“I’d like to make a dinosaur car!” my son exclaimed, bursting into the kitchen.
For a moment, I was puzzled. But I thought I could solve the mystery of “a dinosaur car” pretty easily. A minute ago, Budster finished watching a cartoon about Stella and Sam, imaginative and inventive sister and brother. So I rewinded the video back, and sure enough there was Sam, playing with a cardboard box, decorated as a dinosaur. A rectangular form of a box made it look like a car. A very pleasant association for Budster, hence – “a dinosaur car”.
It certainly looked like we had a project cut out for the afternoon – a cardboard box dinosaur.
Sam in the cartoon was hiding underneath the box, but Budster and I decided that he would ride the dinosaur instead. First of all, we needed a suitable box. We had an empty diaper box handy, and Budster was happy to test it for size.
Next, I cut the box open and turned it inside out because we were planning to paint our dinosaur, and paint would not stick as well to the glossy printed surface of the box. Once it was done, I taped the box together again.
I cut all of the flaps off one end and only left the long flaps on the other end. I was going to turn those flaps into spikes.
On a separate piece of cardboard, we drew a design for a dinosaur head and a separate design for its tail. I cut the head and the tail out, and put all of the parts together.
To connect the head and the tail to the body, I made two straight cuts and wedged the parts tightly together.
Throughout the process, Budster tested the dinosaur repeatedly, and he thought that it was perfect just like that. But when I offered him to paint the dinosaur, he couldn’t resist. Now, I must say that painting made the cardboard warp a bit, which could be avoided by decorating the dinosaur somehow else, like with wrapping or tissue paper. But Budster was very excited about painting the dinosaur with his own hands! We used tempera craft paints. It was rather watery and probably made warping more of a problem than a decent quality paint with higher concentration of pigments and less water would.
We did the painting outside. I thought that it would be easier to be frivolous with paints and not worry about cleaning outside, and for Budster it was an adventure to be taking paints out in the yard! I put an old raincoat on him, and out we went.
The dinosaur is almost ready!
We let the dinosaur dry, and I painted its face: added a pair of eyes, a big smile and a little blush. Our dinosaur was a shy fellow.
It was time to take the dinosaur out to explore the world!
One can always rely on Budster to feed his pals! So, he took the dinosaur around to show him what the most delicious branches are and where he can browse on dandelions. Do you think the dinosaur is stuck in the maple tree? Oh no, maple leaves are his favourite treats, that’s all! Our dino is a true Canadian, isn’t he?
The dinosaur also liked dandelions, lilac blossoms and garlic sprouts.
When Budster didn’t ride the dinosaur, he was happy to carry his new friend around and show him the yard.
After a lot of running around, the boy and the dinosaur ended their adventure on the top of the “mountain”. It’s only a pile of wood, but Budster called it a mountain and helped the dinosaur climbed up first, then followed him.
Look at how pleased they both are!
What kind of cardboard creatures would your kids like? Budster likes whales very much, so that may be our next project.