I’m all for homework, evil mother that I am. I know a lot of parents believe free time should be just that but I think a balance can be a good thing, it helps me see the sort of work my children are doing and gives them a glimpse at what high school and possibly further education and even the workplace may bring, it also gives them some responsibility to manage their time, ie you can play Roblox all night but then you can explain to Mrs X why you didn’t do your homework.
Which is all good and well when it’s actually homework for the kids. Don’t get me wrong I expect to point them in the direction of a dictionary or talk through a particular maths problem and look over their answers but when it comes to “project” work it often stops being homework for the kids and becomes competition time for the adults.
I have in my time at the school gates seen, Victorian houses complete with fully functioning lights and street lamps, hand carved wooden Olympic torches and 2 metre long spray painted rockets complete with motorised thrusters. Shocking isn’t it all these competitive parents! I know but I have to confess I think I may be one of them, ok I don’t quite go to the extremes listed above, I do let the kids come up with the ideas, but I confess I can’t resist adding my artistic input along the way, here’s, my favourites.
1. The Giant Sandwich
This was one of Rachel’s projects where they had to produce an oversized item of food for a play on healthy eating.
We went for a giant brown bread sandwich with ham and lettuce, here’s how we did it.
1. Cut a bread slice shape out of a spare memory foam pillow (ok not many people have spare memory foam pillows lying about but any foam would do), and slice in half (for health and safety reasons only of course a parent should do this bit.
2. Paint it cookie dough/gentle fawn/ natural calico or whatever other variant of beige paint you have lying about in the garage (note foam isn’t easy to paint, we found a dabbing motion worked best)
3. Cut a piece of old shaggy green carpet you have lying about in the garage (note to self, clean out garage)to a size slightly bigger than the bread.
4. Soak tissues in a mixture of water and a little red paint to give them a marbled pink hue and hang out on washing line to dry (yes my neighbours did give me strange looks.
5. Assemble sandwich, lightly glueing the layers together.
2. Viking shield and sword
Ok this one is probably a bit more achievable from what you have lying around but looks pretty effective.
For the shield,
1 Cut a large circle out of cardboard, we marked the circle shape by attaching a pencil to some string which was secured in the middle of cardboard and then pulling the string tight and marking out the circumference.
2. Paint the shield with poster paints in suitable viking colours and design of choice.
3. We drew round coins and cut out circles for the rivets which were then covered with silver gaffer tape and attached around the outside with glue.
4. For the shield centre we covered a small bowl in tinfoil and attached it with tape.
5. We used old luggage straps attached at the rear of shield with tape to make arm straps but any material or even cardboard would work.
For the sword
1. A cardboard tube from the inside of a kitchen roll was used for the shaft.
2. Cardboard shapes were cut for the blade and handguard.
3. A soft ball was used for the hilt.
4. The pieces were bound together with several rolls of silver gaffer tape.
3. Recycling Bin
Rachel’s class were asked to design and build a model of a novelty bin to be placed in a park which would encourage recycling so we came up with our lovely little car with various slots for different rubbish.
1. The body of the car was made from various shaped cardboard boxes held together with the famous silver gaffer tape.
2. We painted the car with blue and grey poster paints.
3. We printed of number plates and a glass recycling symbol for the front, rear and top of car and stuck down with pva glue.
4. The wheels were made with circles of cardboard covered in cut out material from old car mats to look like tyres and the centre’s were made from tin foil covered cardboard discs.
5. The headlights were made with milk bottle tops covered in tinfoil.
6. The exhaust was a section of yogurt tub covered in silver tape and attached.
I hope you like them and that they’ve given you some inspiration, now were’s that gaffer tape I feel a project coming on!