20 – Squash Pennies on a Railroad Track

50 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do

Sometimes the ‘Dangerous Things’ that we document are things that are already in the repertoire of things we play with or things that I don’t consider all that ‘dangerous’. This was not one of those things.

How were we going to squash pennies on the railroad tracks?

First, Gavin looked up the train schedule near us. We could not recall if the track on the side of the road closest to the parking lot we were thinking of using was the westbound or eastbound train. We went armed with times for the trains that went in both directions.

It’s not everyday that you wrack your brain in an attempt to find a parking lot in which to do an activity that has the least probability of drawing attention to yourself as you attempt a covert activity! But we liked it 🙂

This was an excellent time to discuss safety around trains and tracks. Some people might think that exposing kids to this type of activity would make them more inclined to do something like this on their own. I believe the opposite to be completely true. My kids are aware that we, as parents, are willing to entertain requests from them however crazy they might seem. They have asked permission to run up the escalators in the mall, melt stuff in the microwave and set certain items on fire – we have said yes to some and explained why others are not good ideas and the repercussions. I believe that participating in these activities has given them more latitude to explore with supervision.

After much discussion, we took on the challenge of taping the coins to the tracks. The coins were pre-taped to make the placing of them quicker and easier. We missed the first train and had to drive around and find another spot to access the tracks. Once we found our spot – we completed our mission.

094 095 096 097We decided to go down the hill to a spot where even if the coins became projectiles, we could not get hurt. We watched the train that was squashing our pennies pass.

098 099The kids collected the coins – that they could find – and the ones that were not fused to the tracks. We had cool little souvenirs of our secret mission.

100 101 102 103This was a fun and exciting ‘Dangerous Thing’.

Dangerous? I’d have to say yes. You have to know your kids, and I know mine had this under control. They followed every direction and listened carefully to every concern I had. This ‘thing’ has an element of dangerous, handled with caution.