Joey Jump!

I used to go outside an see children taking our long handle shovels, lay them on the ground, put a ball in the handle, run to the other side of the shovel and stomp on it as hard as they could. The ball would go flying over their heads and they would laugh hysterically! I would turn to the teachers and suggest that someone should get a dad to cut some 2x4 boards into 2 foot long planks and screw a fat dowel of somesort into the bottom of it. They should even put them at different distances from the middle. Then the children could stomp on those...instead of the shovels which will eventually break from this kind of use. I really wasn't upset that the children were using the shovels, they had a need to explore these types of force and reactions and all that science stuff. However, after suggesting this for about 6 months, I was looking through the kaplan catalog and came across this. I don't know why they call it a Joey Jump, but I am thrilled they have it. I bought 2! They were deliverd less than 2 weeks ago, and it is probably the best thing I ever bought. It comes with 2 bean bags, which is great. The children have stomped on it, I can't tell you how many times. I introduced it early in the morning when there were only 3 children around because I knew it would be a popular item. I figured that if I introduced it that early, the ones who were there would be done enough with it that they would let others play with it; and as children trickled in the same thing would happen. Best plan I ever had! It worked exactly as planned, the two boys who were there when I introduced it played with it for a while, then went and found something else to play. When some more children came, they actually stopped what they were doing, excitedly showed the arriving children this awesome new toy, and went back to their other activities. And so it went the rest of the morning until breakfast.
Of course, after the first day came the real fun! You could see the exploring going on with these toys; you could almost hear the thinking: what if I put both of them next to each other and jump on them at the same time? What if I put two bean bags stacked on the end? What if I line up the bean bags all the way across the board? How about a ball? Lets stomp on it together! Who's can go farther?...and on and on!
This hasn't ended their play with force at all, it has only expanded it! Now maybe the teachers will see the importance of this play and get some parents to make some more of these!

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