How to make your own "Galimoto"

Galimoto-Craft-Plastic-Bottle-Car.jpg

In the book, Galimoto by Karen Lynn Williams, Kondi, a 7 year-old boy from Africa, is determined to make a galimoto—a toy car made of scrap wire. But first, he must search his village for bits and pieces of cast-offs to construct it. To go along with the reading of this book, we are making our own version of a galimoto using what we found lying around our store!

This craft requires prep work by an adult. Here's what you'll need:

  • clear plastic 16 oz water bottle with cap, empty and dry
  • pool noodle
  • 2 colorful plastic straws, each 7 inches long
  • one piece of yarn, 40 inches long
  • air dry clay
  • 10 marbles
  • washi tape, stickers for decor
  • hot glue
  • awl
  • sharp scissors and knife

1. Take the water bottle and create 4 holes for the 2 wheel rods by using an awl: at the top of the bottle, measure down 3.5 inches and poke a hole into the side of the  bottle (NOTE: don't poke it in the middle of the bottle; the wheels are not big enough to raise the car off the ground) and push straight through and create another hole directly opposite it on the other side. Repeat this process 7 inches down from the top of the bottle. Create a bigger hole by cutting each of the 4 holes with scissors  so that a straw can be inserted and is able to turn freely. Mark each circle with a black sharpie—this helps the child to locate the holes to thread the straw rods through.

2. Using a sharp knife, cut the pool noodle into 5 1-inch pieces; cut one of the pieces into 4 smaller sections to create the hub caps. Poke a hole in the inside curve of each hubcap.

3. Fill the 4 pool noodle wheel holes with air dry clay. Poke the straws through the holes in the plastic bottle. Now place the 4 wheels on the end of the straws and push the straw through the clay so 1 inch of the straw is poking out from the wheel. Place a hubcap on each end of the straws. Make sure there is space between the bottle and the wheels so the rod can turn. If you want, you can hot glue the hubcaps in place.

4. Drop 10 marbles into the bottle for weight. Poke a hole in the bottle cap and thread yarn through it; double knot it. Screw cap on with the yarn on the outside—this will be the way to pull the car.

5. Decorate with washi tape and stickers.

6. Now you are ready to "Galimoto"!

Recommended ages 3+ yrs.

andrew jonesComment