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Making Models

Making models from materials that would be thrown away or recycled is a great low-cost way to keep your child busy, develop their creativity and support their wider learning.

Making Models

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!

Top tip!

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
  • String
  • Stapler
  • Hole punch
  • Glue
  • Elastic bands
  • Paint
  • Coloured pens
  • Scissors for your child
  • Scissors for you (for helping with the tricky bits!)

Top Tip!

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.

Top Tip!

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!

Top Tip!

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!