Barnyard Pinball

It’s a merry chase! Use your motor skills to navigate a yellow pom-pom hen around the barnyard. But beware the red pom-pom fox, who’s also on a roll!

We read Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins (Aladdin, 1971 read here by Miss Gray Educates). Rosie the Hen decided to take a little stroll around the farm, not realizing that she’s being followed by a hungry fox. Fortunately for Rosie, the Fox’s luck is horrible. He runs into misfortune after misfortune in pursuit of his chicken lunch. Happily, Rosie makes it back to her coop, none the wiser. The wordless sight gags on each page had our kids chuckling!

This book also gets a gold star rating from Katie. It was her son’s FAVORITE as a kid!

You’ll need:

  • 1 large box top (like a copy paper box lid)
  • 1 paper towel tube
  • 1 small box
  • 1 paper cup
  • Construction paper
  • 2 large pom-poms
  • Scissors, glue, and tape for construction
  • Markers for decorating

As you can see in the above photo, we used a copy paper box lid as the base of our barnyard. Then we glued a number of elements in place. The bee hive was a paper cup with an arched door. The haystack was a construction paper tunnel. The ramp was a paper towel tube, cut in half length-wise and elevated with a snippet of the remaining tube. The hen house was a small box with the lid positioned as a ramp, also elevated with a snippet of paper towel tube. We added a pond, fabric flowers, and tissue paper shrubs as well.

With all the obstacles complete, drop two jumbo pom-poms into the box lid. We thought about decorating these like a fox and hen, but they rolled much easier as simple poms.

With your poms in place, commence the chase! Tip and jiggle the box lid to make the fox and hen race around the barnyard, ducking into buildings and rolling up ramps.

Lumos

lumos candles 2

Oh, how we have wanted to test these floating LED candles for the blog. And YES they were just as amazing as we thought they would be!

Katie first spotted the Leejec Flameless Taper Floating Candles on Amazon. We’ll admit, they are pricey. You can get them at various lengths (6″, 7″, or 11″) and in various amounts (6-20 in a pack). We needed quite a few for our gallery display cases, so we went with the 6″ pack of 20 for $60.

Each candle requires a AAA battery (not included) and had a long, invisible fishing line extending from the top. But the best part is…wait for it…you turn them on and off with a wand!

Hanging the candles was a bit tricky. The fishing lines are really, really, really long. We ended up wrapping them around paperclips (which was kind of slippery and frustrating until you got the hang of it), securing them with tape, sticking the wrapped paperclip through some plastic light covers in the case, and then anchoring the wrapped paper clips with more tape. It definitely took some time and patience!

In the reviews on Amazon, some folks used thumbtacks to secure the candles to the ceiling, some used poster putty. Others hung them on already existing light fixtures. It was agreed the fishing lines were super long, but for people with cathedral ceilings, that was a bonus.

There’s no denying the final results. Our exhibit cases look amazing with the candles twinkling and swaying. And the wand is so much FUN to use. Honestly, we spent about 20 minutes turning the candles on and off both up close and at a distance. Sometimes one candle would lag behind the others and you would need to do another quick click, but generally they responded really well to the wand commands!


While these candles are expensive, the results speak for themselves. This is a really special set, and has earned a Pop Goes the Page five star review and two wands up!

Go a Little Wild!

Yes, there’s a time and place for proper behavior, but what happens when a tiger wants to go a little…wild?

We read Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown (Little, Brown, 2013, read here by Glasgow’s Improvement Challenge) Mr. Tiger is feeling stifled in the city with its mundane homes, drab clothing, and polite conversations. So he tries something different. He (gasp!) drops on all fours. This begins a chain of experiences that ultimately ends with Mr. Tiger running around the wilderness in just his stripes. But it’s lonely being on your own. Can Mr. Tiger’s friends maybe change a little bit and join him? Because sometimes, a little wild is a good thing!

In keeping with Mr. Tiger’s duel lives, this project begins with his house in the city…

Then rotate the box to visit the wilderness on the other side!

You’ll need:

  • One 4.5” X 4.5” x 9” craft box (a large tissue box works too)
  • 1 smaller box for the interior
  • Green and brown poster board
  • Construction paper
  • 1 toilet paper tube
  • 1 tiger house template, printed on 8.5″ x 11″ card stock
  • Scissors, glue, and tape for construction
  • Markers for decorating

Begin by cutting the top off the large box, as well as two windows on opposing sides. Next, glue a smaller box inside so your toilet paper tube tiger can peep out of the windows. Finally, use poster board and construction paper to decorate the city and wilderness sides! For added wilderness texture, we offered kids fabric flowers, green tissue paper, crepe paper streamers, and paper crinkle. The results were AWESOME!

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We do, however, want to give a special nod to the creative individual who decided to put a hobbit door on Mr. Tiger’s city abode…

Next, use construction paper and markers to decorate a toilet paper tube like a tiger. Also, since clothing plays an important role in the book, we taped a little top hat to the top of the city window, and a little Hawaiian shirt to the bottom of the wilderness window.

There’s funny dialogue in the book, so we added speech bubbles on the tiger house template, as well as directions signs for the blank sides of the box!

We absolutely LOVE Peter Brown’s work…check out Creepy Carrots, this illuminating underwear, a growing garden, and a visit to Peter’s studio!