DIY Folded Paper Boxes

My youngest daughter wanted to sort and classify her sea shell collection.  This was a great Nature Study and Science activity, but we needed several smallish boxes to store the different shell types.  She displayed her shell collection on our Nature Study tray.

6-Nature study1

We quickly made these paper boxes.

The nifty, practical aspects of these folded paper boxes are:

  • You can make them in different sizes … so they can nest in each other or form a top and a base to close your box!
  • The boxes can easily be stored flat, unfolded and ready for the next occasion.
  • You can use decorative craft paper or card stock for really pretty gift boxes or display boxes.

Here are the instructions and a free downloadFolded Paper Boxes

You will need:

  • square paper or card stock 28cm X 28cm
  • scissors
  • glue/ cellotape/ stapler

Fold your paper:

  • Fold the square horizontally in half & re-open.
  • Fold the square vertically in half & re-open.
  • Fold the bottom left corner and the top right corner to the center of the square, forming opposite triangles.Paper box 1
  • Fold both the newly made folds to the middle & re-open these folds.

Paper box 2

  • Cut along all 4 of the new fold lines, from the paper edge up to the edges of the triangles.Paper box 3
  • Take the top left corner and the bottom right corner and fold the corners into the center.Paper box 4
  • Fold again in half, so that the last fold is at the end of the cut lines.
  • Fold all 4 pointed strips to form folds in line with the 2 middle double folded pieces.Paper box 5

Assemble your paper box:

  • Fold the pointed flaps around the outside of the 2 center folds.
  • Insert the corners of the center folded piece into the diagonal fold of the flap. This part is a little fiddly, so mom, you may have to help here!Paper box 6
  • Tape/ glue or staple the outside overlapping flaps to the box.

Enjoy this craft project!

Blessings,

Add Variety

Variety adds “spice” to life …

and different approaches are good tools to enhanced learning!

This is especially true when a child struggles, stresses or stagnates in learning skills.

Spelling and maths tables, bonds and drills are common problem subjects in many children’s schooling, and despite diligent effort, they may still struggle to master new and difficult skills.

When this happens, look for some new tools or methods and to try to involve as many senses as possible.

Movement is often a great method to apply in Maths.  We use these for tables and bonds or reviews:

  • skip with a rope calling out the skip counting or times tables  
  • jump on a mini trampoline
  • jump up a flight of stairs, one step at a time, if the answer is correct, back if incorrect
  • clap hands as partners to tables

    This is a great idea to add to ‘blank’ trampolines – excellent for directionality and spatial awareness

  • bounce and catch a beach ball – on floor/ against a wall/ with mom or sibling
  • hop on one leg

With spelling, try a variety of objects:

  • Bananagrams
  • Scrabble tiles
  • magnetic letters on the fridge
  • white board
  • trace in flour/ rice/ small lentils on a tray
  • trace letters on a sealed Ziploc bag filled with colored pudding (and enjoy eating it afterwards)
  • play-dough letters
  • foam letters – print out spelling
  • physically forming the letter shape with their body and a rope or stick.

Review or re-wind previous lessons with a different approach.

Use arrows, directions and obstacle courses, play “Twister” to amplify Geography skills.

When your child starts school after a long break, try  a physical, musical workout and make it energetic fun.

Music, songs and rap are excellent for spelling or learning off by heart.  Add some cool moves which amplify meaning to add to the impact of the learning experience. My kids still remember their Geography Songs CD!

Do school in a different room or place or in a  new environment. Sit under the table, stand on the table, go outside, or lie on the floor.  Try to learn in a darkened room and encourage the child to print “mental visual images” in their minds.

Despite variety being fun, it activates different centers in the brain and facilitates neural links and connections.

When a child really continues to struggle, I  encourage you to take you child to an occupational or remedial therapist.  Apart from correctly assessing where the problem may lie, they have a massive repertoire of games, activities and approaches which you can use at home.  They have mastered the art of using games to teach and reinforce skills.

Lastly, although iPad and Smartphone apps and computer games promote interactive learning, research has shown that screens and flashing imagery does not necessarily enhance learning as much as real life, physical, sensory experiences do.

Teach new skills in new ways to add to the impact of the lesson. Find your child’s learning style and work that into your teaching style.

Laugh and have fun.

What novel ways have you used to teach or reinforce lessons?  Please share with other readers in the comments.

Blessings,

Fun History!

What a shock my kids had when I walked into the room like this!

(Excuse the slightly blurred photo.  My 10-year-old was giggling too much to focus the camera properly!)

It was a great way to introduce the British Occupation at the Cape and the 1820 British Settlers for our Footprints On Our Land history curriculum.

All Miss.L10’s narrations were done with the mask and a most ‘proper’ British accent!

(And lots of giggles from Miss.K13 studying in the background!)

Some novelty and fun makes History fresh and exciting!

Hope you and your kids have fun now and then!

Blessings,

Corn Starch Clay Decorations

Thanks to Pinterest I have discovered some wonderful ‘new’ recipes!

           This lovely baker’s clay from woodsidekitchen.blogspot.com is cheap and simple to make,

smooth and easy to work with,

 comes out the oven white and hard,

and looks pretty even un-painted!

We used our normal play-dough cutters,

and I gave the girls our rubber stamps to use for texture and embossed designs.

Fun!

Here’s the recipe:

1/2 Cup Corn Starch

1 Cup Bicarbonate of Soda

3/4 Cup Water

* Mix all ingredients together in a pot.

* Stir over heat until the mixture thickens and resembles thick mashed potatoes (really!)

* Remove from the stove and place as a ball in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth until it cools.

* Roll out, cut, shape and decorate.

* To make the holes we used a drinking straw – press down, twist, and lift, then blow out the little centre into your hand to re-use the with the scraps.

* Bake@ 180○ C for about 10 minutes or until firm and hard.

* Cool and paint, varnish, or enjoy as is.

Great for Xmas decorations, place-name settings, gift tags and gift embellishments.

Give it a try!

Blessings,

3D Models into Art

“Busy hands while I read aloud”

This is a wonderful recipe to success in a literature-based curriculum like Sonlight.

My kids have modeled in clay, made prints, colored-in, painted, woven wool, built a Lego ziggurat, tied knots and built paper models.

In Footprints on our Land, we recently studied the French Huguenots and their influence on the culture, architecture, agriculture, language and religion in the Cape.

I had some postcard paper models of Cape houses from my old teaching-days.  I made color photo-copies (to save my originals) and gave them to Miss.L10 to cut and glue while I read aloud.

She enjoyed the intricate cutting and scoring,

glueing and forming …

The water-mill was quite tricky!

Once she had finished “playing” with the little paper people around her houses, we put the models up on the window sill on display.

This week we finished off the read aloud.  While I read the last few chapters, we solved the “where do we store the 3D models?” problem with an artistic application ~

  • cut the models apart
  • use the front, the sides and the back to create 3 houses from 1 model
  • paste them on a blank page
  • draw, color and paint the background and the details
  • and we have wonderful, detailed, colorful pages for in our notebook file!

This way we achieved ~

  1. creative and busy hands while I read aloud
  2. storage for a 3-dimensional object in our notebook file
  3. creative problem-solving = make the models fit into a 2-dimensional design (she had to cut the roof in different angles to look “true”, she made a door where there was only a window, she wanted both sides of the water mill and created a full water flow through several buildings!)

How do you store your children’s 3D models?  What busy-hands activities have been the most successful/ creative?  Please share in the comments.

Blessings,

Narrations 103 Puppets

This is number 3 in my series of Narration posts. (Read the previous posts Jot & Draw and Type & Print)

Many young children love to tell their narrations!

What better way to dynamically retell the story than with

Puppets!

Some of our best puppet shows were spontaneous -

Finger Puppets

The children simply drew outline pictures of the characters from the story.

They stuck a strip of paper to the back of the picture,

wound the paper strip around the finger and taped it closed,

and narrated the story.

Children with a flair for the dramatic include accents and actions.

They swap finger puppets to narrate different characters.

Folded flat, the children pasted their finger puppets on their notebook pages.

Paper Puppets

Our free Aesop lapbook came with paper puppets.

My youngest enjoyed hours of free play with her puppets.

P1070759

Paper Doll/ Men Puppets

During our Sonlight World History studies we created our paper doll series.

These paper dolls were fun to use in narrations.

Laminated and stiff, the children played out their narrations and stories.

But you could paste the paper doll on a wooden stick and make “proper” puppets!

They provide hours of creativity – coloring in,cutting out, pasting clothing and narrating.

We store ours in clear plastic zipper bags.

Hand Puppets

Our hand puppets have been enormously popular

and have lasted for years!

We made our fist puppet show

Esther Play for Purim

with puppets, backdrops,
props and a full script.

A few years later we updated our puppets,

made new backdrops,

added some animal puppets on sticks

for our new play ~

Nativity Puppet Play

Whether simple and quick,

planned and prepared,

practised or spontaneous,

puppets take centre stage.

They divert attention away from the child

and give the child something to “do” while narrating.

Allow your child the freedom to express their narration in a way that is not always dictated or written.

Try puppets!

Blessings,

Decorated Frames

Friends visited us for a week during our winter school break.

While we sat through a rainy spell, the older girls asked to do a craft.

We decided to use a few old frames lying in a box.

I wanted them to make this a special frame,

decorated with things found on the farm.

It could be made into something useful;

with hooks or wire or mesh to hang jewelery on,

or simply a pretty memento of the time together.

Miss. T made a jewelry frame as a gift.

First she painted the wooden frame in a lovely light teal green, left it to dry and then scraped off some paint to create a distressed look.

She covered the back of her frame with some lace and fabric off-cuts that she sewed together and ironed flat.

Then she pulled the material over the hard board back and taped it down.

She used a piece of rusty old chicken mesh to cover half of the material.

Now she secured the frame to the back.

She glue-gunned some dried rose buds she had in her stash to one side of the frame,

added some interesting pieces of lichen she found on an old tree,

and completed her frame with 3 brass hooks which she embellished with some buttons and ribbon.

Lovely!

Her friend, Miss. C, found a lovely picture of a heart and a crown in a Christian magazine as her inspiration.

We made a colour-copy of the original.

She spent some time embellishing the picture with pen, glitter and then glued some crumpled brown paper edging.

As she felt that her frame was a little narrow, she wrapped her rusty mesh over the sides of the frame.

She found some rusty tin which we carefully snipped to form a heart.

Her mom had crocheted a cotton heart and Miss. C attached the hearts to her mesh with the same thread.

Beautiful!

Both frames were so unique.

What a lovely rainy-day craft.

Pop over to my project pages for more crafty inspiration!

Blessings,