Last year, Volunteers Isabel (Germany) and Phil (New Zealand) made a dollhouse for the playroom. It was large and sturdy at first, but the hot glue that held it together quickly became a magnet for little fingers to pick. As it was moved around and around the room and into the girls dorm and back into the playroom, and as our kittens (and then the puppies) used it as a place to hide and play, it soon became a roof-less, wall-less abandoned shack.
With the arrival of Dean from the US, Kelly (following in her father, Phil’s footsteps) and Briar from New Zealand and Olivia from Germany, they were tasked with creating a replacement. With more time available to them, they were able to spend the time to make a stronger more sturdy playhouse.
Kelly describes their adventure:
Our mission was to make a dolls house that could survive all of the love and attention from the Watopotians. So Dean, sat down and on a small piece of paper designed a sturdy miniature Khmer style house.
This design was free to adaptations and often changed as we searched in piles of rubble to find the resources we needed. Somehow our scavengers Nak and Olivia found perfect pieces of wood, which had been tucked away inside an old chicken house. Exactly what we needed!
With Dean leading us, we then set to put his plan into action. We soon found out we were a little short on building supplies, but not to fear, by that afternoon Wayne had sorted hammers, nails, sand paper, saws, and everything we needed to build our house. A few times we miscalculated our measurements, and sawing new pieces of wood quickly changed from everyone fighting to hold the saw to suddenly all of the children disappearing when it was time to cut.
Everyone that is, but Nak and Briar and Olivia who helped every morning. Nak would help with hammering, nailing, measuring, coming up with new ideas for how to attach the walls, making us laugh, and of course, intentionally annoying us as soon as he could see that we were getting stressed when things went wrong.
In the end our house turned out a little wonkier than intended, and changed a lot along the way, but it has character, looks like a Khmer house, is strong, and was fun to make!
Here’s the finished product briefly in a natural setting.
and then put to use in the Preschool.
although it may not be long until the steps are in need of repair, unless we can convince our little one it’s for dolls (or action figures) only!
Thanks for viewing!