Friday, January 9, 2015

Squinkie Village Remodel

UPDATE:  This has been a very popular post, so if you're contemplating doing this yourself, I want to mention another remodel we did, this time using a free end table. 

 This end table was another fun remodel that my children love playing with, but it takes up less space, which is helpful sometimes for those of us with smaller spaces!  

Everyone knows about train tables.  Toddlers and preschool age kiddos flock to the kids' section in Barnes and Noble just for the fun of the knee-high Thomas the Train table and the toys which dazzle its surface.  But what if your kid (my daughter, for instance), is more interested in Squinkies or Calico Critters than trains?
Train Table listed on craigslist
Buy an old train table off of craigslist and upcycle that bad boy into a Squinke Village (or My Little Pony Paradise or Calico Critter Town or Littlest Pet Shop Haven or...?)
Our train table remodel: Squinkie Village Extraordinaire

Here's what we did with ours using acrylic paint, Dollar Tree foam, beads, glass balls and glitter.  Be sure to finish off with a thorough coat of ModPodge to ensure your upgrade can withstand hours of play and still look amazing.
Those glass beads in the photo above hail from Dollar Tree.  The white 3D edging came from there, too and as an added benni, it glows in the dark. 
An overhead view
We set out my daughter's little Squinkie houses and sets on the old train table and then we redrew and designed the surface around them, trying to ensure that every little toy set faces outward so that she can walk around her table to play in front of each one.
Close-up of the Squinkie Mansion
And just what is a Squinkie, you may ask?  Tiny little rubber dolls that often come from one of those little toy dispensers.  We got our sets at the thrift store, and my daughter adores them.

Here's the Official Home of Squinkies (since I know you are curious):

So, go ahead--don't be afraid.  Grab one of those used Train Tables and remodel that sucker!  Use weird elements  like 3D moldable Styrofoam and create something new and awesome.  And post a link here in the comments!  I'd love to see what you make!

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