(re)capturing the fun & wonder

Tag: recycling

Rain makers

Rain maker
Our local Art Center hosted it’s Preschool Family Days this weekend. This fun event was focused on the under-five set. Tor was extra happy to finally be able to play with the big kids, and the olders, well… they’re always up for a bit of fun.

One of the projects was to make Rain Makers. So, so easy to do at home, you’ll be certain to have everything you need handy. Here’s how:

  • Tape two empty toilet paper rolls end to end (or just use one, or use a paper towel roll… whatever you’ve got wasting away in the recycling bin)
  • Decorate a sheet of paper.
  • Glue your artwork around the rolls.
  • Tape a small paper cup or sturdy paper to one end.
  • Fill with a cup-full (or however much you feel like) of dried beans.
  • Seal the other end by taping another cup to it.
  • Shake, shake, shake!


Update: One of my brilliant readers suggested a great alternative to this that I think would be loads of fun for older children. Check out Christine’s tips for making a more authentic rain sound:

I remember making these by using rice and inserting pins (the small
metal flat headed type) into the paper towel rolls and then securing
them by wrapping tape all around. The pins slow the rice down as they
fall to the other side of the tube and make a beautiful soft rain sound.

Handmade guitar

marching band
Maggie gets very upset with me when I haul out the recycling because in it she sees endless possibilities, countless projects just waiting to happen. One of her favorites is Marching Band. Brothers get recruited as workers or audience members, and if they’re really lucky, they get to march as well. She makes all the instruments: maracas, shakers, tambourines, drums, bottle flutes, and guitars.

To make her Box Guitar all you need is a box, some rubber bands, tape or a stapler, and an empty paper-towl roll.

  1. Cut out a square(ish) on the front of the box, and a hole big enough for the roll at on end.
  2. Tape or staple rubber bands across the open section on the front. They should be pretty taught.
  3. Stick the tube in at the end and tape to secure it.
  4. Strum!

I was surprised at how well this worked, while not exactly the most musical of sounds, it definitely made different pitched plinks and plunks when strummed.

Next time, I’m thinking I’ll break out the tempera paints, and glitter glue so she can properly decorate her oeuvre, and make it her own (dub Tim Gunn voice-over here). As is this photo feels a bit too much like product placement for me . At least this time, she chose a soda bottle for her flute instead of the usual wine or beer :-)

Inspiration: Recycled Dollhouse

has a really great tutorial on how to make a dollhouse out of recycled materials.

I made a similar one with my sister some thirty years ago (shhh… I’m in denial that I actually just said that), and I still remember it as a wondrous thing. Full of beautifully framed pictures, upholstered furniture, and lovely wallpaper. I’m pretty sure we’d also figured out nice floor treatments, but my memory is getting a bit foggy.

I’m planning to show this to Miss M later today. I know she will be similarly inspired!

A win-win-win-(win) situation

The Box

I was the super-lucky recipient of an awesome delivery from Zappos this week. I got my boots (yay, Mom! — mine, that is). My Boy B got the outer box to make an airplane. Miss M made a boxcar out of the boot box, and Little T got to tear them both apart and make a home for himself.