I imagine many of you have experienced this during lockdown, but I really started to notice it lately. Maybe it’s because the binmen come less frequently now, or because we can’t seem to stop ordering things online. But there is definitely an overflow of cardboard boxes and other packaging in my house! Do we really eat THAT much Weetabix? Use THAT much toilet roll?? I always save some of it to use in classes and with my son. But when you’re climbing over milk cartons, it’s time to stop saving and start using – so we did some junk modelling!
I took a selection of things that would be easy for my toddler to cut and tear, some glue, tape, scissors and colouring pens and plonked it all on the living room floor. I let him carry on for a while without guiding or helping. He was happy to hack away with his scissors, sticking random bits to other random bits. When he started getting bored, I turned his focus to something specific – “let’s make a house!”
So we ended up making a house together. I did the designing, he did the sticking and occasional chopping. I printed out some photos of us, and his Nanna and Grandad who he hasn’t been able to see since lockdown began. He glued them “in the windows”. It was a lovely way for him to connect with loved ones and talk about them.
What I loved about this activity, personally, was that we both really enjoyed it and got well into it! I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this, but there are some activities that I do with my toddler that I only enjoy because he gets so much out of it, not necessarily because it interests me. With junk modelling, we enjoyed an afternoon connected and engaged with what we were doing.
The next day we still had the modelling bug, so we made a car out of a cardboard box! I won’t go too much into this as there is an awesome video by Lene at Little Learners Basingstoke about all the things you can do with a box (go and watch it here).
We enjoyed making a car together as much as we did making a house. If your bin is overflowing, or you’re after something a bit different to do with the kids, why not try junk modelling with them?
Check out other great ideas like this on Little Learners Blogs.