Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Last Minute School Project - The War of the Worlds Shadow Box

This is the project we did for an Art & Literature Fair last night.   It is a shadowbox from one of my son's favorite books  The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells.
I discovered the day before when I thought we weren't going to participate that he REALLY wanted to and so of course I adopted a can do attitude and we spent the entire day working on it. One of the beauties of homeschooling is that we can make these type of decisions and we got it done!

It reminded me once again the importance of keeping certain supplies on hand so these can be done without trips to the store.  In the hopes of helping other parents who may be faced with this situation here is my list of items to keep in stock.

From the Dollar Store - 3 sided Display board and poster's boards in white and maybe a few colors
Also pick up some of those thin plastic cutting boards, great for painting on or cutting out things.

Good Markers and the key to having these is to hide them!  I can't tell you how many times we dug them out only to find half of them had dried out.  So keep a stash for emergency use only.
Add some black sharpie markers in with the colors too.

Acrylic paints are awesome in that you can literally paint anything.   Our alien and the houses and ground on our project were done with acrylic paint.  The other great virtue about the paint is that it dries fast, we put some newspaper down in front of a fan to speed up the drying time.  The quick drying time allowed us to add a second color or even change it as we worked.

Add box cutters or an exacto knife along with a good pair of scissors to your private stash.
Use the plastic cutting boards with these.   We cut up several thick cardboard boxes today.

Fimo clay is another versatile tool.  You can shape it and bake it hard and then paint it.
 It held up the trees saplings that I dug out of our garden today.Another year we used it make little stands for some playing pieces for a geography game that we made.

Stock up on all kinds of paper, construction drawing, tracing and typing.

Wooden dowels or skewers, plastic straws and cups, cotton balls, Wire are good to have on hand too.  The legs of our alien was made with plastic bendable straws which looked good but ended up not being strong enough to hold up tin cans, so we strengthened them with wooden skewers like the kind you use to make shish kabobs.

We made the alien out of food cans with an old CD and a plastic funnel with a marble on the top.
The arms were from thick pieces of wire.  Tin snips were used to cut the wire and we used a glue gun to put it all together.

I hunted for ideas on Pinterest and saved websites that had interesting facts and images as we researched the book.   We glued some quotes from the book on the top of the box after we put construction paper on it with a big glue stick so add that one to the list.    

The dining room table was a mess when we ran out the door but the project came out great and that was the important thing.  The key is to remain calm and think creatively and help your child to make something you both can be proud of.

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