Creating time for our kids and grandkids to have creative play is important. Creative play can spark imagination, engage them in problem solving skills, develop better communication skills and offer parents and grandparents priceless bonding time.
Creative play is part of my time with my grandson when he is at my home. I love to have him here and I love to do creative projects that keep him engaged and off screens. Last week the weather was perfect, so we built this imaginary car wash, in my garage. We wanted to build something that he could ride his bike through or have Grandma push him in his little red car. This was a fun project that gave us hours of fun and lots of laughs.
To create our cute car wash we started with three Make-A-Fort Building Kits that I purchased a few months ago at https://www.makeafort.ca/. Each kit comes with 18 cardboard panels with slots, 80 foam connectors, 10 yellow braces, and a carrying/storage case. These kits have been such a dream to work with and make the building process quick and easy. You can create this same car wash idea with leftover boxes from around the house and some tape, as well.
First, we collected all of our supplies to build our car wash. Three Make-A-Fort Build Kits, three rolls of streamers(two blue colors and one white), some foam core board or poster board for sign, some peel-n-stick letters or markers, colors or paint to create sign. Don’t forget to put what each car wash will cost!
Now it was time to decide how to build the structure. We decided to do a two column structure with a roof to attach them. Each column required 8 panels, 30 connectors and 2 braces. We left one panel off each column to use for the roof. The roof was constructed with two panels, two braces and 8 connectors.
There were so many opportunities to learn while building. Each panel has a yellow and red slot where connectors fit, we choose to use the yellow slots, so we found ourselves saying “yellow, yellow” each time we put a connector on a panel. Great way to reinforce colors and have some laughs. We had to use our fine motor skills while putting the connectors into the slots, lining up the panels with connectors to assemble the columns and cutting streamers. We even had to do a little problem solving by creating different roof types, flat vs pitched. Pitched roof won out, as it provided more stability, more head room for his bike and Grandma could push him through the car wash without bending over. Win-win for both of us!
Then, once we got our first structure just the way we wanted, we repeated the process two more times. At the end of the build, we had three structures that my grandson could ride his bike through or push a ride on toy through.
Finally, we were able to add the pizazz! We cut streamers and created our “Car Wash” sign. Only 25 cents for this cute little car wash! Once we had all the streamers cut to size, we mixed the three colors together and pushed the ends through a hole in each roof. Put up the sign and let the play begin! My grandson rode his bike through first and oh my what a smile he had on his face. It was precious. He did a great job riding through the columns, but every once in a while he would be going a bit to fast and hit a column. But, nothing fell apart, we just tightened the connectors and panels then play continued. We liked our roof choice, because we could push our little ride on car through the car wash, over and over and over again, Grandma was exhausted!
This car wash was quick and easy to build, thank you Make-A-Fort! It also created opportunities to problem solve, use our imagination, and spend quality time together.