Production begins but is the paint safe?

Posted by Ryans Dad on 4th October 2009

Ryan sanding blocksSo now that Ryan has some orders in the till, it is time to begin some production. I did my part to help by going back to the old circular saw and cutting the blocks for him. From there it was teamwork starting with some sanding.

Attentive to details, Ryan noticed right away that the cut edges of these blocks were not going to be acceptable at all. They didn’t look good with tiny splinters hanging off of them and more importantly, those splinters would be dangerous for little hands. So with a couple of sanding blocks as our weapons, we went to work smoothing down those edges so there would be no worries of hurting little fingers.

With the subject of safety on his mind Ryan popped out with what I thought was an incredibly insightful question, “What about the paint Daddy? Does it have any of that lead in it?”

Ryan painting blocksExcellent question! So we inspected the cans of paint for an answer but the answer wasn’t there. I suppose by now it is just a foregone conclusion that paint no longer contains lead but when you are planning a product for toddlers or even babies you have got to be sure. Not finding any answers on the paint cans themselves Ryans next suggestion was, “Maybe the internet can tell us!” He loves Google searches.

So we tried the internet and went right to the source, the manufacturers Web site. In spite of finding some very detailed product safety documents there, I was surprised to find that again there was actually no mention of lead at all. Again, maybe this is such an old safety concern that it is assumed at this point. What their Web site did offer however was a contact form where I was able to ask our specific question. Now we’ll just wait a day or two to get their response. [We did hear back a few days later and learned that the paint was entirely safe from any concerns of lead]

I am impressed at Ryan’s attention to various safety concerns. Again, not what I might expect from a six year old. With those questions resolved, production moves on!

Categories: Easy Builders
4Oct

Let’s make more building blocks and make it a business!

Posted by Ryans Dad on 27th September 2009

After seeing how much his brother Collin was enjoying the wood blocks he had given him, Ryan decided that lots of kids would have fun playing with these blocks. Plus, we still have some more of that scrap wood in the garage. So…

Collin enjoying the blocks Ryan gave him.

Collin enjoying the blocks Ryan gave him.

What started as a present for his brother has now become a project for more kids. Over the course of maybe 24 hours Ryan decided that it would be fun to make more sets of blocks for other kids. Along with that he has decided he wants to sell them and start a business.

I honestly believe that his motivation for creating a business for himself isn’t really tied to making money. He has said more than once that the best part of this will be helping other kids have fun. He’s excited about making these blocks and seeing others play with them and have fun.

I think his interest in creating a business for himself stems from an experience from earlier this summer where he and Collin set up a lemonade stand at our house. They had a great time with that. We made and posted signs, set up the lemonade stand and took good care of customers. I think he really enjoyed that and sees this as another chance to have that kind of fun.

When new ideas such as this come flowing from either of our boys I try very hard to keep an open mind. Is this idea in any way unreasonable or even dangerous? If not, can we actually make it happen and could we learn from it? This one seems manageable, could be fun and could be a learning experience. So why not?

So with an affirmative response from Dad, Ryan could not get me to cut more wood blocks fast enough! Looks like it is back to the circular saw for me.

Categories: Easy Builders
27Sep