Tag Archives: children’s handcraft ideas
Last winter one of our students who had made practically everything, suggested making a
small wooden tank. It was basically an exercise in woodworking techniques. This is how it evolved… Continue reading
This was done in one of the winter vacation projects. The story and clay figures are Jordan’s work.
This story was put together by two students in about an hour on a previously made paper mache landscape. The two (sisters) had been having a tough time with English in school and were getting further “behind the eight ball” when their parents decided some tutoring might help. The use of clay during the lessons made it more interesting and provided plenty of opportunities to connect the English they were learning to something more real than just words on a page.
This project is similar to the 4WD car, not only in that the student is working with wood and electrics, but also that the concept of drive ratios is involved. The crane takes this a little further: one can observe how the winch diameter affects lifting speed and power, and the very useful principle of mechanical advantage gained by the two pulleys. When this is taught in schools, it is normally not easy for kids to really get it as a concept; how the addition of pulleys increases the lifting power and reduces the speed. More often than not they only wind up memorizing formulas so they can pass the test and forget about it. But by making and playing with one themselves, they can see first-hand what actually happens when you add pulleys. They no longer need to memorize anything – they just know it.
This is also a lot of fun to play with. Continue reading
This project gives some familiarity with electricity, motors and wiring. It also gets a child thinking about drive methods, gears/pulleys and their ratios, since the wheels are obviously turning much slower than the motor, power to the wheels being geared down in two stages. Another principle is that of friction and how rubber around the wheels results in more traction. All of these principles can be raised for discussion and further investigation if it seems appropriate for the student’s level. Continue reading
This project is easy to make. Apart from the fun kids can have, spying on others from around corners etc., it’s also quite educational. For example, the relative angles at which light arrives at and reflects off a surface will likely become clear without the child having to be told. Also, the dimensions of the mirror, if you are cutting it yourself, can be worked out by mathematics. At least it’s one practical use they can see for the formulas they’ll learn in school. Continue reading