Why we Built a Rocket Ship in the Guest Room

by Kathryn on May 17, 2013


I wasn’t going to write an Odyssey article in February or March — I had too many other big projects. But then the editor said they needed an activity about using your imagination to make something fun out of a cardboard box. Could I write that? Oh, and could I make something as an example for readers?

Um, yes!

I’m the kid who loved (and still loves) any sort of art or craft project. Give me a paper and pencil or paint and cardboard, and I’ll be happy all day. It made me feel 9 years old again to gather up a huge stack of boxes and think, hmmm… what can this become?

But for this article to be a success, I needed a real 9-year-old. Thankfully, my husband’s cousin down the street has wonderful kids who love helping me out with any type of project. I let Leah run the show, and helped out where I could with ideas and pointers. After coming up with a list of ideas (giraffe, school bus, submarine), she settled on a rocket ship. Here’s Leah working on some finishing touches. Then spying for aliens.

The final published activity (which came out in May) is about more than just letting your imagination run wild. I also worked some science in there about different types of play, and how play helps build skills such as problem-solving and communication.

In addition to the rocket ship, Steve helped build this fantastic marble maze:


The maze didn’t make it into the final printed article, but it was a great idea for a problem-solving puzzle toy!

I can’t wait to see what the kids who enter the contest come up with…

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