Friday, May 3, 2013

The Box Car Drive-in

Last week, Esky decided she needed to make a car out of a box.  Needed.  And so began The List of required items, which she explained (complete with comparing scales hand gestures), "It's like your diary, only one page."  Here's a snapshot of the top of The List.  I especially like her bullets;
We started work on two cars for two little humans.  Here's Ivy's car, mid-way through.
Here are test laps (along the kitchen's main drag):
These cars were destined for more.  I could feel it.  And so I began promoting a Primary activity -- one I've run before (as many others have), but not with my kids -- A Drive-in.  I invited the kidlets in the Primary to make a car from a box and bring it along to park up for a school holiday movie.  Here are the early arrivals (Esky's car/van at right).
And yup, the girls are in their pyjamas and robes.  Esky wanted to lay a few yellow tape "paint" centre stripes down the corridor to suggest a road.  So we did.  Then we popped popcorn and readied the other snacks in preparation for the other drivers to arrive.  And they came.  The seniors weren't required to bring a box car, but could complete one of the goals in their achievement programme by assisting a younger person making their box car.  It was so nice to see big brothers or sisters sitting aside siblings, helping them park and seeing they were comfortable.  I loved seeing cushions and blankies inside cars.  I was a blankie-toter.
That's Wall-E you may spy, on-screen.  The last time I ran one of these I used a projector, which added to the authenticity of the Drive-in.  But seeing as none of the attendees seemed to care that their headlights were made out of tin foil or were drawn onto cardboard, I figured they were not opposed to the suspension of disbelief.  I went for the easy option of wheeling in the TV.  I don't think it mattered.  And hey, we got to skip the inevitable quashing of shadow puppetry mid-movie.

After some amazing humans helped me clean-up, it was time to toilet my young'uns, brush teeth (you better believe I packed the girls' brushes!), and head to our real car for the sleepy drive home.  Here is Esky, helping her friend of choice for the event (Kakuda the giraffe) drive her car out to our car:

My Highlights:
  • Ivy telling anyone who came near Esky's car that it was her sister's with a very assertive gesture, and then pointing to hers and repeating the gesture saying "mine." 
  • Ivy not wanting to get out of her car.
  • Wombat strutting over to me and, nudging Esky's car with his toe, and saying with a little eyebrow pump, "Is this Esky's car?  It's pretty cool."  
  • Esky's face when I repeated what Wombat had said.
  • Ivy's car being pimped out in her own drawings.
  • When a roll of toilet paper ran out on Esky's watch this week, leaving an empty roll behind, Esky naturally came out waving the prize saying, "This will be the exhaust pipe!"  Naturally.
  • Seeing Esky doing so much of the work herself.  Similarly, letting go of the urge to help help help and getting to see Ivy colour in her hubcaps...imperfectly, and yet perfectly, because the independence of that was perfect.
  • Esky choosing to name her car "Brum" after a puzzle we have.  Ivy watching as Esky carefully created her personalised plates to match the name.  When I then asked Ivy what she wanted hers to say, she replied "ABC" -- because that's what she says whenever she sees letters. "ABC" it was.
  • Esky requesting pink and green elements for her car, only to later comment that she thinks Ivy's car is better because it has "better wings and racing stripes" (which are not pink, you'll note).
What a shame that I managed to burn 3 out of 4 bags of microwave popcorn.
It is inconceivable to me even now.

Making a Box Car (things we used):
  • 1 large box, reinforced with tape to strengthen the walls against a little leaning back
  • Four plastic plates for wheels -- colouring over the grooved edges with black vivid, and drawing screws onto the middle
  • 1 plastic bowl for a steering wheel -- ideally fixed with a split tack for turning
  • 2 small plastic lids covered in tin foil for headlights (some of ours came off of stock powder plastic containers, for example)
  • Fluro orange circle stickers for rear lights
  • Coloured tape for stripes (we got ours a long time ago in a stack of colours from K-Mart for really cheap, $4 or something for 6 rolls of packing tape-type tape, but in colours)
  • An empty toilet paper roll covered in tin foil for an exhaust pipe
  • A cushion / small chair to put inside the box (depending on the height of your box)
  • Old wrapping paper / construction paper / drawings to cover the box (if it has writing on it)...or you could paint it!
  • White paper for licence plates
I'm sure you'll improvise with your little hume as you go, and find great ideas of your own!
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