When I saw this fabulous activity at Filth Wizardry (and while you’re there check out their gorgeous new baby girl!!) I really wanted to try it with my kids over the holidays. When I went to the craft shop to buy icy-pole sticks I was blown away by how expensive they were, considering how many we’d need, so I kind of put the wood constructions idea on hold. I began to think about what else we could use to build small constructions and sculptures with and a bin full of building scraps caught my eye. I hauled the bin full of wood off cuts and cardboard tubes to the shed and fired up my trusty bandsaw.
Sawing wood into randomly sized pieces is strangely therapeutic. I wandered out to the shed to cut up stuff at least once a day for about a week until we had two big buckets full of interesting scraps, and yesterday I bought them inside.
The big kids had a fabulous time creating and sticking things together with the hot glue guns. For more than an hour they constructed houses, windmills, robots and more…
This was the first time my kids had used a hot glue gun. Those things can get hot, so I was a little reluctant, but inspired by other bloggers who’d all given it a go. Everyone managed the glue guns really well without injury, even my four year old!
Here are a few things we learnt about using the hot glue guns –
- Get low heat glue guns if you can – the tips don’t get nearly as hot as the traditional type
- Having one glue gun per child is better than having to share.
- Using a power board in the middle of the table worked well for plugging more than one glue gun and not having cords in the way.
- Designating one big flat piece of wood as the gun rest was a good idea.
- A wet face washer on hand to quickly wipe off any glue that gets on fingers will save small burns.
We have about half a bucket of bits left and loads more I can cut up so we’ll definitely do this again. Not only lots of fun creating but also a great way to recycle our building waste!
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Thankyou so much for this post – I’ve been thinking about getting some hot glue guns & trying them out with my boys but as I’ve never used one myself I’m a bit nervous & really had no idea how to make it work. Thanks for the good tips – I’ll give it a go these holidays now (it’s only our 1st week of holidays here in Perth so we’ve got time). :-)
I’d have a good play around with a glue gun yourself… just so you know what you are getting in for. The glue is really hot when it comes out…. really hot. One of my girls really had to find that out for herself LOL
Cathy @ NurtureStore says
My 8-yr-old would just love to get her hands on that bucket of wood! She’s been busy this week making a playground out of lollipop sticks.
Penny Whitehouse says
These are ten times more groovier than any icy-pole stick construction. I adore them. What a great activity – you’re recycling too!
Sue Denyhm says
Great idea. Too bad I don’t have any wood offcuts nor a band saw or we’d definitely be doing this.
The Girl’s preschool/kindergarten used to have bins full of wood offcuts, plastic lids, scraps of fabric etc and a large can of nails and hammers out on the workbench in the playground daily. We had lots of lovely creations come home.
Penny Whitehouse says
Perhaps I should have had a look at Filth Wizardry before posting. Those icy-pole constructions are amazing too!
he he he… my kids thought they were cool too… but then weren’t that interested in building ‘buildings’…. and I thought they’d be so inspired by the photos!
Oh wow, my husband is going to love this. Definitely going to try this… My son loves wood and building and being in the shed. Fabulous post, as usual!
Long time reader first time commenter (I think)..
I remember when I was like 10 and my family got the house extended .. I was in HEAVEN (interestingly it was me and not my little bro he wasn’t the least bit interested!) but I went scavenging and flogged my dad’s hammer and ‘built’ him a ‘coffee table’ I put that in quotes cos it was the most rickety thing but it survived and he found it again a couple of years back! (like 20+ years later!…. my parents are such bower birds!) He said I’d go find the cast off nails that were bent etc and I’d straighten them out with the hammer and then scavenge pieces of wood to nail together :-) just the sort of thing to make a home-handy-man dad proud of his 10 y.o. daughter :-).
Oh great story!
I also remember making things from scraps of wood when I was a kid… perhaps that was why I was so excited to find so many great left overs on our building site! I want to store the scraps but my husband thinks I’m a little mad!
Jamie @ hands on : as we grow says
This is neat! I love that you let them use the hot glue gun, I have yet to let Henry – how old is your youngest? Very cool possibilities with this – I love the structure they built!
My youngest is one… but we didn’t let him play with the glue LOL. My middle boy has just turned four and he seemed to manage it better than his seven year old sisters!
Fabulous idea! Those pre-made wood bits really are so expensive. This is great – thanks for sharing!
Fabulous! Thanks for the shout out too :) I’m all about using what you’ve got on hand. We just happened to have a load of the wooden coffee stirrers and popsicle sticks because I got a tonne in bulk from a thrift store over here. Buying them from a craft store will bancrupt you! I’ve been meaning to do some round ups of people that have done their own versions of FW craft posts, so I’ll definitely link up to you when I sort that out. You think they’d like to paint it all next?
Aarti Vasoya says
There’s a bunch of things that Ive found tonight, including this, that I want to do with my son! What glue gun is it? I am clueless and want a nice small easy one (but one that works!)