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February 26 - Cardboard Toy Shop

Today our morning activity was Cardboard Toy Shop, in which we take a piece of cardboard we were going to throw away and make it into something to play with. I like it because it teaches kids to recycle, gives them an outlet for getting creative, and you get to make a neat toy for (essentially) free. Also, I love working with cardboard and duct tape, whether it be for Halloween costumes or actual promos...  It's sturdy enough to hold together, but disposable enough not to be upset when it doesn't hold together. Ideal for crafting with kids.

So first comes the sourcing. This was easy, as we had just gotten a soap.com order of paper towels and tissues. But I also found a discarded box of coat hangers in the recycling bin for good measure.

And then I brought out the tools we'd be using: duct tape, packing tape, toilet paper rolls, sharpies, and our pair of extra heavy scissors, which cut through cardboard like it was nothing.

 Not pictured: the packing tape and the sharpies. Sorry fellas, too early. You da real MVPs.

Not pictured: the packing tape and the sharpies. Sorry fellas, too early. You da real MVPs.

Then I broke down the boxes with the scissors to get some flat sheets of cardboard to work with. As I was doing so, I talked with the kids about what we could make.

Lyric wanted to make a cave for Robin (we had made a Batcave previously, replete with giant penny and toy dinosaur) and Zephyr wanted to make a Gargantuar robot from Plants Vs. Zombies. In an effort to save floor space, I decided we should go with the robot. Zephyr went to the iPad to find a reference image.

 Our reference image. Zephyr is nuts for Plants Vs. Zombies.

Our reference image. Zephyr is nuts for Plants Vs. Zombies.

I started crafting the torso and legs and cut some strips of cardboard for the kids to make the telephone pole arms. I had the kids put the crossbars on the telephone poles with packing tape.

Then I cut out a thicker strip of cardboard and folded it into five, so I could make a 4 sided square shape (with one side overlapping). This was going to be our head. I planned to get a cheap "plastic bubble toy" to make the Imp cockpit, which could be housed inside the face square. We drew on the eyes and the mouth and Lyric noted that the head was silver, so Zephyr took a silver sharpie and started coloring in the head.

 Zephyr is very careful and precise when he colors things in.

Zephyr is very careful and precise when he colors things in.

To be honest, that's about as far as we got before it was time to go to school. We'll keep working on it over the weekend, I think. But I dig how it's coming out.

 "Braaaaaaaaaaaaains! Robo-braaaaaaaaains!"

"Braaaaaaaaaaaaains! Robo-braaaaaaaaains!"

More as this story develops.

Update, February 27th 8:52p: Well, we worked on it on Saturday and I got a capsule toy for the head bubble, and this was the finished product:

Pretty darn happy with this one.