to do the same.

J’s main character was Ephant Mon, who joined the rebels in creating a 3rd rebel base on the planet of Dagobah.  I missed one of his follow-up questions, even though it was multiple choice.  When it was my turn to create an adventure, I centered around Princess Leia as she discovered that she, too, has some Jedi tendencies.  It took place back in Endor with the Ewoks on their one year anniversary of defeating the Empire in Return of the Jedi.  Luke decided that Leia would become his padawan and that he should teach her the ways of the force as Obi-Wan did for him.

(I could stop there and let you remain amazed at my vast knowledge of Star Wars, but I’m a terrible liar.  The part I left out is that Leia discovered her Jedi tendencies by realizing she can turn on her coffee pot in the morning via Force.  Let there be no mistake: it was still Mom playing Star Wars.)

It was fun.  It was especially endearing, I thought, that J insisted we ask each other those follow-up questions.  He wants to be a teacher when he grows up, and moments like that make me see why!

Day 13 Stats: Star Wars guys, 20 minutes, H asleep, Dad with E, comprehension questions


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Day 12: A Couple of Ugly Ugnaughts

Today is Columbus Day which allowed playtime during the girls’ naps.  He wanted me to give him some tips on drawing and he decided we would each draw an ugnaught.  (Don’t feel badly if you don’t know what that is.  I have learned a lot from this Star Wars kid and his dad.  Click here to find out.)  I gave him a few simple tips (perspective, not centering the ugnaught, etc.)–and voila!  I present our ugnaughts:

J's ugnaught

Mom's ugnaught

As you can see, J’s creature is amidst his creature comforts: a factory in Cloud City.  Mom’s ugnaught is caught in some surreal environment, since Mom had no idea where an ugnaught ought to be and drew “stream of consciousness” style. 

 It still seems that I’m getting off easy, here.  I already like to draw and color.  But I swear I did not influence his decision!  I suppose the fact remains that J likes to draw, too.  And I suppose, had it not been for Operation Play, I would never have drawn an ugnaught.

Day 12 Stats: Drawing Ugnaughts, 35 minutes, girls napping on Columbus Day

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Day 8: Mad Science & Lego’s

Chick-fil-A gives out the best kid toys.  Recently we received an evaporating dish with a small booklet of corresponding experiments.  Last night we only had the supplies for one, and I will gladly share it:

4 Tbls whole milk in a dish and let sit for 10 minutes

add 5 or 6 drops of food coloring in 3-4 different colors

add one drop of dish soap to the center

See what happens!

Unfortunately for us, that wasn’t much.  We used skim instead of whole, and it seems the fats play a key role.  This experiment didn’t take much time, so we also played Lego’s in J’s room.  That child can take a mess of assorted Lego pieces and build a miniature Gungan sub.  I take a mess of assorted Lego pieces and make a connected mess of assorted Lego pieces.  It is fascinating for me to get a glimpse into J’s brain simply by playing with him.

I am so glad I decided to do this project.

Day 8 Stats: Science and Lego’s, 20 minutes, girls asleep, a budding engineer, a hopeless abstract artist.

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Day 7: Star Wars Mad-Libs

I will have all of you know that even though I am posting Day 7 on the 8th of October, I did not miss playtime.  I was pulled away from blogging by other, more pressing matters.  (I was watching Twilight.)

Before those pressing matters came into play, the play of the day was Star Wars Mad-Libs.  J’s aunt was also in on the fun, and the girls were already asleep.  We did four or five pages and I was laughing so hard I was unable to read coherently.  Confession: I allow potty words such as “butt.”  I’ve learned that you never outgrow the inability to stifle giggles at butt and poop jokes.  (Do you doubt me?  Just try not laughing at this.)  We had a hard time calming the laughter down before bedtime, but it was certainly worth it.

And if you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and stock up on a Mad-Libs book or two.

Day 7 stats: Star Wars Mad-Libs, 20 minutes, girls asleep, J’s aunt, laughter at potty jokes

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