Karen Skophammer, a middle-school art teacher in Fort Dodge, Iowa, likes her art big and bold. When she read about our craft contest, she hit on the idea of scaling up a classic kids' toy for the big leagues by stacking four-foot-tall boxes and turning her eight-year-old son, Scott, loose on them for decoration. He drew the animals on the boxes, coordinating the placement of the heads, torsos and arms, tummies, and legs and feet. Karen smoothed out any areas that didn't quite line up. Then Scott and his now 13-year-old sister, Jenna, painted them vibrant colors. When it was finished, the kids brought their vertical menagerie out to the driveway, where even the neighbors couldn't resist turning the blocks to create fantasy animals. The Skophammers plan to take their grand-prize trip to Walt Disney World in June.
4 identical square boxes (ours are 1 foot high and 1 1/2 feet wide)
1. Stack the boxes on top of each other and decide on four animals to create.
2. Draw the heads on the top box, torsos and shoulders on the next, arms and tummies on the next, and finally legs and feet on the bottom box, making sure that each segment lines up with all the others that might be placed above or below it.
3. Once the animals have been sketched, paint each one in different bright colors.
4. When each side is painted and dry, stack them in order and turn the boxes to produce different combinations.
TESTER'S TIPS: The trick with this craft is making all the animals the same size.