Xxm’s school has tasked us with our first parent-child project entitled “My Aspiration”. I was stumped when I saw the topic title as I have no idea how to approach this with my three year old. We have never discussed about occupations before, let alone talk about his aspirations. Honestly, I felt this title is ill-fitted for N2 level. Besides, I really abhor homework from school. He is too young for such stress. Unfortunately, it seems like there is no escaping it in Singapore’s current educational system.
After much brainstorming and considering his likes, we have decided to make a diorama together. A diorama is a three-dimensional miniature or life-size scene in which figures, stuffed wildlife, or other objects are arranged in a naturalistic setting against a painted background. This idea stems from Xxm’s interest in bullet trains and a request he put forth to me when he was mesmerized by a model of Punggol 21 which he saw in HDB hub a couple of months back.
There you go! Our first homemade diorama!
I cannot be more pleased with our end product, since it is very much a challenge for me to come up with a piece of handicraft. If you are artwork challenged like myself or have a boy who is interested in bullet trains specifically, fret not as most of what you need is available on the internet.
Creating the models
I obtained the templates for my cutesy shinkansen trains from here. I printed them out on flashcard paper (350gsm), which made them very durable and suitable for my three year old’s rough handling. Assembling the trains and models will require quite a bit of hands on effort from the adults. To involve Xxm, I roped in him to help me fold along the lines to create creases, apply glue on the flaps and lastly hold the structures in place as the glue dries. He came up with his own idea to glue the carriages together although that was not the original intention in the template. Well, why not since his idea actually does the trick and is easier to execute.
Creating the backdrop
Using the backing of a drawing board, Xxm sponge painted it green. Then with some coloured ice cream sticks, he built his railway tracks. The final step simply involves arranging his completed models using blu-tack.
Having fun is an understatement. I can see the sense of accomplishment in Xxm’s eyes as he worked it to completion. He was especially patient throughout this entire process. Although it took us an entire day to complete this amidst other activities, he was ever so willing to stop whatever he was doing and return to this. Hopefully, we can find time to do more dioramas in the future.
Dioramas are actually big business! They can be made as real as you can possibly imagine. Simply Google for diorama images and you will get the picture. YouTube is also a great resource for step by step guides to building a diorama.
To sidetrack a bit, I chanced upon this video which teaches you how to create miniature replicas of everyday objects. I was blown over by her ingenuity.
All this talk about dioramas, and I just realised I forgot to mention Xxm’s aspiration. For now, he wants to be the train operator or railway engineer of a bullet train. Like all aspiring mums, it is my wish that his interest in minature models will direct him to become an urban planner. Whichever the case, I hope to lend him my support in whatever he wishes to do in the future.
Are you inspired to create your own diorama today?