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Saturday, June 19, 2010

African Safari

I decided to give Kira a special project today. I bought a pack of Safari Animals and a foil lasagna pan. I had some sand already. I set her up and explained how to glue the animals and various rocks and trees into place first, then we would add the sand and other embellishments.

Kira spent about a half hour setting up the foundation of her diorama with the animals. In the process of choosing the animals and trees, we had to discuss size and scale because some of the animals that came in our toy set were way too big for our diorama. Luckily my house overflows with creatures so she was able to dip into our already copious supply of African animals in order to get the giraffe that she wanted. The giraffe that came with our set was twice the size of the trees so we decided that one really just didn't fit.

We had to work out a plan for grass since the African Plains are covered in grass and I had no fake grass to use. Luckily I have an interesting assortment of buttons that just happened to have grass shaped buttons mixed in. With a creative use of toothpicks for holding them up straight and the strategic placement of the sand to cover the toothpicks and the button holes, we now had our grass accounted for.

When all the parts were glued into place, Kira and I sat down in the floor and started placing sand around the animals and trees to cover the silver bottom of the foil pan and the toothpicks that we used to hold things in place. We used spoons to carefully fill in the empty spaces so that we could cover the glue and toothpicks without covering our animals or knocking anything down.

After all the sand was in place, Kira spent a few minutes putting in some pebbles to represent rocks that might be found throughout the Plains. I'm sure there are a few dens hidden in and around those rocks to protect the animal babies. She didn't say for sure, though... We also used tree bark and twigs to give the diorama a more natural feel. Some of the pieces of bark were used to build "hills" for the animals to climb on while other pieces were shredded and sprinkled throughout the scene to enhance the natural orientation of the project. We used blue buttons to fill in our water hole. (Yes, I know the water holes in Africa are not blue. It was the best I could come up with to give a clear separation of the water and the land.) A few twigs placed in and around the water completed our project.

This was a lot of fun. Kira has decided that she will be giving her project to Daddy for Father's Day. Hmm... This is not a gift that can easily be kept for years and years. Looks like we'll be taking lots of pictures of this one.


k balman said...

cool idea. where are the picts?

Content Writing said...

Nice and interesting activity for the two of you.Like this, Kira will remain engaged too.I am sure Kira's daddy will love this unique.Try and post some pictures in your next post.