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March 1 - Cardboard Toy Shop

It's March 1st! I consider it the REAL on-the-down-low New Year's Day. I'm with Romulus on this one, January and February don't really count... they're just the months between calendar years. This way September is the seventh month, October is the eighth month, November is the ninth month, and December is the tenth month, like it literally is supposed to be.  But point being, it's a new month, a new calendar, and a new schedule of morning activities.

Today was supposed to be Cardboard Toy Shop to use all the cardboard I had left over from last week, but my wife couldn't take it around the house and recycled the cardboard sheets. Fair enough! One of the joys of Cardboard Toy Shop is that cardboard boxes are almost always abundant.

Since we made Zephyr's suggestion last week, I let Lyric pick the project this week, and he wanted a big robot he could ride in. After some sourcing in our compactor room, I found some boxes and we were ready to go.

The boxes were pretty small, but fortunately enough Zephyr and Lyric are pretty small too. I figured we could make the bottom box big enough for Zephyr or Lyric to crawl around in, and build the body of the robot on top of that. The first step was to tape up and reinforce the side flaps of the big box to make them larger and open on the bottom:

Then I stacked the boxes on top of each other, growing gradually smaller "like a square snowman", in Lyric's words. I got a gold paper cup for a neck and cut a hole in the top of the smallest box to have it attach as the head, making for a robot about the same size as the kids.

 From L to R: Zephyr, Zippy Mark 2, Lyric.

From L to R: Zephyr, Zippy Mark 2, Lyric.

With the basic shape set, I began coating Zippy with aluminum foil to give it that shiny robotic look. The kids took some sharpies to start decorating the robot (which they named Zippy Mark 2 after our original Cardboard Toy Shop robot from a few months ago), and Zephyr designed a face:

 Lyric tried putting a piece of pepperoni on the face, because he is very silly. That's why there's grease marks on the face. I let Lyric do his own face for Zippy on the back of his head too.

Lyric tried putting a piece of pepperoni on the face, because he is very silly. That's why there's grease marks on the face. I let Lyric do his own face for Zippy on the back of his head too.

From here there was some trial and error, experimenting with how we could make the robot move. The initial plan of crawling didn't work, as the kids would straighten up and make the robot topple. I cut out some eye holes (more like an eye square), but it didn't help. And then I had an idea: we could use the wheeled storage bins I got at Ikea as a base and put the robot on top.

With a little coordination, we were ready to have Zippy Mark 2 make his first steps. Zephyr was the pilot and Lyric was the motor for this run:

Zippy Mark 2 on the march! Check the retractable arm!

Beep boop, y'all.