Making a diorama can help your child interact with the book they are reading for school. Duplicating their favorite scene increases reading comprehension and retention.
When making a diorama of any book, start by selecting the scene or scenes you want to re-create. Pick relatively simple scenes that will help your child see the two-dimensional images from the book as interactive, three-dimensional play spaces.
For the book Corduroy, we decided to re-create the department store that Corduroy lives in at the beginning of the book.
Most dioramas can be made with supplies you can find around the house. This Corduroy diorama uses simple objects and supplies, most of which you should have on hand.
- Cardboard shoe box with lid
- Scrapbook paper for store wallpaper
- Wrapping paper or butcher paper to cover outside of box
- Felt for mattress and carpeting
- Cardboard cereal boxes
- Gray, black and wood-grain paper
- Buttons and small objects for shelf
- Assorted craft miniatures
1. Cut and cover
Start by cutting holes in the lid of the cardboard box for windows, then covering the inside and outside of the box. Cover the outside of the box with wrapping paper, tucking the excess inside. Cut scrapbook paper for the inside, and glue into place.
2. Make second story
From the cereal box, cut a “shelf” to make the second story. Cut a hole in the shelf for the escalator. Cover with felt for carpeting.
3. Cut out escalator
Cut out a long oval shape for the escalator. Cover one side with gray paper.
4. Make escalator stairs
Fold black paper accordion-style, then stretch out the accordion shape to make a staircase. Glue into place on the back of the escalator.
5. Draw posters and character
Draw posters to decorate the store walls and make Corduroy.
6. Create shelf
Make the shelf by cutting a piece from the cereal box. This piece has flaps that are each 3/4 inches wide. The center is 2 x 2-1/2 inches. The extra shelf is 2-1/2 x 3/4 inches.
7. Finish the shelf
Cover the shelf with the wood-grain scrapbook paper, and glue together. Glue small items into place to complete the toy shelf.
8. Glue pieces in place
Glue the shelf and escalator into place. Add additional miniatures. Add Corduroy and posters.
9. Make mattress
Make the mattress for the top floor. The basic construction is the same as the shelf. The mattress is 2 x 2 inches with 1/2-inch flaps, and covered in felt. Buttons are glued on top.
10. Glue mattress
Glue the mattress into place on the top floor.
11. Make and add lamp
Make a lamp for the top floor. Cut a wedge from a small styrofoam cone, cover in paper and add a skewer or lollipop stick. Glue into place on the top floor.
12. Create storefront lid
Finish the diorama by decorating the front of the store with marker. You can allow your child to be creative as they decorate their storefront.
13. Ready to go
Your Corduroy diorama is complete!
The lid will help to protect the diorama on the way to school, and children will love peeking in through the windows.