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Play roads: creative license required.

RACE CAR DRIVERS, police officers, wrecker operators, pilots: whatever they imagine themselves to be, children (particularly boys, despite the best efforts of stereotype-sensitive parents) love pushing little vehicles around pretend streetscapes.

Manufacturers of everything from bed linens to building bricks are more than happy to fuel this innocuous fantasy (wouldn't you rather your kids thought they were tractor drivers than Ninja Turtles?). We have seen streetscapes represented on sheets and comforters, rugs and carpeting, bolts of fabric, and vinyl mats. Lego sells baseplates with road sections incorporated into their dot patterns.

Of course, you can also do the roadwork yourself. Two examples of homemade streetscapes are shown here for inspiration.

The artful floorcloth above should appeal to those with time on their hands (and skillful hands). Less artistic types might leave out the cows, carousel, and canoes; the technique itself is easy to master.

A more modest interpretation is shown at left. Simple buildings sit unsecured on a painted tabletop edged with 1-by-3s that rise slightly above its surface to keep cars from driving off the end of the earth. Diagonal leg braces screwed to the inside of the edge pieces support the plywood tabletop, which merely wedges into place, allowing it to be lifted out and flipped to a plain surface.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Corsby, Bill
Date:Dec 1, 1992
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