Reuse old cardboard boxes and popsicle sticks to create a miniature sled that is perfect for pretend play with dolls or action figures. Ignite the imagination of your young child with this three dimensional usable art project! The Craft Stick Sled activity will help your little builder to explore structure and form, recognize shapes and colors, and develop important math skills such as counting. Compare and contrast this mini-model sled with the real thing for an added lesson on scale.
What You Do:
- Ask your child to draw a rectangle on the cardboard. This will be the base for the sled. Discuss size and scale. It may be helpful to use a small doll or action figure for reference.
- Help your child to cut out the rectangle.
- Punch two holes with the hole punch near the front of the rectangle. The yarn will go through these for the sled pull.
- Using glue, attach the popsicle or craft sticks to the cardboard rectangle in rows. As your child is gluing, ask him to count the number of sticks that it takes to fill the cardboard. Try not to glue over the holes.
- Help your child to feed the yarn through the holes. Tie the yarn in a knot.
- Have your child decorate the sled with felt, fabric, or foil that is glued on top
- Use paints in a variety of colors to add an extra special effect (optional)
- Place a doll or action figure on top, and watch as your child imagines a snowy adventure!
Although this activity results in a fun winter inspired play toy, it is not constructed from materials that will withstand the outdoor elements. This sled craft should be used indoors for pretend winter play, and not outside in the real snow.
Erica Loop has an MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.