What to collect?
Collect cardboard and packaging before it goes in the recycling to use as materials for your models.
- Cardboard boxes (large and small)
- Ribbons/string (from gift bags and packaging)
- Plastic containers and bottles
- Plastic bags (cut up into pieces)
- Cardboard tubes
- Bottle/jar lids
- Wrapping paper
- Straws & lollipop sticks
- Pieces of fabric (from old clothes or cloth bags heading for recycling)
- Anything else you can think of!
You can make models on a small or large scale, depending which items you collect.
What else might we need?
- An old cloth or sheet (to protect the table/floor if you’re using glue or paint)
- Masking tape
- Hole punch
- Elastic bands
- Coloured pens
- Scissors for your child
- Scissors for you (for helping with the tricky bits!)
Use what you already have at home, you don’t need all of these items.
What could they make?
- ANYTHING!! Show your child the collection of items and have a think together.
- Encourage your child to be creative and use their imagination.
- If they need help, suggest ideas of things they like or are interested in; a fire engine, a treasure box, a house for a toy, a telescope, a mask, a musical instrument, or a microwave for their play kitchen.
Notice your child enjoying the challenge of making, it doesn’t matter what the finished object looks like!
What will they learn?
- Children will develop their creativity, problem-solving and perseverance skills as they select materials and work out how to fit and join them together.
- Encourage your child to explain their ideas to you, the conversations you have will support their language development.
- They will be building their fine motor skills (muscles and coordination), this will help them with using tools as they get older, for example, for writing.
- Children will be learning about the properties of the materials they use, for example, their shapes, their strengths or whether they are waterproof.
- The skills they will be using are supporting them to become future engineers, scientists, designers, artists, and inventors!
- Their self-esteem will be boosted as they feel proud of their work!
It's impossible to keep all of your children’s models and pictures, so take photos as they’re making, and take a photo of the finished model. This will show your child you value what they do and will make them even more proud of their work!