This is one of those projects where the end result looks *nothing* like what I had originally set out to create. Though I suppose if I want something to look a certain way, I should probably stop asking for LittleMan’s help making it because we will rarely agree.
If you want to get technical, this project started two years ago. I was pregnant with SunnyGirl at the time and I came across this adorable doll house on Pinterest. It was simply an Ikea Expedit with wall paper behind it but I loved it so much that I went out and got an Ikea Expedit for the nursery. I figured it could hold bins of clothes until SunnyGirl was old enough to play with dolls.
Well, SunnyGirl is now nearly 20 months and she doesn’t have much interest in dolls but she does *love* My Little Pony and Winnie -the- Pooh. SunnyGirl has never actually seen the My Little Pony show but she thinks the plastic pony figurines are just the bee’s knees. She had a lot of figurines and no place to play with them so I decided it was finally time to put the Expedit to use.
We have a fireplace in our living room which is never used and has become a bit of an eyesore so we decided to put the doll house right in front of it.
I originally envisioned a sort of barn for her ponies to play in but when I enlisted LittleMan’s help putting it together, he had other ideas. Since there was 4 compartments, LittleMan suggested each one have a separate background. He wanted a field and a skyline and outter space and underwater. We compromised a bit on those last two by making one compartment with a sort of bluish background that could be any number of places…a cave, underwater, outter space, etc.. The 4th compartment included curtains so it could be a living room or a theatre.
We created these scenes by measuring each opening then cutting pieces of foam board (purchased from Dollar Tree) to be slightly larger than the opening. With LittleMan’s help I painted the scenes on using paint we already had on hand. Once the paint was dry LittleMan and I used small screws to attach the scenes to the back of the Expedit. If we ever want to change out the scene for something new it will only be a matter of getting a new piece of foam board and a screw driver.
Those of you who saw the small world play set up I created for LittleMan several months ago know that I am all about keeping play open ended, so a lot of the materials I provided for SunnyGirl can be used in a multitude of ways.
To the left there is a laundry basket with cardboard tubes, bean bags, a foam construction set, and wooden blocks.
To the right here is a tower of smaller materials made out of things we had around the house or things we had purchased for other projects and repurposed for this.
Clockwise from the top left: mini wire Christmas trees, felt pieces cut into shapes, rocks, a bowl of glass gems, rainbow popsicle sticks, a small mirror, a fluffy green pillow with flower buttons, and bottle caps.
On top of the Expedit there are the small wooden houses we painted and 4 containers of figurines. The cars and the ponies have been collected over the past few years. The Marvel, Winnie -the- Pooh, and Disney figurines were each purchased from Dollar Tree for other projects this past year and have found a new home here.
Those of you who are Dollar Tree shoppers may have noticed that much of our set up was purchased from Dollar Tree: the laundry basket to the left, the 4 containers on top, the tower of shelves to the right, and the rug in front were all Dollar Tree purchases. Also, as I mentioned above, the foam board used to make the background scenes and many of the little figurines were also Dollar Tree purchases. Even the small loose pieces such as the wire trees, glass gems, and popsicle sticks were Dollar Tree purchases.
The entire doll house set up and all the accessories cost us less than $18 considering that most of the materials used were left overs re-purposed from other projects.
This project may not have turned out exactly how I had envisioned but I really enjoyed the process of building it with LittleMan’s input. Having LittleMan help me to make something for his sister was also a great way to incorporate some of what he had been learning in school: money management, measuring, color mixing, habitats, and kindness.by