So I’m not a crafty person at all. If I make things, I’m following someone else’s brilliant idea but always to the letter because I’m completely clueless when it comes to this kind of thing. If it looks complicated or involves lots of “stuff”, I’m out. But when Sara from Where Is My Mind? shared a very cool picture of a tin foil river from Pinterest, I knew I just had to try it because it looked like some serious craic.
The bank holiday weekend and some glorious sunshine seemed like the perfect time to give it a try. I was looking forward to spending a few hours in the back garden with the small boy playing with our tin foil river. The good news is this definitely happened. The bad news is it wasn’t due to the awesome, supercool, “my mam’s the best”, most incredible tin foil river ever that I was convinced I was going to make. It’s tin foil. Piece of piss, right?
I made some pretty bleedin obvious mistakes that I will share with you here. You’ll read them and face palm on my behalf. I’ll also include some handy bleedin obvious tips for when you make your own tin foil river. Are you ready?
- We live in Ireland. Apparently people on Pinterest live in some fantasy, perpetually sunny land without even a puff of wind. The tin foil river blew away, many times. This in itself was not without its own level of entertainment because we laughed our holes off as we chased the flippin thing around the garden and then had to weigh it down with stones. Have weights ready.
- Tin foil rips really easily. You can’t make a tin foil river by putting some folds in a sheet of tinfoil and bend them at a 90 degree angle at the sides and think voila! This is foolish.
- You can’t use a bunch of different sheets of tinfoil and try and attach the ends of them together to make it longer. Water is smart. It just leaks out the joins. Just tin foil. No river.
- Test your hose pressure before you direct the hose at your river. Don’t be surprised if you flatten it back into a sheet of tinfoil when the power of the water hits the foil and you just create a large puddle.
- Use as long a length of tin foil as you can with no breaks. It’s really hard to seal it up. The water just flows out of it and then your children (or child in my case) starts crying because their trousers are wet.
- There is no environmentally-friendly way to make a tin foil river. Just admit to yourself that you need literally loads of the stuff and get over it.
- You really need to layer the long sheets of tinfoil on top of each other. We had one crappy sheet at the bottom so as soon as the small boy dragged anything along the bottom of the river it ripped. A few layers squished together will probably solve this. Or maybe not, I’ll let you know when I attempt my second prototype.
- If you plan on using your 30m roll of tin foil to wrap around food after this exercise, don’t leave it sitting near a pile of ants. Or to put it another way, if you leave your roll of tin foil sitting in a pile of ants, you probably don’t want it to touch any food in the near future. Or at all.
- Buy the cheap stuff.
Don’t let my feck ups put you off making this. Even though it was mostly a disaster, we still had a huge amount of fun preparing it and got a good two hours play out of it. It really has huge potential for a day in the garden, particularly if you have small cheapo boats or other things that you could float in it. Incidentally, I thought a packet of these would be easy to come by but I tried a bunch of different shops and sales assistants looked at me like I had two heads. I definitely remember little packets of small boats, like plastic soldiers when I was a kid. Anyone else or did I completely make it up?
Despite my Pinterest fail, there will be definitely be a tinfoil river #2 and maybe even #3! There’s too much craic potential in it to give up now. Although, may I direct you to At The Clothesline’s Pinterest Makes Me Feel Like a Shit Parent post which is how I feel about it right now. Eff you Pinterest, you make things look too easy. Who’d have thought it would be easy to make a balls of a roll of tin foil?
I’ve added this post to Play At Home Teacher’s very first #playdaymayday linky. Head on over there to check out other Pinterest Fails 😉