So, why should your kids play with rubbish?
Junk modelling encourages their imagination and design skills
Your child has the freedom to make whatever they choose. This requires them to visualise their end product and then transform the items from ‘junk’ to alien, robot, castle, ice-cream etc. If they want to create a completely random sculpture they can do, there is no right or wrong.
It develops problem solving skills
What? How does sticking bits of rubbish together help with problem solving? Honestly, it does. Your child selects items from the pile of ‘junk’ and comes up with a plan of how they’re going to put them together to make their creation. In doing so, they discover which things stick together and frustratingly which things don’t stick together! They often work out their own way of attaching one item to another…by using copious amounts of PVA glue, wrapping wool around the objects, or mastering the art of sellotape!
Builds self confidence
It’s a way of creating an end result that is truly original, personal and unique to them. As they’re not following strict instructions it’s less frustrating, as they’re not going to get it wrong. It can suit a range of ages, with the child determining the complexity of the creation by their ability. Allowing children to create in this way gives them a real sense of achievement and builds their self confidence.
Develops fine motor skills
Ok, so this is pretty obvious. You have to cut with scissors, do a lot of glueing, holding things together etc. It also develops the parent/carer’s fine motor skills, as they have to find the end of the sellotape! All of this is beneficial in developing the efficiency of fine motor skills to carry out tasks in everyday life. So at a very basic level, the junk modelling will help your child to get dressed more quickly in the morning!
Develops negotiation and communication skills
You may think I’m taking this a little far now, but junk modelling is very popular so your child will have to negotiate with other children to gain that neon blue fabric that they so desperately need. Hopefully they will be able to trade it for the egg carton in an amicable way!
Teaches children about recycling
Junk modelling materials can come from waste in your own house. You could use: cereal boxes, egg boxes, bottle tops, foil trays, product packaging, food nets, pipe off-cuts, fabric remnants, buttons etc. So, junk modelling teaches children that things that they would normally throw away can be turned into something else, with a little bit of imagination.
You can add in a few weird and wonderful items from a local scrapstore. Clean reusable scrap materials (which businesses find hard to recycle so would otherwise be landfilled) are made available for children to play with through a network of independent ‘scrapstores’ across the UK. You can pay a small membership fee, then be allowed to search through their treasure trove of goodies to see what you can make.
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- Benefits of sensory play
- Benefits of process art
- 5 process art ideas to try at home
- 10 benefits of play for children