Have a water sponge ball fight and learn about Eagle County's first schools: Kids Corner for the week of 8/3/20 | VailDaily.com

Have a water sponge ball fight and learn about Eagle County’s first schools: Kids Corner for the week of 8/3/20

Editor’s note: The Vail Daily’s weekly kids section is chock full of activities and fun to keep the young and the young at heart entertained during the pandemic. If you have an idea for the section or would like to get involved, email Entertainment Editor Casey Russell at crussell@vaildaily.com.

Craft of the Week

Sponge Balls

Illustration by Casey Russell

You will need: Different color plain sponges per ball (don’t buy ones with scrubber sides), scissors, rubber bands, a bucket of water.

Directions: Cut each sponge lengthwise into thin strips: with standard size sponges, you should be able to get six strips from each. Lay down six strips, alternating colors, in columns so that it looks about the same shape as an intact sponge. Stack the remaining six strips on top of those, alternating colors in the opposite order from the first layer so that the sides look like a checkerboard. Tie the rubber band tightly around the middle of the strips so that when it fans out, it turns into a ball. Dunk the sponge ball into the bucket of water and have a sponge ball fight.

Riddle me this

Test your wits and smarts with these riddles. Click or hover over the black boxes to reveal the answer.


Riddle: I am weightless, but you can see me. If you put me in a barrel, I will make it lighter. What am I?

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A hole.

Riddle: I am so simple, that I can only point. Yet I guide men all over the world. What am I?

A compass.

Riddle: George walked for thirty minutes in the pouring rain without getting a single hair on his head wet. He didn’t have a hat or an umbrella and his coat had no hood. How did he do that?

George is bald.


Riddle: Take one out and scratch my head. I am now black but once was red. What am I?

A match.

Riddle: Lovely and round, I shine with pale light, grown in the darkness, a lady’s delight. What am I?

A pearl.

Riddle: Pronounced as one letter, and written with three, two letters there are, and two only in me. I’m double, I’m single, I’m black blue and grey, I’m read from both ends, and the same either way.


Word of the Week

Learn new words in English and Spanish each week.

roller coaster / la montaña rusa

Special to the Daily

Time travel

Learn about Eagle County’s history with tales from local ranches.

As early Eagle County settlers moved to the area, their kids needed to go to school. So, they started building one-room schoolhouses.

In 1883 ranchers created a joint school district #2. It was big, serving a total of 450 miles between Eagle and Garfield counties. The joint district #2 was made up of many one room school houses that the ranchers built to accommodate their children. Students either walked or rode their horses to school. Most often, the teacher boarded with local ranch families during the school year. Schools had no running water or electricity. 

Near Burns, the original school was located in Cabin Creek and all seven grades consisted of only eight children. Later the schools were consolidated, moving to a two-room school house on Derby Mesa. One room was for the lower grades and one was for the upper grades. 

Wolcott opened its first school in 1890 and built a schoolhouse in 1894 that educated students until 1945. Minturn’s first school opened in 1891. You can see the red school house traveling up Squaw Creek Rd as well as a one room school house that remains on Castle Peak Ranch.  

A one-room school house was built in 1916 near the present-day Colorado River Ranch in Gypsum. Local children attended that school until 1945, and you can still see it from the Colorado River Road.

Despite ranchers’ objections, in 1958, all schools were consolidated into a single school district, Eagle County RE50J. Since that ruling, local ranch children board buses at 6 a.m. and travel to schools in Gypsum or Yampa, both considerable distances. Today there are no schools in Wolcott, Dotsero, Burns, Lake Creek or McCoy. McCoy’s school was one of the last in operation, and closed in 1992.

Time Travel is submitted by the Vail Valley Art Guild’s Ranch Project, which is chronicling local history through art. Learn more at vailvalleyartguild.org.

Coloring page

This week’s coloring page is submitted by local illustrator Jasmine Valdez. Follow her on Instagram at @artgirl_studios.
Jasmine Valdez | Special to the Daily

Print the page here.

Learn how to make your own coloring pages here.

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