The junk modelling box

Do you have a junk modelling box? It’s just a box of recycling that I add to. Egg boxes, cardboard, milk cartons, brown paper…

Joseph has always loved modelling from recycled materials. As always, he thinks very carefully about his design, plans it, discusses it and then gets to work. He creates drums, trumpets, garden tools, chicken coops, rockets, animal shelters, caves…

They can be big creations that can take weeks to finish or small models that can be planned and made in one sitting. The box is always there and they all have access to it along with the other art and joining materials they may need.

It is often an activity that comes with frustrations, especially for Joseph who is meticulous in planning and often has an elaborate idea in his head that usually can’t be fully replicated in cardboard and glue. It is a means for communication and discussion, for rethinking and altering. It is a chance to test out and have a go at.

Some of the models have stood the test of time and he has used them for the purpose he made them for. For example the chicken coops are used with his farm toys and a rocket he made when he was two is still next to his bed.

We are able to have the discussion, once the product has been made and kept for a little while, about what happens next. There is the chance to reuse or recycle it, burn it in the fire or play with it. This is the downside to large scale junk modelling- the models are big and there is only so much space to store them or display them. But thankfully he understands this and so can decide what is the best thing to do with it.

It is a great, simple activity that is totally open ended and imaginative. It can be accessed independently and at will and opens up an opportunity for communication, mathematics, art and design, physics…the learning experience is huge.

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