Monday, February 02, 2009

Toys were us (11) – Rubber seed pods

Help. I am going to need some help from the older readers with this one.

Recently, I went for a walk with my family at the MacRitchie forest area, near to Venus Drive. I saw many rubber seeds and seed pods on the ground, and I was reminded of a toy we used to make during my kampong days.

I think even the younger readers would know about the naughty thing we can do with rubber seed; rubbing it on the cement floor until it becomes hot and then pressing it against our victim’s arm without warning. But I am referring to the rubber seed pods, not the seeds.

Can you see the 2 sharp pointed ends at the top of the seed pods. By assembling two pieces one in the opposite direction, we can form a coupling. You then gently hold/clamp it with the thumb and middle-finger on the two pointed ends, and form a sort of wind-vane. When you blow on the seed pod, the coupling will rotate.

I tried to make one with the seed pods I found to show you but was unsuccessful. I think I have forgotten how it was done. Hope some of you can enlighten us. In any case, the seed pods I found at MacRitchie were rather old and dirty.

14 comments:

PChew said...

I remember playing with rubber seeds and also the seed pods. Besides rubbing hot rubber seed on unsuspected victims, I made a propeller turned continusouly by attaching it to a rubber seed. Materials used: a rubber seed, an ice cream stick, a short satay stick and a piece of string.
Method: Make 3 holes on the rubber seed (top, bottom and center). Empty the contents (kernel) inside the seed. Fashion a propeller from ice cream stick and stick it to one end of the satay stick. Put the other end through the top hole on the rubber seed until it appears at the bottom. Tied the piece of string to the center of the satay stick. Take out the free end of the string from the center hole. Pull tight and then roll the string around the satay stick many times by turning the propeller. Now pull the string and the propeller will turn in one direction. The trick is to pull the string half way and let go for it to rewind around the stick. When pull again the propeller will turn in the opposite direction.
I played with the seed pods and often got pricked by the pointed ends.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of rubber seeds , some of my childhood frens thot they were cashews nuts and tried to fried it and eat it

who says there are NO 3 stooges in Singapore ???


FL

fuzzoo said...

I used to do that too when I was young - rub the rubber seeds on the ground till they got hot. The spinning toy you are referring to - a nature guide taught us how to do it when we were at Palau Ubin. You turn one side the other way and upside down and hook the top and bottom ends of the two sides together. My daughter mentions the toy and has a photo of here: http://pandagoma.blogspot.com/2008/09/pulau-ubin-trip.html

Lam Chun See said...

Fuzzoo. I am really impressed by your daughter's blog. Only 10 and she can write so well. Her description of the this rubber seed toy is even clearer than mine. I used the verb 'rotate', she used 'spinning' which is more appropriate. I notice she is home-schooled. You must be quite a teacher. Well-done.

Victor said...

PChew, maybe I have a lousy imagination but I find it very hard to visualise your description of how to construct toy. Can show photos on your blog... please?

Philip said...

Victor, I have no photo of the toy to show you.

Lam Chun See said...

Thanks for that lengthy description of your 'propeller'. I am afraid I too cannot visualize it. I guess we have to consult my kampong toys expert Chuck and maybe even persuade him to construct one for us.

yg said...

chun see, today, during my nature walk i picked 5 sets of the seed pods, much cleaner than the one shown on your blog. if you want them, let me know.

Anonymous said...

I got a rough idea regarding the propeller... so I will try to construct one if possible. Chun See.. time to go for our walk at MacRitchie to look for some.
Another way we played with rubber seeds is to see who has got the hardest rubber seed..
We take the rubber seed and place the uneven surface on a soft patch of grass. The opponent rubber seed smooth surface will be face to face with the one on the soft patch of grass. Holding them carefully, we use our palm and hit it to see which shell of the ruber seed will crack. I see if Chun See and me can find some rubber seeds and then take some photos to show you guys what I meant.

Chuck

Victor said...

Chun See, Philip has emailed you and I a sketch of the propeller he used to make as a child. I suppose Philip won't mind you including the sketch into your article.

Thanks, Philip.

Lam Chun See said...

Yes I received a sketch from Philip. Thanks Philip. I have emailed to Chuck for a look first before I upload to this blog.

oceanskies79 said...

I have never played this before!

Karmeleon said...

My daughter helped me videotape putting the Rubber Seed Shells together!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTS7xax0HUc


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Karmeleon said...

And spinning the shells!

http://youtu.be/i1OYxPb0oow

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