In these days, where we’re all encouraged to recycle, everyone has some old plastic bottles, toilet roll tubes and cardboard boxes kicking around. Especially if the recycling is collected fortnightly, as it is round where I live.
So this half term, I decided that getting the kids doing some junk modelling would be a great rainy day activity. It was suggested by Little Robots teacher at parents evening a few weeks ago, a way of getting him to use his imagination and have a go at whatever task is put in front of him.
Over a few days, I saved some plastic bottles, toilet roll tubes, plastic tubs and various small boxes from food items. I did wonder just what we’d be able to make with what looked like only a small stash but I soon discovered we could make quite a lot.
Little Robot loves superheroes, so naturally his first suggestion was to make Iron Man’s helmet for him to wear. At first, I didn’t think this was possible. We only had small boxes, none were big enough to wear over his head. I pulled apart two of them and, with the aid of some sticky tape and a strip of card to go around the back of his head, we managed to make something that resembled Iron Man’s helmet.
He was quite pleased with our creation for all of five minutes. Just long enough for him to realise that it wasn’t as good as the real thing. His bottom lip quivered and his face crumpled, so I told him junk modelling was a bit like making a picture, something fun to do and use our imaginations for but we’d never be able to make a proper Iron Man helmet. I then promised him he could save up his pocket money for a real one and his eyes lit up excitedly. Then, cheered up by my suggestion, he began to make a robot.
Big Robot on the other hand, oh wow! He has loved this junk modelling activity. First he built a computer, using a box for the screen and sticking it to a flattened box which was to be a keyboard. He then started writing a QWERTY keyboard onto it, without looking at my laptop. His memory astounds me as he did actually get most of the keys in the right places!
He has then spent the last three hours building a chemistry lab out of all the stuff we had. Pretty accurately too. His junk model looks remarkably like he’s doing some distillation and as I type this, he is making various chemistry lab warning signs. He’s wearing his police dress up uniform as the police jacket was the closest thing he had to a lab coat. Though he informed me that in his lab “police means boss”. In my experience of working in a lab, it was usually the bosses that broke the rules rather than enforced them! Obviously everything is done by the book in Big Robots lab!
We have thoroughly enjoyed junk modelling on this wet Wednesday afternoon. I definitely recommend tipping out the recycling box and letting the kids delve in and use their imaginations.