Wow, these are amazing and fun stories. I'm going to have fun going back and reading them all.

DD7 gifts seem to be in language arts, but this one always impressed me and had more of a "wow" factor to me than anything related to language.

At age 5 she disappeared into her room for a longer time than usual and emerged with a complete working, two-player foosball game--you know, the one with the soccer players on a crossbar--made from cardboard, paper, tape, pens, toilet paper rolls and sticks (literally, twigs).

Apparently her inspiration came from being at her friends house where they have a real foosball table.

Fragile though it was (it only had two players on the field as well), it totally worked and was actually fun to play. Besides the obvious design and materials challenges, she figured out the feet (toilet paper rolls cut up) were needed on it for stability and also to allow the goals to be cut out and inset so the ball stayed in the goal when scored.

I think part of the wow factor to me was realizing had I the same time and materials I don't think I could have done as well.