Crafting is an activity that creates a bond between you and your child. Incorporate geology into crafting by making a mountain using basic craft supplies. Whether your child dreams about climbing Mount Everest or just likes rocks, building and painting his own mountain will give your child a three-dimensional sculpture of his favourite subject. Although a bit on the messy side, making a mountain with craft materials is a hands-on activity that you and your child can enjoy together.
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Things you need
- 2 Bowls
- Mixing spoon
- Cotton balls
- Green feathers
- Plastic wrap
Cut strips of newspaper between 2.5 and 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) wide. The newspaper can be any length. Fill a bowl with warm water and let the newspaper strips soak for about an hour.
Pour about 1 litre (2 pints) of water into the other bowl. Add flour while mixing until the paste mixture has a runny consistency. This is the papier mache glue.
Ball up some dry pieces of newspaper tightly into a cone shape about 15 cm (6 inches) wide and the same height. Glue the base of the cone to the cardboard, which will be the base for the mountain. Position the cone anywhere on the cardboard. Ensure there is enough space for surrounding objects such as rivers and trees.
Dip each strip of wet newspaper into the papier mache glue, covering the entire strip, then lay it flat over the cone. Build up the papier mache until it is at least 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick. Use your finger to poke gouges and lumps into the surface of the mountain to make it look rockier and more realistic. Let the finished mountain shape dry for a few days.
Papier mache model
Paint the cardboard base of the mountain green to represent grass. Let the paint dry. Paint a blue, snaking river on the cardboard base and let it dry.
Paint the mountain the desired colours. Look at photos of mountains to get an idea of the colour scheme you will use. Use a darker colour to paint crevices to give the mountain depth.
Tear apart cotton wool balls and glue them along the summit, or peak, of the mountain to represent snow.
Glue green feathers or moss to the tops of sticks to make trees. Glue the base of the trees along the base of the mountain and on the cardboard base.
Crinkle some cling film and flatten it. Glue the film over the blue river to give the water the appearance of a shiny, bubbling stream. Glue pebbles along the river's edge and scattered around the mountain base.
Painting and finishing touches
Tips and warnings
- Buy packets of tiny plastic animals and glue them around the mountain base.
- Build and glue together a small mountain shack made out of sticks or toothpicks.
- Glue a small tuft of cotton wool ball at the top of the chimney to represent smoke, then glue together a toothpick fence around the house.
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