(We were sick for Umbrella and Volcano.)
We love the combination of entertainment and scientific activities on Peep and the Big Wide World (owned by whoever owns it, no endorsement of this fan art is implied, blah-blah-blah). For some time Sagan has wanted his own Peep, so when we came across some 2-inch yellow pom-poms in the discount bin after Easter we brought them home and made ourselves a Peep.
You will need:
- A yellow pom-pom
- Black and red craft foam
- Scissors and a grown-up to cut the foam
- Double-sided tape (the kind used for wrapping paper)
- Googly eyes (we bought a bulk pack some time ago)
Cut out a beak, two legs and the comb. They should look something like this:
Assembling your Peep:
Put the tape on the back of the eyes and cut around it or fold it over to fit. Have your youngster stick the eyes on.
Part the fibers of the pom-pom with a thumb where the beak will go. Wrap tape around the end of the beak (double -sided tape molds around craft foam pretty easily). Have your toddler squeeze the fibers onto the beak, then repeat with the comb and legs.
Sit and talk about science!
Note: You could probably also do this with black pipe-cleaners and red felt, but I didn’t have any. I’m glad we used the foam in the long run because it turned out cuddly instead of pokey.
tl;dr: We got ready to assemble a cheap wooden plane from a discount store and Sagan said he didn’t want a plane, he wanted a spaceship. It was pretty easy to change the basic model and I got to use up some other wooden craft bits I had lying around doing nothing.
For more details, see below the Pinfographic!
What Kind of Kit to Get
This was just about the absolute cheapest kind of wooden model available. The kind that you find in a discount store’s craft area that you put together with wooden pins in pre-drilled holes. It usually comes with paint and white glue.
You can sand it if you want. We didn’t.
A Word about Glue
Use the white glue on something else, like paper, and get wood glue if you want the model to last more than a few minutes. Use a toothpick instead of the paintbrush and wipe off the squeeze-out with a damp paper towel.
Converting the Plane to a Spaceship
1. Glue the rudder in the normal place.
2. Glue the wings in the back and the smaller wings that make up the tail in the front.
(TRIVIA: These smaller wings at the tail are called “Horizontal Stabilizers” but our kit didn’t seem to know this. Once you put them in the front they’ll become “Inertial Dampeners”, or something, anyway.)
3. Glue three of the four engines on top of the rudder and at either end of the wings.
Add More Wooden Pieces
I have a ton of extra wooden bits lying around from other projects. Sagan decided on the flower pots instead of small bowls for the small engines, and we made a main thruster out of a medium wooden bowl and a checker.
After it dried overnight, I took it outside and used a regular white spray primer on it. The primer acts as a sealer and provides a consistent surface for decorating. White will work for a lot of colors, but rust works better for reds and browns and gray works better for blacks, blues and dark purples.
I’ve used regular all-purpose primer on wood before and it makes a good base for paint– as well as stickers, crayon and decoupage.
Soooo, as you can see in the picture, we haven’t decorated it yet. Once it was white, he decided he liked it that way for now. (I’m sure when he gets in the mood for some painting that will change, but right now he says it’s the Space Shuttle so we’re running with that.)
But like I said, once it’s primed you can experiment with whatever decorative arts you feel like using that day.