We're always raiding our recycling box for art, craft and play materials. A few weeks ago my son asked, just as we were leaving for school, to plunder its wonders for his CDT lesson that day. He chose about five items including what he considered to be the Coolest Container Ever, and told me he was going to use it to make a Dalek*.
Fast forward to the end of school, and my seven-year-old appeared in the playground absolutely distraught. It transpired that someone else thought that his container was the Coolest Thing Ever too, and had had the gall to swipe it from Buddy's tray. We went back to the classroom and searched high and low, hoping that he had just misplaced it, but it had completely disappeared. So we reported the incident to his teacher; to my child, this theft was the height of injustice. We had to make sure Bud knew we were doing all we could to find the culprit, and retrieve the Dalek.
Of course, that never happened. His teacher said she asked everyone in the class and, surprise-surprise, no one came forward. After a few days I told Bud that it looked like that Dalek had gone for good. But I tried to find something positive to add, so I said that we might eventually find another container just the same, and then he could make the Dalek again - this time at home. He seemed OK with this, so we let the whole thing rest. Then, last week we happened to find a shop that stocked Calippo Shots (fruity ice pieces) - in the exact container required for the Dalek-make. When the icy treats were finished, I washed up the pot and left it on our help-yourself-shelf to see if Bud would take the bait. Days passed, and I really had started to think that a new Dalek would never materialise.
But then, after school a few days ago, I heard him call through to the kitchen, 'Oh look! I can make my Dalek. I'm going to do it now!' He'd discovered the empty Calippo Shots box. And because he'd made it before he knew exactly what he needed, and busied himself collecting sticky tape, scissors, card, a milk bottle top and of course the Coolest Container Ever. He set up his very own little 'invitation to create' as you can see below. And I was so pleased.
And I was proud of him too, a reluctant crafter to say the least, getting over the disappointment of the initial Dalek disappearance (the thief is still at large) - and to find the enthusiasm and motivation to do it all again. He really enjoyed making it too; he tried out new ways to get the Dalek 'bits' to stick on, and he used about a roll of sticky tape in the process. We're keeping the Dalek safe at home, because we now know how desirable Daleks can be to light-fingered Dr Who and Container fans. Bud even agreed to pose with his finished Dalek - Fred 9, as it's called. I do love a happy ending.
* We don't watch Dr Who; far too scary and grown-up for my children. But my son has a T shirt with Daleks on its front - a great hand-me-down from his cousin. He wears this with pride, and loves the idea of people thinking he watches Dr Who.