Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cardboard Box Doll or Pony or Hero House

This afternoon we had a couple thunderstorms rumble by, so I offered this construction craft idea to my girls and a couple of their friends: making dollhouses (or pony or hero houses) out of cardboard boxes.

In our home it's easy to collect cardboard boxes for such a project.  Diaper and wipe boxes work well, as do Amazon boxes.  Yep, plentiful.

The other supply needed is duct tape.  I went a little crazy here, and I do have buyer's remorse.  Long story short, Michael's has a great selection of duct tape in different colors and patterns.  Might I suggest using their frequent 40% off one item coupons to build your stock before taking on such a project.  Hindsight.
The idea for this project is inspired by a pin from Mer Mag.  Here is an image of what they made.
I decided that rather than making an interlocking structure, we would keep it basic by using the box's own structure.  But I liked the look of the duct tape exteriors - such clean lines!

See what I mean...
3YO Purple and her purple house

One thing that I've learned when doing an art or craft project with my girls, it's usually better to explain the project, rather than giving them a picture of someone else's finished product.  The reasons are two fold:
  1. My children will use their own unique perspective to create something, instead of simply copying what they see has been done.
  2. Rather than compare their work with another's and perhaps fall short in their own eyes, they are more likely to be proud of what they have done.
So the kids have not seen what Mer Mag created.  All they had to go on was a box, tape, and my suggestion that they mark on the box where they might like me to cut out windows and doors.  And with that they were eager to get started.

Now that I've shared how enlightened I am at letting my girls' creativity flow, I have to be honest.  Upon seeing 3YO Purple's progress as shown above, I asked her if she wanted help.  The duct tape is a bit tricky to work with, though the other kids were pretty wowed by what Purple had been able to do all by herself.  Purple said yes, that she did want some help.  I think that the scissors were tangled in the tape at that point.  So I started wrapping the box with a line of tape completely around the bottom edge of the box.  Purple liked it, and cut the tape so we could do a second layer above the first.  And then a third.  And then she said "Mom, you do it.", and ran off to do something else.  I think I did too much and ran her off.  Shoot!

This is what we ended up with.

We had a group children, ages 3-8, one boy and six girls, making these boxes.  They kept busy at this for over an hour.  Once they were all done, they headed to the playroom with their boxes in tow (highly tote-able!), found a plaything to live in the box, and played for another hour or so.
The boot-shaped opening and shiny floor of this house were admired by the other kids.
This house opens with a double door.
Nice mix of colors and patterns on this pony's palace.
6YO Yellow created this wall of color, even before I blanketed Purple's house.
So, I have some duct tape left.  What shall we make next?

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