Thursday, August 19, 2010

BoxCar Children Diorama

This summer we have been doing the usual cleaning out the classroom. Which, includes trowing away old projects, much to the kids dismay. 

We always take pictures of the larger crafts we do. This particular craft I took the picture awhile back. I just couldn't convince the kids or sneak it out to make it go away. Trust me we keep a lot of their crafts. The more years I homeschool, the more the classroom feels like I am running out of space. 

One of my kids beloved projects was from the first year we used Sonlight K Introduction to the World. We made a diorama from the book, "Boxcar Children". 

Little Man loved this craft and because the diorama has train tracks in it. He likes to take his toy trains an ride it in the diorama. Then he would put more train tracks outside of the box and pretend it was part of the town. So after 2 years it has been well loved and used.
Diorama homeschool
The Boxcar Children Diorama

We used a water bottle box for the base of the diorama. The kids had a fun and very messy time painting it with several coats of green paint for the base of it.

We painted the craft sticks black for the tracks. Next we used a kid size shoe box for the boxcar. I took brown mailing paper and covered the whole shoebox so they could paint it.

Bug broke the craft sticks and made 4 beds for each of the kids. We found a mini tree stump (a stick or you could use a tree cookie) for the kids(just like in the book) to get into the boxcar and other pieces of branches to hang a shelf inside the boxcar. 

I cut out some shapes of dishes brooms and other items the story talks about and the kids colored the items. My kids are young and they got frusterated trying to make the items. They expected it to look a certain way I guess! Let your kids be creative and do it themselves if they are able to.

We made the stream out of clay. The kids made it bumpy to make it look like moving water. After we painted it I put some modge podge on it to make it shiny. 

We hunted for small sticks in the yard and I cheated on the pebbles and bought a small bag at the dollar store. The kids put rocks along the stream of the river and built a dam for the swimming pool.How fun is that.

For the campfire we used the left over rocks and sticks. We then glued yellow and orange tissue paper to look like a fire is going.

The trees we used the green foam flower cones and stuck a pipe cleaner for the clothes line. I cut out the clothes that Bug made. I am sure you could be more creative with the trees as I just used what I had on hand. It would of been fun to poke sticks in the foam and maybe make leaves by gluing tissue paper or something on it. Like I said my kids are young and I wanted it not to get to complicated with them. 

When it was all done we glued the dried moss to the train tracks to make it look like an old abandoned train tracks.

It was a fun craft and the first big one we made using Sonlight K. It has been well loved and used during its life time. Mom had to make space for more crafts and we can't forget all those books that need shelf space.

Have a blessed day. 

Follow up June 2014: My kids still remember this craft. I think because of the diorama my kids remember this book so well. This has been one of our favorite crafts that we did in school. Mom's it's fun to step outside of the workbook and the book and create a master piece. This wasn't a planned craft actually. It came up spontaneous and it was a blast. My kids will always remember making the diorama for, "The Boxcar Children".


  1. My daughter said it looked just like it did in the book - high praise! We really like it.

  2. adorable! i just found your site today! i love the info! thank you:)



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