Bodacious Abodes


When my daughter chose a “Littlest Pet Shop” theme for her birthday party, I was at a loss.  Would we play “pin the gigantic eyeballs on the pet?”  Luckily, she had something in mind.  She wanted to give every child at the party one of the small plastic pets to adopt and then she wanted to make houses for them. 

Ten-packs of the animals were available for around $2.50 each, but I puzzled over what to use to make the houses.  I didn’t have fifteen shoe boxes and I wasn’t about to go to a craft store and shell out big bucks. Instead,  I wandered the isles of Target, looking for inspiration.  The resulting project was inexpensive, creative, and the kids loved it.  Afterwards, the girls set up a town with the houses they made and played with their new pets.  (Decorate-your-own cupcakes and a nail-painting station also helped make the party a success!)


All you need to make the houses are:  sturdy paper or cardboard plates, large paper cups (or small, depending on who the houses are for),  and any decorating materials you can dig up or find in your junk bin inclulding: sequins, pipe cleaners, wrapping paper, egg crates, cocktail umbrellas, playdough, buttons, bottle caps, pasta, shells, aluminum foil………………..whatever you can find. 

Help them or let them cut a door in the cup.  (Lots of kids at the party left the doors attached on top and bent them up to make a “porch.”)  Then, have them cut a circle of colorful paper or wrapping paper and glue it on the bottom of their plate.  Now, they can decorate their house.  It works best if they glue the house onto the plate after it’s fully decorated.  Some kids used play dough to make the house stay in place, but craft glue worked pretty well too.  Finally, they can decorate the “yard” and furnish the house.  Your child might enjoy creating  a whole zoo of  “habitats” for plastic animals, or a Polly Pocket campsite using the cups as tents. 


Once again, you may be tempted to make one yourself.  Finding your inner child is one of the many great things about being a parents.

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