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Right now I'm sitting at my desk staring out the window (one skill I can fully claim: not looking at my keyboard while typing!) at pouring rain. I'm talking sheets of it – one of those spectacular summer storms. Lots of thunder, the dog's barking, and the kids are gazing blankly into the games closet. "What should we play next?" I hear them say to each other.
Days like today are perfect for make-believe play.
Inspired by Little Bear, this costume will help your adventurer prepare for flight by making a space helmet and jet pack.
ASTRONAUT COSTUME HOW-TO
To get things started: Else Holmelund Minarik’s Little Bear Goes to the Moon (Harper Trophy 1978), illustrated by Maurice Sendak, is the endearing story of a little bear who puts on a homemade space helmet and sets off to try to get to the moon.
For the helmet and jet pack you’ll need
- disposable painter’s bucket (or you can use a box or even a bike helmet)
- accordion flexible plastic tubing
- two empty 2L soda bottles
- silver duct tape
- red, yellow, and/or orange tissue paper
To make the astronaut helmet
- Cut a rectangular piece out of the bucket; this will be the “visor” where your child will look through.
- Cover the bucket with foil, securing with duct tape.
To make the jet pack
- Cover both of the 2L bottles with silver duct tape.
- Attach the two bottles together by wrapping a long piece of duct tape around both bottles.
- Cut two pieces of flexible plastic tubing long enough to go around your child’s arms. Tape the tubes to the back of the jet pack, as if they were backpack straps. Alternatively, you can use ribbon as straps, attaching it to the jet pack with duct tape, or just fold duct tape over itself to make it nonsticky and use that as straps.
- Stuff some pieces of tissue paper into the openings of the 2L bottles for flames and your child will be ready to take off!
Spaceman image from Thinkstock
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