If You Show a Child a Homemade Hovercraft

If You Show a Child a Homemade Hovercraft – Submitted by Kelly Muzzin of Manassas


Finished Hovercraft


If you show a child a homemade hovercraft, she’s going to want to make one herself.

She’s going to need the balloon pump, which she didn’t put away the last time she used it. She’ll ask you to help look for it.


After 30 minutes of digging through cupboards you forgot you had, you’ll finally remember that it was last seen in the big craft basket. The child will play with her hovercraft in the bathroom sink while you forget why you got the basket out and instead sort all the craft stuff.


In the craft basket, you’ll find a metal straw, an empty tape dispenser, three reams of random paper, two dozen projects in various stages of completion, but no balloon pump. But that’s ok, because after the hovercraft performs spectacularly poorly in its maiden voyage in the sink, the child will remember that the pump is probably with the pool toys.


You’ll tell her to check the shelf in the garage, and she will proclaim you a genius. You’ll bask in the glow of appreciation, but not for long, because the pump is not on the shelf. The child, however, will see the bicycle pump and bring that in as an acceptable substitute. 


The bicycle pump will be used to inflate many balloons, which are now being used to create animals instead of to power hovercrafts. At this point, the other child will come in and find the metal straw. He will use it and the air-filled balloons to propel random tiny objects around the room. The first child will approve heartily and suggest using broken glass next.


You will disagree and distract the child by sending her downstairs to get more balloons. She will come back with a large container of corn kernels. These will be used to see what happens when you put corn in a full balloon and then let go. The dogs will approve heartily.


As you note the unlikely path this morning’s creativity has followed, you will get the very original idea to turn it all into a “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” story. You will decide to make a hyperlink to a YouTube video so that your readers can see the hovercraft.

The second child will wonder what you’re doing, and join you to watch the video of the homemade hovercraft. So he’s going to want to make one for himself.


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