Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Build an Igloo!

 I'm so proud of these boys!  They worked hard for about four hours yesterday, until they had constructed a beautiful igloo.  My son is exhausted today!!!!!

The first thing my son did was draw out the shape and size of the igloo with his feet.  We brought plastic toy boxes, which the boys filled and refilled to make snow bricks.

 The snow was just right yesterday, not too powdery.  The bricks were pretty strong.  They laid them the way a brickmason lays bricks, with each brick covering the gap between two bricks from the row below.  That makes a stronger wall, as any child who plays with lego knows!

 We ate lunch and had hot chocolate in the half-finished igloo.  For most of the time, I read a book in the sunshine, but they asked me to excavate the interior at some point.  That was a good idea!

 In this picture my son is showing me how they solved the problem of how to build bricks across the entrance.  Later, when the wall above was strong, and the boys and I had carved an arch over the door, (an arch is stronger than a flat ceiling, think about bridge construction,) they removed the column.

 Their persistence was incredible!

 Towards the end the boys got very, very tired.  The sun had been out and the snow was getting incredibly heavy.  I helped them with making the last bricks and doing a lot of the lifting.  I'm still tired!  How did they do that for four hours?

 After the igloo was finished, they dumped snow on their heads for the final picture.

 Then they had a snack inside.  They are laughing and joking as they divide up a bag of gummy bears.  They thought about six children could fit inside.  I could sit up inside with 2 or more feet above my head.

 Before we left, some adults came to take pictures of their children peeking out of the door.  Other adults came to shake their heads in amazement and ask the boys how they built it.  We wished the igloo were somewhere we could visit every day.  (It is at a ski resort twenty minutes from our town.)  It was hard to leave, and we might have stayed a little too long.  I had to blast the heat in the car to warm the boys up, and I got a hot drink for our friend, who was wet and chilled.

How long will it last?  Will visitors try to keep it intact?  Will it freeze hard and last until the spring thaw?  I hope so!

Franciful Arts sent a great link on how the Inuit build an igloo.  The little movie was made in 1949, and is fascinating.  The narrator calls the Inuit "eskimos," as we used to when we were little, but this is considered offensive by some, because it may be a denigrating name given by foreigners, and may mean "eaters of raw meat."  Inuit is the name the people have for themselves.  It means "the human beings."


Thank you, Franciful Arts!  We'll try it this way next time!


Unknown said...

Thank you, Beth for sharing this experience with us!! You and the boys are amazing, they wouldn't make it there without your support!

Sandy said...

this is awesome. Well done for the engineering feat on the doorway.
Sandy in the UK

wildcraft diva said...

Wow! well done all! I remember my kids trying a similar endeavour (ages ago), but they only got halfway....lovely to see a finished one. Just found you by chance web wandering. Now following you.

Appleshoe said...

Oh I love this post. Such fond winter memories, though our snow forts were never half as impressive. Congratulations to them on a job well done :)

Fiona said...

It's a great igloo.
And I imagine it will stay where it is until the thaw - most people here are pretty respectful like that.
I hope you get to revisit it soon.

Anonymous said...

Wow! That is absolutely incredible! Thanks for sharing the process.

Anonymous said...

Loved this post and the snowshoeing post! I lived in the mountains for 17 years and now I'm on the coast. I really miss the snowy winters! I've made some pretty creative snow figures but never an igloo. That must have been so much for you and the boys! Next time I get to the snow...I'd love to try it!
Here's a link to a wonderful video that shows how the Innuit construct igloos.


Beth said...

Thanks, Indri, I was amazed at how the boys kept at it even after they got tired. They had to see it finished. Beth

Beth said...

Thanks Sandy, Wildcraft Diva, and Appleshoe! I have also tried to make igloos, once with my brother and sister, and once with the two older children. This one is the best by far. Beth

Beth said...

Fiona, I'll bet you are right! I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It would be so fun to be able to go back and visit and play in it. Beth

Beth said...

Franciful Arts, I can't wait to see the inuit way with my child later. Thanks!!!! Beth

Beth said...

Thank you, readingwithrhythm! Beth

Twisted Cinderella said...

What a wonderful fun experience! Very cool!