Penguin and rainbow zoo enclosure

Marvin and the Rainbow Children’s Zoo Adventure Model Making

Model Making is such an important crucial part of literacy. So many rich learning opportunities lie in the simple making of a model out of a cardboard box. I had a wonderful time making this model of the Rainbow Children’s Zoo using empty herbal tea boxes turned inside out given to me  a few years ago which I kept.

They were a perfect shape and size to create the terrace of rainbow doors and rooms for the animals who live behind each door in my Rainbow Children’s Zoo. This week I will be performing and telling the story of Marvin and the Rainbow Children’s Zoo Adventure when I go live to children on the South East States Sparkly Box of Stories Story Time Show.

I will be sharing this model and lots of other fun ideas with the parents Facebook group that runs alongside the show. I will do this as we meet the animals and create a sparkly story world to step into. The children who watched the original show chose the animals and gave them names and they the children all star in the story as the special Zoo Keeper’s of their chosen animal. I just love it! It feels magical!

We have Mister Keeper Zachariah, Mister Keeper Oliver, Mister Keeper Benji, Mister Keeper David, Miss Keeper Grace, Mister Keeper Ethan, Miss Keeper Florrie, Mister Keeper Callum, Miss Keeper Ellison.

Here is a short extract from the first chapter…. “One Saturday morning Marvin woke up bright and early. He called his friend Fabulously Fabulous Fabiano the Frog who lived on the Lily Pond up the road. “Fabulously Fabulous Fabiano I really want to go on an exciting adventure today, will you come with me?” asked Marvin excitedly. “Darling, darling, darling, adventure did you say? Absolutely sweetie – I love adventures! Where are we going Marvy Marvin?”

“I love the Zoo Fabby and I know that there are some new animals and they all have their very special keepers that I would like to meet,” replied Marvin. “Oh fabo, fabo, fabo! Let’s go, go, go-ity, go Marvy Marvin!” Marvin put his favourite toy Barry Best Beetle in his pocket along with some sweets. “Come on let’s go Fabby! The bus will be here at 10am and we mustn’t miss it.” said Marvin “All aboard for the Rainbow Children’s Zoo. I’m Bus Driver Drew here to drive you. Roll up, roll up, take your seats on the top deck of the bus.” called out Bus Driver Drew Fabby and Marvin ran upstairs and sat at the front of the bus.


“Hoot! Hoot! Hold on tight. Rolling, rolling wheels, keep those wheels a-rolling along.” called out Bus Driver Drew Soon Fabby and Marvin arrived at the zoo. “Roll up, roll up, welcome to the Rainbow Children’s Zoo!

My name is Lady Zig-Zaggy the Rainbow Children’s Zoo Keeper!” “Follow the zig-zag, zig-zag, ziggy-zag, zig-zag line to the rainbow coloured doors to meet the animals and their keepers.” she said. Marvin and Fabby set off along the white zig-zaggy line. The first door was RED! They opened the door and went inside.

“Hello! I’m Missus Keeper Gwyn-Gwyn-Gwyn-Gwyn-Gwynnie-Gwyn-Gwyn! May I introduce you to Gloaty Glorious Goat?” “Hello my name is Gloaty Glorious Goat! I am so gorgeously glorious. Have you got any delicious sweets to eat? I love fruit sweeties, have you got any?” she said as she sniffed around Marvin’s pockets. She stuck her nose in Marvin’s shorts pocket and with a big chomp ate all the sweets in one go! She narrowly missed eating Barry Best Beetle, who looking very frightened, jumped out of Marvin’s pocket and ran away as fast as he could. “Oh meeeh, meeeh, those sweeties are scrumptious! I am Gloaty Glorious Goat, full of sticky sweeties!” she said prancing around. “Oh no! Barry Best Beetle, come back, come back!” shouted Marvin.

It was too late; Barry Best Beetle had scuttled under the wall of Gloaty Glorious Goat’s pen and disappeared! And the adventure unfolds over the episodes as Marvin and Fabby go on a hunt down the terrace of rainbow doors looking for Barry Best Beetle! Will they find him?! So back to model making…….

Model making is such an important part of literacy…stories….. learning….problem solving….ordering….role play….pretend play…..maths……measuring, language development…..concepts galore (big/little, smooth/rough, open/close, in/out Here is my Rainbow Zoo Model. Note the rainbow terrace of rooms with rainbow coloured doors, with an animal behind each door. Note the zig-zag path that they will follow. I nmade a zig-zag path so that you can actually get the sense of the zig-zag action. I made the penguin pool from a box that held a slow cooker in. I kept this packing inner for years, not wanting to part with the polystyrene oval shape…… !

I love the story behind the story of how I wrote this adventure. I am excited. More children are getting excited. There are already lots of children watching the Midwest Sparkly Box of Stories Story Time Show and the Moorvision Story Time Show…. another lovely evening waits to be spent.