How to craft a doll carnival from cereal boxes
What do you do when faced with a three-day weekend with no trips planned and no money to spend? Playdate for the kids, check. Cookie baking, check. Read books, check. Play videogames, check. Watch sports events, check (My condolences to all the 49ers fans; our weekend viewing was slightly more enjoyable as we saw Man United get thrashed by Chelsea in the Barclays Premiere League) . But what to do with the other gajillion hours? Get crafting, of course! The Pea couldn't convince her brothers to play with her, so she roped them into making carnival booths for her Monster High dolls out of cereal boxes! I thought they turned out adorably and couldn't resist sharing the fruits of their labor over the MLK weekend. It's an easy, fun craft that will keep your kids busy for hours.
To make a basic carnival booth, all you need is empty cereal boxes, colored construction paper, markers, glue and tape. First, cut out a booth window on one side of the cereal box -- you can use the cut out part as as a little windowsill or counter. Then cover the outside of the box with construction paper, fastening with glue or tape. How you bling out each booth is up to you!
The Pea's Ring Toss booth is covered in white drawing paper, with red tinsel accents glued around the edges. She covered the inside wall of the booth with red and white polka dot scrapbook paper. She hand-lettered her Ring Toss sign, using a circus font she found on the internet (if your calligraphy skills aren't at her level, you can always print out your own sign!)
She used plastic Q-tip rods for the ring toss poles, and hot glued them to the wall. Her rings are plastic beads.
Jammy made a balloon dart booth. He covered his cereal box with black construction paper, and hung scalloped red-and-white striped paper over the top of the booth and below the counter. We blew up water balloons to about 1.5" diameter and secured them to the back wall by cutting slits in the cardboard with a blade, and poking the ends of the balloons through the slits.
He spent an eternity making tiny darts out of red metallic tinsel, toothpicks, and construction paper. Like I said, this craft keeps them busy for hours!
3Po joined the crafting party a few hours after the other two, so he got stuck with the smallest cereal box. It wasn't quite tall enough for the dolls, so we had to cut the top off to make them fit inside his Basketball booth. He improvised by hot gluing bamboo skewer poles to the four corners of the cereal box and attaching water balloons to each poles. He also glued paper triangles to a piece of string and hung them from the poles for an extra festive look.
The basketballs are orange water balloons blown up to about 1.5" diameter. We made the hoops by forming rims out of pipe cleaners, then tying string to them and knotting them to make a net. This was by far the trickiest part of the project, but it gave me an excuse to help them and join in the fun. Check out 3Po's adorable clown sign!
The kids enjoyed making these booths so much, and now they have big plans for a shooting gallery, milk can booth, cotton candy stand, and more. I love that it's a creative, gender-neutral project they can enjoy together... and it saves me from buying a load of expensive plastic playsets for The Pea's dolls. When they get sick of it, it all goes into the recycling bin, instead of taking up loads of storage space... although these booths are so cute, I don't know if I'll be able to throw them away!