Here's what happens...

...when you give your children liberty with the manipulatives:

I asked him to clean up the room. Instead, he noticed the nesting blocks, the base ten blocks and the alphabet blocks begging to be used in heretofore unimagined ways.


And he got carried away with the challenge of mixing several different types to do something entirely unintended, particularly when encouraged by a younger sibling up way past her bedtime.

Soon, he climbed on the furniture and used the ceiling for balance because this is a child who loves, loves, loves a challenge.

I finally shooed them off to bed. The next morning, Nicholas, who had slept through it all, was totally enchanted. He woke Paddy and begged him to tweak it just a little more.

The final tower was over seven feet tall. I ushered them all out of the room, downloaded another Christopherus audio inspiration , and cleaned the room myself, moving carefully around the tower all the while.