For this week's assignment I was given one of my chosen sub-themes; Snow Games. I was really excited about this topic considering playing in the snow was my absolute favorite thing to do as a kid. I grew up in Minnesota and every year the first snow fall always had me wishing the snow was in ripe condition for the very best snow games.
When observing and interviewing, I wanted to make sure that I got some input from different age groups to really consider how each person would like "snow game products" to be made.
For my first observation I knew I wanted to talk to my neighborhood kids. There are two little boys that live next door to me and I have chatted with them outside many times before. They are two very interesting and creative young men. When I came outside to visit and brought up the word snow, both of their eyes lit up and they immediately started talking about their plans for when the snow falls. I then asked them what their favorite things to do in the snow were and they both answered, snowball fights of course.
When asked about snowball fights in general, they told me that they sometimes have to bring out some water to mix in with the snow to make a perfect snowball. When I asked why this was, they seemed a little confused at the question, and they just explained that the snow sometimes just doesn't stick together.
The older sibling mentioned that he thought it would be much cooler if he had a gun type toy to shoot the snowballs instead of having to use his arm all the time since it's difficult to throw with all your strength with layers of warm clothing on. They were so excited I also somewhat heard them mention something about carrying the snowballs in their jacket pockets and running back to their safe spot to reload.
The boys also told me that they always build a fort out of the giant snow pile along the driveway that their Dad makes with the snow blower. The younger of the two boys told me it's easy to dig a hole in an already built snow mountain, but it get's destroyed pretty easily.
Overall, my observation of the playful conversation between these two neighbor brothers was so intriguing. They opened my eyes to so many opportunities for new ways to play in the snow. I consider young kids to be experts in snow games since they are the ones engaging in that kind of play most often today.
The two boys need a way to safely build their snowballs, carry them while in combat, and easily be able to launch them at a quick speed!
The second person I interviewed is a Fisheries and Wildlife Major at the U of M and she happens to be a snow lover as well. I asked her to take me back to her snow playing days and she gave me a lot of feedback. She told me that she and her Dad would build the biggest snow fort in their front yard, in fact about 7 feet fall. She said it was a lot easier getting help from her Dad and when it was finished she could fit all her friends inside of it with her. She also mentioned that she would build small chairs and table surfaces made of snow on the inside of her fort as furniture.
This U of M student needs a way to easily build a large fort (without the help of her dad) and a tool to help quickly build snow seating for all her friends!
The last person I spoke to about Winter games was family of a friend, a women living and working in Minneapolis. She told me she loves the city and everything that has to do with it, including winter especially since she doesn't have to drive in it to go to work. On the topic of snow games, the woman laughed and told me she used to love to have snow ball fights with all of her friends but sometimes she remembered the snowballs were icy and a little bit dangerous, especially hits to the face which she mentioned always ended the fun. She also told me she remembered these plastic rectangle cut outs to make blocks out of snow she would use for fort building and chair building. She told me those would come in handy to make a seat sometimes when waiting for the buses in Minneapolis come winter time, sacrificing of course a warm butt.
She needs a way to transport a tool to build snow seats on the go as well, and would also love some kind of protection from dangerous icy snowballs.
Since I can't technically observe snow games at the moment (no snow on the ground, sadly) I wanted to get myself in the mood so I looked up some videos of Snow fort making, and massive snow ball fights. This one for example was pretty fun to watch
and this one too:
My bug list I know will keep growing, but so far I've just noticed every day things that are just too complicated. There are so many simple solutions that I wish I had the opportunity to change so I documented these. 1. I was sitting in a car and was told there was a USB connector to play music, however I looked and looked and could not find it. I finally had to look in the manual and found that the connection was located inside of the glove box! 2. Kota has a treat that keeps treats inside and he's is supposed to be able to get them out eventually, however. not even I can get them out.... 3. I'm so tired of having to wrap up my power cords all the time and I wish they had a button to wind each side up just like on some vacuums. 4. Sometimes I fry things in a pan and when I'm done using the oil, I have to dispose of it in a can to throw away, however it is incredibly difficult to pour out of a regular skillet, and I wish it had pouring spout. 5. I like the sensor paper towel dispensers in bathrooms however it only dispenses a small portion and then you must wait a little bit to be able to get a new one... 6. I absolutely hate it when the shower curtain blows back at you when taking a shower and I wish there were an easier way to keep it where it is.