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Putting on an Easter 'Peeps' show

Pine Hill Elementary School fifth-grader Paul Flipp's skateboarders are ready to ride his diorama half pipe. (Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner)1 / 6
Julia Malecha (left) and Samantha Heiden made a "Peeps Easter Egg Hunt" in the diorama they made for their spring project. It features both Peeps chicks and bunnies. (Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner)2 / 6
After they were unable to find Peep bunnies at the store for the diorama they planned to build, Taylor Benjamin (left) and Sydney Maciej found Peep chicks for Peeps on the Farm. (Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner)3 / 6
Gavin Dahlstrom will go to a lacrosse game during Spring Break. He built a lacrosse court for his diorama. (Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner)4 / 6
Alicia Kolstad said the thing she liked best about the Peep Pool she built with her partner, Madi Tsegaye, is that the peeps seem to be "hanging on to each other."5 / 6
Tak Omot (left) and Jordan Vogel were inspired to build "WWE Peeps" (World Wide Entertainment) by Omot's brother who watches professional wrestling on television. (Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner)6 / 6

Taylor Benjamin and Sydney Maciej planned to have an Easter Bunny theme for their spring project. But a lack of Peeps bunnies at the store foiled their plans.

Both are Pine Hill fifth-graders and needed an idea to use Peeps, an American candy mainstay at Easter, to build a diorama.

When they couldn't find any bunnies, they bought Peeps chicks and changed their project to "Peeps on the farm."

Along with other fifth-graders, they built their projects at home.

Although fifth-grade teachers Melissa Lidtke, Pat Oslund and Melissa Rahn hoped their students would develop problem-solving skills while building dioramas, what they wanted most was for the kids to be creative.

"We have so much structure in classes, this is a way for kids to be creative and have fun," said Lidtke.

Student projects, displayed in the school's main hallway last week, showed students tapped their creativity.

Paul Flipp started with "Peeps and Toyotas" thinking he would have a car driven by Peeps crash into a tree "after the brakes didn't work," he said. "Then I thought about doing a Peep street fight," he said in student interviews March 24.

But both ideas were pushed aside when he was on a computer with his friend, Jason Greeder. He saw a "skate park" sign online and settled for "Peepboarding."

"You know what's cool about it?" Flipp said, as he propelled a Peep on a miniature skateboard in the half-pipe he made. "It works."

Alicia Kolstad and Madi Tsegaye "just brainstormed," they said, and thought about doing something with Peeps and the ship Titanic.

When that idea didn't work out, they kept the water theme and made a Peep Pool.

Gavin Dahlstrom is going to a lacrosse game during Spring Break.

He hopes to play the game, so with some help from his parents, he built a lacrosse field. Each player is carrying a stick made with a toothpick with a miniature marshmallow on the tip.

Tak Omot's brother watches a lot of wrestling shows on television, said Jordan Vogel, Omot's Peep project partner.

"That's what inspired us to do this," Omot said holding up a small wrestling ring with two Peep wrestlers.

Julia Malecha and Samantha Heiden built a Peep Easter Hunt for their project.

"Because Peeps usually come around Easter, we thought the fairest way was to have both chicks and bunnies," Malecha said.

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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