Pretend for a moment that all that greenery is actually blue sky and sparkling turquoise - and hopefully shark-infested- waters and today's cardboard toy will make a lot more sense.
We made a pirate ship!
For Kate, who is in a pirate phase.
(And yes, I am aware that people with vision in only one eye have impaired depth perception and should probably not be allowed near sharp weapons, but I was watching Kate carefully, as I always do even on days when she is using both eyes, so if you were about to call Child Protection, put the phone down and go take a long walk off a short plank already. Arrrrrrrr!!!)
So now that we're all in the appropriately belligerent, piratey sort of mood, let me tell you about our afternoon.
As I was saying, Kate is in her pirate phase. Any play phase that isn't princess/mermaid/fairy-related is heartily welcome - and encouraged -in our home simply because it's a delightful deviation from the norm. And since we wanted to support Kate in her exploration of other dress-up genres, everybody helped her make what she needed.
Emily made eye-patches
I, under the captain's orders, made a stand for her sidekick, Polly.
Kate herself made a cardboard telescope, but it's already been misplaced so no photos - sorry.
And you all might remember the treasure chest from some months ago.
Then there was the seaworthy vessel.
Here's the box we started with.
I turned it inside out so it was plain brown outside and thus more intimidating to enemies than being a traveling billboard for household cleaning appliances (although Windtunnel is a cool name for a ship).
Each cardboard thing I make has to be approached differently, depending on whether it starts out as a box or a flat sheet, as well as whether that box needs alterations, reinforcement or any other special treatment. This box was a good width, but too short - it needed length extensions.
So I added a slopey stern
and a pointy bow.
The sides of the bow were curled
and a snipped seam allowance (what is the cardboard equivalent for this sewing term?) was incorporated into the base to allow for better gluing.
The bow was first glued onto the existing flaps
and then the curved sides glued to the base, meeting at the front.
Because this cardboard was thin, I folded down the top 1" to make a hem (there's another sewing term!).
and as this side of the bow was 1" shorter than the rest of the box, I added the cardboard equivalent of a hem facing.
You might have noticed that I was working with the box still relatively intact as I added the extensions - this helped keep its shape.
And now we cut the top off, and folded-hemmed those sides.
At this point, the girls declared the boat a canoe, found plastic sticks for oars and began rowing.
But we weren't done.
The next thing we added was a mast - and its support.
It just wedges into the boat and can be removed if the kids want to do the canoe thing again.
The masts themselves were dried sunflower stalks from a previous summer (yes, we save everything).
We added horizontal yards (made of cardboard rolled into skinny tubes) and glued sails onto them. The sails, incidentally, were just the brown packing paper that came in the box with the vacuum cleaner - I was too lazy to even leave the premises to look for something better.
One last thing - the support for the parrot stand.
We were going to add the helm (steering wheel thingy) - a paper plate and popsicle sticks paper-fastener-ed onto a cardboard column in the bow, but we ran out of time because I had to go cook dinner.
(Updated two days later)
We made the helm - front:
While all this shipmaking was going on, Kate visited and did her own crafting. See those notches?
They were pizza slices for Polly. Everyone knows pirate parrots eat pizza.
Kate also brought on board her diaper bag of caretaking accessories. All pirate ships have this, you know.
While all this was going on, Emily was downstairs making paper hook gloves.
And Jenna was thinking up this pirate riddle:
Q: What do pirates do when they're waiting for someone?
A: They stay right where they arrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
I've said this before but it's worth repeating: I love being a mom of small children :)
A shot of the kids in character, so you get an idea of the size of the ship.:
Finally: the name of our ship: after throwing out our suggestions for suitable pirate-ship names (I was rooting for The Black Pearl), Kate christened this Queen of the Waves. A bit Malibu-cruise-vessel-ish, but Kate is the captain, so QOTW it was.
Not planning to make the rotating cardboard periscope yet. Suddenly got the urge to sew 17 knit fabric headbands. When have I ever resisted the urge to mass-produce silly things? Off I went!