How to Make a Home for Ninja Turtles
My son is a huge ninja turtle fan, and he wanted a secret sewer lair of his own to play with. Unfortunately, the store bought version was kind of pricey and didn’t seem too sturdy.
This kid is a true cardboard engineer, and he has a ton of ingenuity! So, he decided to make himself a bigger (and better) version, practically for free! He found some things around the house to adapt for his project, and we visited the dollar store for tape.
DIY: SECRET SEWER LAIR
Start with recycled cardboard, a kid’s imagination, and lots and lots of duct tape.
Add ingenuity and persistence
(and lots and lots of tape)
The turtles have a place to work out, a place to lounge and eat pizza, a place to skate, and a place to sleep…
What more could a ninja turtle need?
(Maybe more tape.)
Our cardboard engineer came up with the design and ideas for building materials. With the exception of purchasing some duct tape, everything he used in the construction of the lair is recycled cardboard and other items he scavenged.
The lair is huge and takes up a large portion of our schoolroom, but as a work in progress, it’s been fun to see how it evolves each week as he uses trial and error to make improvements.
The biggest challenge has been to make the walls stable, but to leave the front wide open to have room to play. That’s where all the duct tape has been handy, but our son has also changed the design of the framework to add stability to the walls. It is holding up well, and it even survives our cats’ curiosity.
A plus to all the playtime he’s gotten from his creation is that he’s learned a lot about the scientific method without realizing it!
Toilet paper and paper towel rolls are too flimsy when floor levels are added, and several of them bent under the weight. We found that the empty rolls from aluminum foil and plastic wrap are much sturdier. My son has also tried stuffing the inside of the paper towel rolls with balls of paper to add some strength.
We’ve learned not to throw away and “good” stuff without checking to see if it would make effective building material. For example, he made the hammock from a mesh produce bag, and some of the support beams are leftover pieces of foam pipe insulation he scavenged from his dad’s workshop.