Saturday, January 1, 2011

Automobiles from Busytown!


Some months ago, the Australian company
Makedo sent me a free kit to play with. They wrote and mentioned the words "cardboard" and "play" in the same sentence, so of course I said yes!!! This week we found the perfect project for it - the girls asked to make cardboard cars.

Actually, this is how it started - the girls, particularly Jenna and Kate, adore Richard Scarry's Busytown. Jenna got the Busytown board game for Christmas, and she fell in love with the tokens.

"Mum" she whispered (Jenna always whispers when she wants to suggest an idea - it must be because it is a solemn moment), "Can we make cardboard cars?"

There I am, with my mental list of errands to run, finally finished unloading the dishwasher and about to grab my car keys, and I pause.


Cardboard.


"What kind of cars, Jenna? Like that big one that we threw away because we had no room for it?"

"No - like Huckle Cat's."



Nobody, least of all her mother, can look into Jenna's face and say no.


Cardboard.


I sat down beside her and mentally took stock of our cardboard box collection, while she waited. Would I waste a day doing errands, or would I play with cardboard?


Duh.


Gleefully she ran to get her Busytown tokens and I hauled boxes in from the garage.
"Emily! Katie! We're going to make cardboard cars!"
"I want Hilda's car!"
"I want Sally's scooter!"

So we spent the day sitting among cardboard boxes, with our X-acto knives, masking and duck tape and glue gun. Plus Makedo's very, very cool construction aids, like their cardboard saw and these black click-in-place hinges and blue fastener-connectors:




Jenna and Kate wanted cars





and Emily wanted a scooter





with a storage box in back for dollies and other treasures:


That evening, there was a lot of discussion among the three girls. I heard things like "seat belts" and "keys" and "traffic lights" and "roads". And after dinner, Emily made everyone Driver's Licenses.

And just before bed, there came another little whisper from Jenna.
"Mum, can you make a gas pump so we can put gas in our cars?"

Gladly.





Today, we made a car wash


with LOC, soap and polish (in no particular order):


You pay before manually pulling your own car through the wash on a long blanket.


We also made ignition keys,


a stoplight










and traffic signs.



It was exhilarating to hear the girls bounce ideas off each other.

And drive our cardboard cars into the new year.



42 comments:

  1. Those are fabulous. I wish the little blue hinge things had been around when my sons were young.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This looks so fun!

    The hinges are very cool, too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This project is adorable! What fun you had with your children. They will have wonderful imaginations. :) I look forward to these types of projects with my 2.5 year old. I need to go back to your blog (which I recently discovered) see the ages of your children! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Delightful!

    (And I spied a Lands' End box... one of my fav's to receive via UPS!) ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. You never cease to amaze me! The stoplight is fabulous! You are the coolest mom...I mean, mum.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You are officially the coolest mom EVER!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh, I just can't get over this! Wow this is beyond brilliant. Wish my 3 year old could go over to play!

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a fun way to spend the day instead of chores!

    ReplyDelete
  9. You are such a good mama. The cardboard creations around here are ALWAYS rockets. We need to break out of that rut.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Those cars are wonderful ! The hinges and connectors look great, too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is positively fantastic! My goal for this year is to do more crafty stuff with the kiddies . . . .you have inspired me!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Those came out amazing! I saw those connectors on Ohdeedoh last year and thought they were really cool. Of course you of all people should have them!

    ReplyDelete
  13. That looks like so much fun. Very creative!

    ReplyDelete
  14. These are fantastic! My kids would be in heaven!!

    We got some fantastically long, flat, pristine pieces of cardboard in addition to the box for our new 6' shelves last week, and I immediately thought of you. I am no cardboard wizard, but i kept it anyway. I will wait for the perfect moment to break it out and let the kids go to town with it!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I always have a smile on my face after I have been to your blog. The tutorials are just the icing on the cake.
    Grandma G2

    ReplyDelete
  16. At least no one requested you make Lowly Worm's apple car! Although, I have no doubt you would've come up with something amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  17. what another awesome project! i really admire your creativity and patience!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Soooo much fun! Those looks awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  19. You are a genius....for sure!
    I do wish I had your patience too.

    ReplyDelete
  20. wow. I had never heard of these books, but just happened to find them in shoprite this morning. Very cute. thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  21. These look fantastic! I love your cars and scooter!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Also, is the Makedo set cool enough that you would recommend buying it after using it?

    ReplyDelete
  23. That is some of the coolest cardboard play I've ever seen. The buggies look so cute and I love that they came up with ideas for accessories.

    ReplyDelete
  24. This post is so insanely cute I want to start breeding immediately so I can make things with my children

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm so glad that your brain never stops! Love this....just like I love all the other things you create.

    ReplyDelete
  26. You ARE the best mom ever!


    Cardboard rocks! and drives!

    ReplyDelete
  27. i seriously want to move into your house. you have so much fun with your girls and i love that you put play and them as a priority above errands. you rock lier!

    ReplyDelete
  28. AMAZING, and SO FUN! You are really creative! The scooter is my favorite:)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow, you are such an inspiration! I just wish I had more time to do these kind of things with our two girls. They seem to have similar feelings for Richard Scarys figures, that your girls have. So I might "steal" your idea and make som vehicles for our girls too. Hope it´s ok!?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Lerolai - of course it's OK! Go make some fun cars with your kids!

    Amy Kuhl Cox: Welcome! My kids are 6, 4 and 2-going-on-3.

    ReplyDelete
  31. please can i come live with you?!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh, this is so fun! It really excites me to want to do the same with my kids. Thanks for the wonderful ideas and i'm sure my kids will love them too. Just need to get it started... : )

    ReplyDelete
  33. Wow! This is fantastic. Did you use a book or tutorial or is this all just your creative mind? If so please could you share how you created them? Thanks! Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
  34. C'est génial comme idée.Nous nous y mettons demain après le petit déj'.
    FELICITATIONS!

    ReplyDelete
  35. amazing!!! pinning this for rainy day inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I just found this posted on Pinterest and it's amazing!! I know this is an old post but if you see this do you mind sharing where you got the little clear plastic things that hold up the characters? We are having a busytown party next week and I want to recreate your idea.
    Thanks so much!!
    Julia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Julia, those plastic stands came with the Busytown game from which we borrowed the little character tokens. You could probably make similar stands with mounds of playdoh, or styrofoam balls (halve them) with a slit cut into the rounded top.

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much for responding! I rigged something similar out of posterboard.
      I appreciate it, and Love your blog! julia

      Delete
  37. Oh fun fun fun! Going thru my own obsession...uhhh...I mean...interest in cardboard, I discovered that my scroll saw works really well for some of the larger straight cuts and some of the detail work. After hours of cutting with an exacto knife and feeling that pain in the first joint of my index finger, the discovery was a blessing. (mostly because I KNOW that there will be many many cardboard projects in our future!
    Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lana, for the tip. I need to get more power tools, period. So "scroll saw" is going on my wish list!

      Delete
  38. cool ! I luv this. I hope I can make it when my boy is older

    ReplyDelete
  39. This is sooooo Coool! will try making it for my 3 year old Son! he loves cars.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for talking to me! If you have a question, I might reply to it here in the comments or in an email.