The Weekly Wonder

Seattle has the best artists, and one of them is sharing his skills to bring the Northwest’s wild creatures into your home. Throw open those doors and let some fun ideas in, from banana slugs to balloon cars:

Draw wild Northwest animals

Want to sketch an orca, heron or slug? Seattle’s Burke Museum is releasing a series of how-to videos called “Drawing Wild Washington” with expressive, energetic artist Jed Dunkerley. Find them at, which also has a nature scavenger hunt, animal crafts and other at-home activities for kids and families.

Make a LEGO puzzle box

Adam Ward has a dream job: professional LEGO artist. He’s filmed a step-by-step video of how to make a puzzle box named Sheldon ( After you learn the basics, see if you can design your own puzzle boxes, then hand them to someone at home to solve.

Strap on your snorkel

Splash around virtually on a Google tour of Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida, which is not very dry at all. It’s mostly water, with seven small islands accessible only by boat or seaplane. Head to to swim through a coral reef, dive down to explore a shipwreck and tour Fort Jefferson, built in the 19th century.

Harness the power of balloons

People create amazing art with balloons — like the 20-foot dinosaur that you can see coming together at warp speed in a Virginia museum ( But how about a balloon creation that goes? Scientific American walks you through how to build a balloon-powered car using basic supplies (

Make a pinball machine

All you need are a few simple supplies, something to act like flippers (Popsicle sticks?) and a ball. Here are directions from Britain’s Science Museum, which charmingly calls the little wooden flippers “ice lolly sticks”: