This past weekend Ashley and I went to Target. I thought we would browse the toy isles for inspiration, something I couldn't have done had Zoe been with us. I was amused to see Lincoln Logs, but disappointed at how they've changed in the last 20 plus years. They now have solid plastic roofs rather than wooden plank roofs you build yourself - a huge negative I think. They seemed simplified so that they could be built quickly. In my opinion, toys that don't require much effort are toys in which interest is quickly lost.
Then I found something I had been intending on doing with the girls - paper dolls. I had even gone so far as to surf the internet for ideas and patterns, but had not yet settled on a strategy. I was turned off by the plastic coating and animation style of the ones at Target, still I couldn't resist paging through the book. It had some really nice costumes though, so I decided to get it.
Once we returned home I quickly found some 1970's Lincoln Logs on Ebay, which I wanted immediately. With great self control, I resisted diving into the enormous bidding war that ultimately pushed the price upwards of 40 dollars, not including the 12 for shipping. Turns out lots of other people had been to Target and had the same idea I was having.
That night, after the kids were in bed, Andy put some David Sedaris audio on my laptop, and we worked on homeschool projects at the kitchen island, while laughing at the jokes. Using the book paper dolls as templates, I traced clothing patterns onto some great paper, which I recently got on sale at Michael's. I cut out the harder pieces, leaving the easier ones for Zoe to cut. Andy worked on making little houses out of old cereal boxes, for a Christmas project we're doing in a week or two.
I hid the book in the pantry, where the girls wouldn't find it. In the morning I surprised them with the first homemade paper doll project. We had so much fun cutting and pasting it together. I know paper doll clothes are supposed to be removable, so I guess we're breaking the norm here :-) Zoe was so excited to "show Daddy!" when she was finished with "Orangea," who I thought looked like Robin Hood.
We repeated this process of me doing the prep work after they're in bed (they share a full-sized bed), and then surprising them with the craft again this morning, creating "Sherri," the princess. We used a painting of Zoe's as a backdrop for the photographs.
I'm still watching the Lincoln Logs on Ebay, waiting for the right price...
The book I'm using for templates: