Lately the kids have been having plenty of fun just gluing together stuff from our collection of recycling. We've always done a fair bit of hot glue with junk from our recycling bin, but for some reason recently that has been a top priority for them both. I put down a plastic table cloth by our storage rack of recyclables so that they didn't have to sit up at the kitchen table to use the glue guns.
They have been making a lot of little robots this week...
One of the robots that my five year old came to show me looked remarkably like a Dalek in shape. She'd glued a cup on top of an ocean spray juice bottle. I said "Oooh, lovely, that looks like a Dalek", knowing that her next question was going to be "what's a Dalek?"
We haven't let the kids watch Dr Who yet. I think they could handle a few of the ancient Sylvester McCoy ones (how badly did I want to be Ace when I was a kid!), but the recent series are a lot more scary. I love Dr Who and remember hiding nervously behind furniture to watch the scary bits as a kid, but the last three Doctors have had some episodes that have freaked me out even as a grown up. Ones like Ecclestons's "Empty Child" and Tennant's "Blink" had me almost hiding behind the sofa nearly 20 years later! I do want to find some of the older series that the kids can watch though.
If you grew up in the UK during the 70s or 80s then Dr Who is just part of your cultural heritage. Your mum will have called you for dinner at some point, only to find you holding a sink plunger in one hand, an egg whisk in the other, with a collinder on your head, yelling "Exterminate!" at the top of your lungs.
That's healthy right? Anyway, I showed her a few clips of Daleks and talked about Dr Who and she wanted to make her dalek move around like the ones she saw in the clips. I figured the easiest way to do this was to just cut the bottom off the juice bottle and use some electrical tape to stick it on top of the only RC toy we have, which is a My Little Pony scooter.
We found a bunch of stuff in the recycling stash that looked suitable to decorate the dalek with and went outside to spray it with some black and gold plastic spray paint that we had left over from other projects.
The hemispheres on the dalek base were made from the bottoms of little plastic quarter machine toy containers we have saved. We didn't have quite enough to do the rows of four all around, but enough to get the idea.
The blaster gun was an ode to the standard kid dalek dress up attire. We used a toy egg whisk from the kid's kitchen play set. The eye stick was a sports drink cap stuck on a stick of hot glue. The "manipulator arm" was a drinking straw with the spray top and tube from a hair detangling spray and then the round cup end from a plastic easter egg glued on.
The kids had fun spraying the paint on. I think it's quite cute that my five year old had to use her thumb to get the required pressure for the paint to spray out, and my four year old had to use both thumbs. Awww.
After all the bits were dry, I taped the body onto the RC scooter for them and then they glued on and coloured the other bits and pieces.
Paul even wired up a couple of LEDs while we were doing this, so that Mr Dalek could have his own lit up "energy dispensers". I have no idea if all this is the proper terminology for Dalek parts, but I found this link to reference, so that I wasn't always saying things like "sticky outy bit with a rubber plunger on the end" ;) Because we'd made the eyestalk with a stick of hot glue, we couldn't feed a third LED down it to make the light on the eyestalk, so I just hot glued a keyring light into the end of it instead.
I love the fact that he's got the handle at the back of the juice bottle to pick him up by!
We used some drywall shims to make the base. I don't know if anyone remembers that way back I got a packet of them and we made streamer dresses and roman centurion costumes with them, well, we still have quite a few left and they do come in handy! The gold vertical stripes are snapped up bits of wooden coffee stirrers. There are so many different types of Dalek that you can kind of wing it with the embelishments ;) This one has ended up looking a bit like the Dalek Supreme from the 1970s Planet of the Daleks, but that wasn't intentional, just what we happened to have in the recycling bin and the only two colours of spray paint we had.
The kids decided his name was Julie, but then later changed their minds and said he was called Rovie.
Here's a little video of him in action. He spins around and goes forwards but not backwards due to the limitations of the RC scooter that he's taped onto. Admittedly he sounds nothing like a dalek. You can just about hear him saying "Vroom vroom! Whoohoo! Vroom vroom! Beep!" if you listen closely. Hee hee!
We actually watched Star Wars "A New Hope" and "The Empire Strikes Back" for the first time over the weekend with the kids, and both were a HUGE hit with them. That might come as a surprise to those of you that saw us make balloon torch light sabers back in January, but actually only the boys I was looking after at the time had seen the movies and my girls were just happy to play along. I'm looking forward to next weekend when we can watch "Return of the Jedi" and see what they make of Ewoks :) Carys has already told me that we need to make R2D2 to go with Rovie the Dalek, so I'm not recycling our Electrosol dishwasher tablet container just yet! After Wall-e and now Rovie, I wonder what other classic robotic recyclables we can come up with. Johnny 5? Marvin?
Don't worry though, I'm not going to try and make John Pertwee out of recycling and hot glue ;)
If your family isn't into Dr Who, that doesn't matter. You could make anything to go on top of an RC vehicle! Anything! Like a barbie pyramid formation?