St Mary's

Catholic Primary School

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Expressive Arts and Design

Junk Modelling

Junk modelling offers opportunities for developing children’s creativity, as well as their fine and gross motor skills. Using recycled materials, children can build and create their own designs. When junk modelling children are able to construct freely, this can give an insight into children’s interests and fascinations. Junk modelling is important because it involves exercising the imagination, problem-solving, designing, communicating, self-expression, trial and error, sharing, resilience, happiness and building knowledge.


Junk modelling is important to children’s learning because it shifts children from thinking about what something is and what it is for to a higher level of thinking, such as posing a hypothesis, conceptualisation, and questioning. Junk modelling allows children to be free to explore because the resources are free. They encourage ludic thinking, playful thinking and “what ifs?”. They are becoming scientists! Using different types of recycled objects enables children to learn about the basic properties of everyday materials – such as plastic, paper, cardboard, metal and wood – through a hands-on approach. They are learning by doing. How is plastic different from cardboard? Can you cut it? Stick it? Is it strong? Is it waterproof? It offers a first experience at manipulating and therefore understanding materials. It’s not junk modelling, it’s engineering! Children are learning how materials work, how they fix together and how they can be used to fulfil ideas. This is engineering and engineering thinking.

Want to increase your child's learning power? It really is as simple as turning on the radio or tapping your toes. When a young child listens to music, plays a musical instrument or even dances, lots of things start happening. The brain begins forming connections that pave the way for learning opportunities such as vocabulary building and math comprehension. Not only that, but music can be fun. So, when you're looking for something to do, try some of these music activities for kids that will get you both moving
1- Freeze Dance: It's as simple as it sounds. Blast some of your favourite tunes and dance to your heart's content. Then, when they least expect it, yell "freeze!" and stop the music. See what funny positions you both wind up in. How long can you hold them?
2- Strike up a band: Gather up all the music-making instruments you can find. Don't have a piano or a drum at the ready? No worries, homemade is always more fun anyway. Pull out pots, pans, bowls, empty milk cartons — whatever you have on hand — and let your little one go to town on them with a wooden or plastic spoon. Fill closed containers like sealable bowls with buttons or pebbles and give them a shake. 
3-Draw what you hear: Cue up different types of music on your CD or Phone — pop, kids, classical, country, etc. Give your child some paper and different coloured markers or crayons. Start the music and ask them to draw what they are hearing. If they are having trouble, demonstrate. For example, with slower music, you might draw long, loping lines in a dark colour. With a faster tune, shorter, sharper angles using a brighter shade. There's no wrong answer here, just what you feel.
4- Make your own xylophone: Fill an assortment of glasses or jugs (or both) with varying levels of water. Line them up in order from least to most full. Give your child a wooden spoon and have them experiment with the different sounds.
5- Music Mania: Bring out a variety of songs with a variety of tempos. Ask your child to dance accordingly, encouraging them to speed up if the music is fast and take it easy when the beat slows down. Join in the fun, setting an example on how your child should follow, for instance slowly sliding on your belly during a ballad or doing jumping jacks while a dance song plays. See who can come up with the most exciting move.
6- Singing in the shower: At bath time, encourage your little one to experiment with the acoustics in the bathroom. What happens when you open or close the shower curtain or door? Can they sing louder than the running water?