Today marks 103th anniversary of the Titanic disaster. On April 10th, 1912 the “unsinkable” Titanic started on her maiden voyage with 2,223 passengers and crew. Four days later it hit an iceberg and sunk in the wee hours of April 15th claiming more than 1,500 lives. So many years later the story of the Titanic is as fresh and disturbing as if it just happened and many questions remain. Why did Titanic go so fast through an area filled with icebergs? White Star (the company that owned Titanic) did not provide enough lifeboats for everyone? Why wasn’t there even one pair of binoculars on board of Titanic? We have read so many books with names like The Titanic’s Last Secrets and Missing Pieces about Titanic’s final moments that I am almost ready to join one of those Secret Titanic Societies (you wouldn’t believe how many there are!). I’m also hoping (beyond all reason) that they would discover one little new detail that will explain the whole disaster in a reasonable light. Say, rivals of the White Star conspired and succeeded in bringing Titanic down (Titanic and her two sister ships were built to compete with the awfully successful Cunard lines, the #1 leader of the day). Because acknowledging that the accident was random, a nasty case of “bad luck” means I have to accept that anything bad can happen at any moment to any of us. And it’s just too much to worry about it.
Let me just start this post by saying that Titanic has been a huge part of my life since mid-July 2014 when my son accidentally came upon his first Titanic book. What does “a huge part of my life” really mean? I hear the word “Titanic” at least 100 times a day. I regularly, if not daily, play Titanic games, watch youtube Titanic videos, make Lego Titanic (which are promptly sunk and destroyed), listen to Titanic books on tapes in a car, do Titanic crafts, color Titanic coloring books and read Titanic books until I’m hoarse. Here are our Titanic Books… I will make a list and post it one of those days.
By the way, did you know that the last Titanic Survivor died in June 2009? Millvina Dean was only 9-weeks old when Titanic sunk. It really feels like the end of the era.
I always knew shopping at Amazon is beneficial. One look at their boxes and you are inspired. My very inventive husband used Amazon boxes to put together this incredible Titanic. They just studied the plans for the Titanic from our books and with a little bit of glue and determination put it together.
The best feature of this Titanic is that it’s an interactive toy. In fact, the kids have been playing with it for a few months now. The middle flap opens up and kids can hop inside. Here is my six-year-old peeking out.
All three kids can spread out in the bottom section of the ship.
(Forgive me, “bottom is for babies,” says my six-year-old, “hull” is the correct term here).
So, once Titanic was built, the next step was to paint it. Amazon (no way around it, Amazon is a constant presence in our lives) provided all the necessary paints and brushes. And here she is… a thing of beauty. Note fine details, like crow’s nests and a red trim on the bottom (pardon, on the hull).
How to build a Titanic
Create a boat-shaped form out of large cardboard boxes (it really REALLY helps to use Titanic books for reference). Use a glue gun, if you have one, and Scotch tape to make it keep its shape. Attach a large box on top (roughly in the middle) and a smaller one directly in front of it. Make two long stripes with a crow’s nest for the front and for the back, plus four smokestacks for the middle. String a row of paper rolls for the rails. Paint it. We used Tempera Paints (red, black, yellow and white). It’s especially fun to go inside the Titanic with a flashlight and a Titanic book, so make it spacious. If possible, buy blue felt to create the water effect. My kids like to “sink” their Titanic. To play this game they like to stack a pile of books under one end of the Titanic like it’s going down vertically, then cover it with felt, like it sunk. Endless fun…
To commemorate the Titanic’s anniversary we baked Titanic Cake (it’s actually a three-layer Butterscotch Cake). Here is the link to the recipe.
I posted it last month. It’s an easy and fun introduction to money. Here is the link to the game and a printable.
I have more drawings of the Titanic that I care to have in my house, but that’s what you get when you live with a Titanic enthusiast. Here is our most successful drawing. I used a combination of pencils and paints to draw/paint it. My son looks at it every night before turning off the lights. Am I flattered or what!
I hope our Titanic ideas will be useful to you.