We had a good wind blow through town earlier in the week, leaving our yard full of twigs and branches from our tree. I gathered them up, setting aside a pile I thought might come in handy for a fall craft project or two.
Then, I happened to spot a demo version of Melissa and Doug's Suspend, set up in a local toy store.
It's on my Christmas list now, but in the meantime, I thought we could probably come pretty close to the same concept with our pile of twigs. When we got home from the store, I drug C (age 9) out into the backyard, stuck one of the branchier twigs into the dirt...
...and challenged her to a game of "Balance the Twigs".
We each took turns choosing one twig at a time from the pile, and placing it into the branches of the larger twig, so that it would balance...
...not touching the ground, knocking any other twigs from the "tree", or causing the entire bunch to topple over.
It took quite a bit of concentration, and really stretched our sense of spacial awareness. The twigs, unlike the manufactured game pieces, are oddly shaped and weighted, adding an element of difficulty. Of course, with the store bought game, you probably don't have to watch out for spiders in the pile of playing pieces - so it's a give and take.