Children's Craft: Mouse Race
A Simple Craft for Kids
Looking for something for the kids to do on a rainy day? This may be your answer.
- The mice are easy to make, although they do need adult supervision, especially if you are using a scalpel in one part of the process.
- The materials needed are easy to find, too, as they should be readily available in most family homes.
Have fun making the mice and then enjoy racing them when they are finished.
Materials You Will Need
- An empty egg carton
- A small piece of card
- A pair of scissors
- A scalpel or pointy scissors
- A pencil
- A felt-tip pen or crayons
- A marble for each child
- A tray with a flat surface
Step 1: Cut Out the Mice
- Open out an egg carton made from compressed paper, cut off the closure side and discard.
- Cut off the lid and put it aside.
- Cut off individual egg containers, or cups, one for each child (see Figure 1).
- If the egg carton is stiff, you may need to help.
- Kitchen scissors are good for this step.
- If the kids are making their own mice, it may be safest for them to use a pair of scissors that have rounded ends.
Did you try to make this and was it a fun activity?
Step 2: Smooth the Base
Smooth the base of each cup. This may need to be done with a pair of scissors (Figure 2).
Hint: Make sure that the upturned cup will sit flat on the tray.
Step 3: Make the Ears
- Using the pencil, draw two ears on the piece of card (see Figure 3).
- Make two ears for each mouse.
- To save time if you are doing it, fold the card over and cut two ears at a time.
- If the kids are doing it, they can each cut their own.
Step 4: Add the Ears
The ears can be coloured pink on the front and grey on the back if desired.
- Make slits in the cup with the scalpel or a sharp kitchen knife.
- Push in the ears with the pink side facing the front.
Hint: This step will need supervision because of the sharp implements being used; if the kids are young it would be best to do it yourself.
Step 5: Draw the Face
Using the felt-tip pen or crayon draw the mouse's face (see Figure 5):
- Draw the nose.
- Add the whiskers.
- Add the eyes.
- The shape of the eyes can be varied, e.g. open, closed, with/without lashes, to help to identify each child's mouse.
- If desired, the 'mouse' can be painted brown or another colour, but do this before adding the facial features.
Step Six: Set Up the Tray
On a firm surface, set up the tray, using the egg carton lid to make the slope (see Figure 6).
Place the mice at the top of the slope.
Hint: The further towards the centre of the tray that you place the egg carton lid, the more the slope will be, and so the faster the mice will run. The position shown is usually sufficient.
What About the Tails?
This was a great game. Actually, we got so enthusiastic about finishing our mice so that we could race them that we forgot to give them any tails until one of the children asked, "What about the tails?"
Tails could easily be added:
- Make a small hole in the back of each mouse
- Thread a short length of wool or string through the hole.
- Tie a knot on the end inside the mouse.
- Add a dab of glue to hold the tail in place if needed.
Hint: To keep the race fair the tails should be the same length and weight.
Step 7: The Race
- While holding each mouse still, gently place a marble under each one.
- Line them up for the race.
- Ready, Set, GO!
Tap the tray gently and the mice will begin to run down the slope - wheee!!!
The first to reach the bottom is the winner (Figure 7).
The marbles need to be the same size and weight if the race is to be fair!
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