Build Your Own Mars Colony

Build Your Own Mars Colony
illustrated by Jana Glatt
Laurence King Publishing

What better way for youngsters to spend some lockdown time than trying out a bit of space exploration? By means of the contents of this nifty box of cardboard sheets they can do just that, blasting themselves into the deepest depths of beyond in a rocket and then coming to land on the red planet aka Mars.

The scope for imaginary play is terrific once all the pieces from the ten sturdy sheets have been assembled and the colony constructed. What does it feel like enclosed in a space ship hurtling through the pitch-blackness? How does life on a new planet feel compared to that on earth?

The laser cut, double-sided pieces pop-out easily providing all that’s needed for an entire mission Mars colony to be built.

Survival and all that entails have been considered here: there’s a dome-shaped habitat that can provide shelter, half a dozen human characters and some animal ones, a variety of vehicles and the ‘technical manual for interplanetary pioneers’ giving basic plans, unfolds into a base on which to put all the splendidly detailed parts once slotted together.

For adults looking for ways to keep their children engaged, this has great potential; it ticks a host of educational boxes but best of all, it’s terrific fun and encourages those all important flights of fancy.

Samuel (just 5) enjoyed assembling the pieces

and once he’d done so, he and his sister (7) played together with them, and Emmanuelle, having added a few items of her own, wrote a chapter of her story about one of the characters setting up a school on Mars.

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