contributed by Leanne Guenther
Many pioneers grew up in log cabins way back when, including some of the United States' former presidents!
- empty milk carton or juice container,
- some newspaper,
- some crayons,
- scissors, and
- Optional materials include brown paint, construction paper, cardboard, and pinecones.
You can either use a 2L or 1L milk/juice container and cut it down to about 5" tall or you can use a 500ml or 250ml container without cutting it.
- Make sure container is cleaned well. Cut down to about 5" tall as necessary.
- Fold the top together then cut the piece that was glued together off and tape the carton together so that it looks like a normal roof.
- Cut strips of newspaper (about 12" long and as wide as the milk container). This may require an adult's assistance.
- Wrap the strips of newspaper around a pencil
or straw to form a "log".
- Apply some glue to the end to hold it together.
- Remove the pencil or straw.
- Make enough of them to cover the carton (15 to 20).
- If doing this with very young children or with large groups, you may want an adult to preconstruct a bunch of logs, just leaving 2 or 3 for the children to do on their own.
- Paint logs with brown tempra paint if you have it. Keep in mind that if you choose to do this step, you'll have to wait until the paint is dry until you finish cabin construction (this may not be desirable with really young kids or if you choose this approach you may want to make it a two day project).
- Glue the logs onto the milk carton walls to make a log cabin. Trim ends as needed.
- You can decorate further by cutting out construction paper or thin cardboard roof, windows and doors.
- You can decorate further by gluing the cabin to a piece of cardboard and decorating the surrounding scenery (pine-cone trees, construction paper or tissue paper grass, a sand path, etc)
Instead of using newspaper rolls for the "logs", try using straws or pretzel sticks glued onto the side. If you use pretzels, you may want to use store bought frosting to "glue" the pretzels onto the milk carton. That way the kids can safely nibble while they are constructing and the pretzels seem to stay stuck to the carton better with the frosting than they do with glue.
I just wanted to share two options for the Log Cabin craft that may be easier for younger children. Another option to make the logs would be to use brown paper grocery bags or brown craft paper. Or for a larger scaled house for older children, a cardboard box could be used and paper towel and toilet paper cardboard rolls could be used for the logs.