This week we made a cardboard aquarium to replace
the one that fell apart months ago.
We used a big diaper box and cut windows out of the
two biggest sides and stuck clear cellophane on the
inside of the box. We used what we had in the house,
but if I were making this again, I would make two changes.
One, I would not use irridescent cellophane. Or any
cellophane, which rips at the slightest touch by infants.
But especially not irridescent, which gives one a headache
just peering through the "glass". I'd use thin, clear vinyl,
or at least the clear plastic used to wrap schoolbooks.
Two, I'd open up the box and lay it flat to stick on
the vinyl/plastic panes. Much easier.
At the top of the box, we attached a handle for carrying
the aquarium around. For feeding access, we also cut a
trapdoor with a little hole in it, so little fingers could
easily open it and provide sustenance for fishy friends.
Some little fingers, however, preferred to
share fish food with the outdoor rug
and spy on the fish through the trapdoor instead
while other little fingers (and their owners) thought
any hole in the box qualified as feeding access.
Oh well, sometimes adult-initiated design fails.
along with generic seaweed and shells. The bottom-
rooted living things were glued to the floor of
the aquarium and the free-swimming fish were suspended
from the roof with invisible thread/beading microfilament/
fishing line/regular white sewing thread and masking tape.
We stuck starfish directly onto the "glass" panes with
dabs of glue. The top of the box was then taped down
with masking tape and scrap paper was cut up into
small pieces to be fish food. We chose not to hot-glue
the top shut to give us the option of reopening the box
to add more fish when we felt up to drawing more.
When the box gets too full of fish food, we tip the
box on its side so the food comes out of the
side handle-holes and reuse the food.
For a full-size aquarium idea, check out Filth Wizardry's
coral reef post and her incredible line art aquatic
creatures templates. My computer (Bad Computer!
Bad Computer!) refused to size her templates properly,
or I would have had my kids color those instead!