In Peeps contest, Kid-created Olympics diorama takes the gold

When you ask 10-year-old Emma Hourigan and 9-year-old Yrsa Erickson why they decided to make a Peeps diorama of the 2012 Olympics in London, their answers come out in a tumble of giggles.

“I love Peeps,” Yrsa offers.

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“We really thought the Olympics were great. We really loved the hurdles,” Emma chimes in.

While this was the girls’ first try at creating a scene featuring the popular marshmallow candies, their clever portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II parachuting onto the track while hurdlers stumbled over their barriers was chosen as the best kid-created diorama in The Washington Post’s annual contest. (Be sure to look at today’s Post Magazine to see the overall winners!) More than 650 dioramas were entered in the contest, and more than 160 of them were created by kids. In addition to the kids’ entries shown here, there are more online at

Emma and Yrsa worked on the diorama for about two weeks, including three-hour sessions on the weekends. In addition, “sometimes we had little rendezvous at recess” to talk about the project, said Emma, who along with Yrsa is a fourth-grade student at Maryvale Elementary in Rockville. They received very little help from their parents, other than having them take the girls to a Michaels store to buy supplies.

The judges were very impressed with the number of Peeps the girls used as fans in the stands at the Olympic stadium. That was one of the hardest parts of creating the diorama, Emma said. “The spectators were really hard to fit in.”

They used doll clothes to dress their Peeps. Their diorama uses only yellow bunny Peeps, and that was on purpose, the girls said.

“We like yellow; it’s very cheery and seemed appropriate for the diorama. We love yellow,” Emma said. Yrsa had a more practical reason for the yellow Peeps: “We didn’t want to do pink Peeps because a lot of the clothes we used were pink, so we wanted them to stand out more.”

Even though the girls have been friends since kindergarten and are totally BFFs, they still had a minor problem while creating the diorama.

Yrsa “kept on eating so many Peeps,” Emma says as both girls dissolved in a fit of giggles.

— Tracy Grant

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