From Zimbabwe ... Wire Jeeps

Zimbabwe can be found deep in the heart of Africa. There are many wild, beautiful things in Zimbabwe. One of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls in the world is found here. It is called Victoria Falls, but originally it was called "Mosiatunya," which means "the smoke that thunders." When the water of Victoria Falls hits the rocks below, it makes a fine mist that looks a lot like smoke and the sound it makes is a lot like thunder. Zimbabwe is also home to many kinds of wild animals. The people of Zimbabwe are very concerned with keeping their wild animals safe. National parks have been set up in the country to protect the hippos, elephants, giraffes, zebras, rhinoceroses, and other beautiful creatures.

This toy was made after the jeeps driven by the park rangers who work there. Suggested Age for Child: This toy is suitable for children ages 12 and up, with adult supervision.

Materials Needed:
1. Four feet of strong wire.
2. Some thinner wire to use for joining the stronger pieces together.
3. Pliers to bend and cut the wire.
4. A hard, round object that you can twist the wire around to make shapes.
5. Pipe cleaners
6. Cotton balls, scrap cloth, and small pieces of yarn

1. First, we make the wheels to your jeep. Twist your wire three times around your hard, round object, leaving a long straight piece of wire. You may need pliers for this.
2. Twist the other end of the wire around the same round object so that all your wheels are the same size.
3. Use the pliers and bend the top of the straight wire down to form a straight line in the center of the circle (wheel) and then bend again to form an axle.
4. Repeat this on the other side so that you have two wheels and an axle.
5. Now build a box (your jeep) to attach to the axle. Use a thin, easily bendable wire to attach the two pieces. Be sure to leave a gap at the joint so that the wheels are able to spin.
6. Attach a long, thick, wire for your handle.
7. Use your pipe cleaners to make a driver for the jeep. You can attach cotton balls for stuffing and material for clothes. You can also add yarn for your driver's hair.

How to Play:
Hold the handle of the jeep and push it around the floor. It really moves! Watch the wheels roll!

If you know any additional information abut this toy or have a toy you've made or seen made please contact us! We'd love to hear from you.

Photo taken by Rick Strebe copyright 1997,1998