This is a gift I made for my nephew Max last summer for his 4th birthday. As with most little boys his age, dinosaurs are where it's at. Plus he lives in Texas, and this was light to ship. What it was NOT, however, was a quick project. I will warn you that, while it was relatively easy to put together and very affordable to make, there is a lot of cutting and gluing involved, and it can be very time consuming. I found the idea for this over at Fun At Home With Kids, although I made just a few small changes on mine.
For the grass I just cut strips of felt and fringed them, then glued them in place.
I did my trees just a little differently than FAHWK. I still used rolled up felt stuffed with batting, but I grouped them together for support and I also used a pipe cleaner inside each tree trunk. Then I wound a couple of green pipe cleaners through and around them for vines.
I added a little foot bridge to my stream. I also made my pond quite a bit smaller and added little fish to both it and the stream.
The cave was just shaped and glued as I went. For the little leafy bushes I used my Sizzix Big Kick and my Sizzix Originals Flower Layers #2 die. I just sort of folded and bunched up the smallest two die cuts and glued them down.
I think the volcano was my favorite. It was just a couple of sheets of tan felt for the base, and yellow, orange, and red felt cut freehand to make the lava. I glued the lava mostly down, and I think it helped the volcano hold it’s shape a little better. The mouth is big enough for dinos to tumble inside, and big enough for little boy fists to reach in and rescue him.
This could absolutely be a no sew project (the inspiration piece was), but I ended up sewing down the edges of the tar pit. I didn’t have any black craft felt on hand, so I ended up using felted wool instead. It didn’t want to stay glued together, so I sewed the two layers together and flipped them right side out through one if the zigzag cuts I made so the dinosaurs could “sink”. Then I sewed the whole thing down around the edges. (Ignore the lint. I spent forever with a lint roller before I mailed it off).
For the beach area I used drop cloth instead of felt and sandpaper because I felt like the sandpaper might get crinkled during shipping, and I also didn’t want any rough surfaces. I added a few tiny seashells I had on hand.
I didn’t have any brown pom poms on hand for coconuts, so I just skipped that detail.
The cave as well as the volcano both fluff back up pretty easily if they get flattened during storage.
Of course I couldn’t send a dino playscape without including a T-Rex. There were also a number of smaller dinos sent, but they didn’t make the photo shoot.
I think he looks pretty fierce surveying his kingdom.
I tried to leave plenty of free space for the dinosaurs to roam.
It was a fun project, and I’d love to try more with different themes.