Jun 25, 2010

Care-a-lot from stuff in the recycling bin

I wasn't quite sure where we were going with this when we started out this morning. One kid was dressed as batman and the other as a princess and all they told me was they wanted to make something to play with.

I started them off with a bunch of cardboard boxes that I turned inside out and we hot glued together to make some sort of generic base. As the conversation progressed and they were chatting away whilst drawing all over it with pens, they decided that they wanted to make a Care Bear house. I picked up a few Care Bear things at the local charity shop recently. A stack of early reader Care Bear books that my five year old is enjoying reading to her four year old sister, and a bag full of what I guess must be Care Bear party favour toys or something. They are just little plastic models of Care bears, but the kids have been enjoying imaginative play and reinacting the books with them, so they decided they needed a home for these little dudes. They are so cheap and nasty that the dodgy print registration on them leaves a lot of them looking in weird directions and some with totally red eyes. Freaky!
As far as I can remember from the 1980s the Care Bears lived in some kind of rainbow mad castle type land in the sky called Care-a-lot. There were the pictures in the books to go on, but really nothing specific, so a general theme of "house made from clouds" was what we went for. I've spoken before about how much I love my $1.50 foam cutter from Daiso. It's a fab little tool that allows you to cut crazy shapes neatly out of sheets of styrofoam. My husband now knows that if there are ever any deliveries to his office with styrofoam that's going to get thrown out then he's to bring it home to me so I can play with my foam cutter! With this fabulous little tool I cut out a load of cloudy shapes and we hot glued them onto the box structure. I didn't really have a plan in mind, we just did one bit at a time and let it grow.

Once we'd glued it I put it out in the garage for the kids to paint with white primer. They did a bloody good job! The only bit I had to touch up afterwards was the inside of the cardboard tube turrets.

We left it to dry in the garage and the kids coloured in a couple of rainbow bits to glue on. One was just for decoration, but the other was a rainbow slide.
A parcel arrive while the thing was drying, that contained a load of white styrofoam packing peanuts. Talk about good timing! So we glued a load of those on too and lastly I made a few flags with BBQ skewers to stick on.
We set it up in the livingroom on our blue bedsheet and I got out some of my polyester soft toy stuffing for them to chuck around it.

The kids wanted the little heart and star freinds that live with the Care Bears, so I cut them out of the styrofoam and coloured them with sharpies.

Yes, that is a Care Bear on the can you just saw.

Everybody poops, even Care Bears.

also, I bet you didn't know they had pet rats. I didn't.

I don't know how long it'll last for, but they are really enjoying it. We still have a load of the styrofoam left, so to even out the horrendous sickly sweetness of the Care Bears, I think we might have to make Superman's Arctic fortress of solitude to go next to it!

26 comments:

Care said...

FANTASTIC!! I scored a bag of plastic Care Bears at a yard sale a couple weeks ago... I can't wait to make them a place to live!

I made a castle for the boys out of foam last week, and I tell you what -- using just an exacto knife took forever and didn't look nearly as neat as the curves you cut with your foam cutter. Now I'm going to have to be on the lookout!

This Girl loves to Talk said...

i just want to say you are the most amazing parent. we play and create but nowhere near your level and I doubt my older girls (9 and 7) would ever come to me and say "make us something to play with' and that is sad really.

anyway we love care bears here esp my 4 year old. they would LOVE to have something like this

Nikoli said...

Brilliant!

Melissa said...

Wow. Seriously, i don't even know what else to say. This is amazing.

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

So fun!! My girls would LOVE this!! May have to make our own version this summer -- a great hot afternoon activity : ) Genius as always.

Teacher Tom said...

This might be the best use of styrofoam I've ever seen. Truly magnificent and I'm really glad to learn about the Daiso foam cutter -- I shop there all the time.

FYI, we're working on our own version of your tissue paper stained glass window. I can't wait to show you.

Jodie Allen said...

you are seriously brilliant!

liz said...

You're so cool! I would have peed my pants for this about 25 years ago. :) I love the Care Bear john and pet rat. Kids are funny.

kellyi said...

This is awesomely cool! You are so creative. We've tried Lava Lands, Polar landscapes but nothing on this size and scale.

My kids would love you!

Becky Lee Burk said...

Fan-freaking-tastic! I love it! Reminds me of my early morning cartoons before school :) I can't wait to get my own Daiso foam cutter :)

Aimee said...

How cool! I gotta get me one of those foam cutters!

Playing by the book said...

You and your girls are the undisputed queens of playscape creations - they are always phenomenal! And inspiring :-)

Kitten Muffin said...

Seems that the Care Bears have kept their appeal from my generation to my kid's generation! I wasn't a massive Care Bears fan, but compared to some of the weirdness that's around these days, like Bratz dolls and Pokemon, I'll take Care Bears any day!

Tom, I can't wait to see the stained glass window your kids create! I'm sure it'll be collaborative heaven!

I can't say enough great things about that little foam cutter. So cheap and so flippin' useful! The 3D sculptures we've been able to make with it have been so much fun. My five year old can use it well by herself, but my four year old still needs some help. The wire obviously gets hot, so be careful, but hurry and go get one because you'll not regret it! With that thing and a glue gun, you can make anything!

Elizabeth said...

That is just so awesome! I love it!

M for Short said...

Insanely awesome, AGAIN! Wish my two girls could join yours in Care-a-Lot for a spell.

Melony Bradley said...

Each post is even better than the last on your blog. This care bear house is super cute! doubly love that it was made from trash bound materials. Your's is FAST becoming my fav blog!!

http://mel-designs.typepad.com/my-blog/2010/06/camp-roasting-sticks.html

Michãel said...

WOW! I just found your blog. Amazing stuff, I'm loving it!

xo, Joan said...

I LOVE your creative projects and especially that your girls stick to them until finished! Care Bears rock and deserves a darling home like the one you amazingly put together, far better than the "original" plastic Care-a-lot!!!

And thanks for the foam cutter suggestion! That works with foam core too I imagine? I am painting a Pixie Hollow mural in my g'daughter's room and made a set of fairy paper dolls for her to play with on the wall. I cut them out by hand and wow, would have liked a cutter for sure! I'll be making a set of robot ones next, so I'm off shopping for a cutter today :) Thanks so much!

Papgena Made It said...

that is awesome!!
congratulations to all the hard workers!!!

MustangShelby said...

Oh, my word. Now we really HAVE to come over some time next week...I'm not sure if that's because of the rainbows or in spite of them, but still. We'll make it happen. Great work!

Crafty Mom said...

You are AMAZING! I've come across you're blog before but it's been awhile since I've stopped by. I love, love, love your amazing creativity and your children's incredible imaginations!

Cheryl said...

Wow does this take me back! I really love that you've gotten your kids excited about some old school toys. Now I need to dig around my mom's basement and find some of ours!

Jenny Lou Who said...

That is just about the cutest damn thing I've ever seen. Your kids are so lucky to have a mom like you!

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled upon your website a couple of months ago and I am in *love*. My daughter is still a tiny bit too young for most of these projects, but I'm filing the ideas away for next year. Thank you!

Just a small word of warning about the foam cutter. Awesome tool, but use it outside if possible. Or in a room with a fan and a window open. There are some nasty gases produced when you cut/melt through styrofoam. Considering the scale of the projects you're doing the amount may be negligible, but I thought you should know. Unless you know already, in which case you can disregard this last paragraph.

Can't wait to see what's next!

Jen said...

That is AMAZING! By the way, your Care Bears are checkers for a Care Bears checkers set. I just found the set at the Salvation Army this week.

Once again, I'm in awe of your amazingness.

Lutrinaë said...

Wow this is amazing!! You are so creative!! :o)