Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

To not want to be making a fucking junk robot for ds to take to school?

(56 Posts)
lecce Sun 29-Sep-13 10:28:26

I hate, hate, hate craft. Since having ds2, who loves it, I have learnt that it's fine if I just let him get on with it. So he'll often spend the best part of an hour messing about with paint, boxes, glitter, glue etc. Usually the end result, is, well, unrecognisable (polite way of putting it), but ds is always happy and I understand that the process is what counts, and his explanations and pride in the end result tell me that it has been worthwhile.

However, making specific items from a book or Mr arsing Maker tend to end in tears. They never look right; whichever glue we use fails to stick anything; there is some crucial item we can't get and the end result looks nothing like the pictures. So, we avoid this kind of thing.

Now ds2, in reception, has been told he has to make a robot at home to discuss at show and tell. I am very conscious that others will bring in robots that look as if they have been made professionally. We have got started this morning, and, so far we have discovered that the paint we have seems to just move around the box, rather than providing a thick covering, so that it is very hard to cover the writing on the box. This means I have had to do most of the painting as ds couldn't get the hang of dabbing it on and not brushing. Also, the items from recycling we are using are thick and require cutting with big 'grown-up' scissors - so, no, ds can't do this either. The result is I have spent the morning saying, "No, not like that," "Don't touch that now," "No, you can't do this bit," "let me do this," "No, not like that!" I have tried to keep the hysteria and irritation out of my voice, and he seems happy enough, but this is not how I want to spend the limited time I have with him (I work f/t)

So, I have done most of the work - yet it will still look crap compared to many others, I am sure - so what is ds going to say at show and tell? "Mummy did X", "Mummy snapped at me...?" He is shy and is yet to speak to his teacher confused, so I don't really see that forcing him to talk about how he did something he didn't really do is the way to get his confidence up.

AIBU to not want to have to do this sort of thing unless we choose to?

Sirzy Sun 29-Sep-13 10:30:20

I would have just helped him do it how he wants. the teacher won't expect something perfect from a 4 year old.

CSIJanner Sun 29-Sep-13 10:32:28

Better to look "crap" and have fun making it, than the professional ones that the child clearly had no part nor say in making. I sit on my hands at some of the things DC1 makes, but its what my child has made and is happy with so who am I to over correct and make pretty?

Panzee Sun 29-Sep-13 10:32:40

I hate this stuff too. My so hates craft and tbh I'm not the biggest fan either. Which is why I'd never ask parents to do it at home.

CailinDana Sun 29-Sep-13 10:32:54

Yanbu at all. I'm a former primary teacher but I trained in Ireland where homework is actually meaningful and beneficial and strictly for the child to do. Homework here seems mainly aimed at parents. Very odd.

thegreylady Sun 29-Sep-13 10:33:26

If you had covered the boxes with plain paper first the paint would stick. Most people will cover boxes with foil for a robot and then use stickers to decorate. Bottle tops make good buttons and a few straws make aerials. It is one of the easiest things to make honestly smile

Idocrazythings Sun 29-Sep-13 10:36:14

You could cover the box with strips of glued coloured paper- like paper mâché. You shouldn't need to paint over it if you pick coloured paper or even types of colour if you cut up a magazine. I know you hate craft but is that doable? It won't fall apart either

lecce Sun 29-Sep-13 10:40:14

Thanks for the tips thegreylady smile. As I was doing it, it did occur to me that we should have covered the box. However, then it's not really 'junk', is it? Especially if you cover it with foil... Ds was also adamant that it should be green. Yes, we have been storing up the bottle tops and we do have some straws; moving on the that part later when the paint has dried. Gosh, I just love the fact that it is taking up the whole day [ hmm].

To those who say that they would just let their child get on with it - really? Do you have dc who are pretty good at this sort of stuff? Because if I just let ds 'get on with it' it would be little more than a collection of boxes, not stuck together, with the odd smear of glitter and paint on it. At home, he would make up for this by talking us through it, but at school he would be likely to just stand there. I don't think that would be an experience likely to build his confidence at school.

littleoaktree Sun 29-Sep-13 10:40:54

See this would have been me and ds1 (4.5)'s ideal 'show and tell' activity, we love crafty stuff and he is obsessed with robots. The last junk robot we made (for fun blush) was nearly as big as him.

Next time perhaps talk to him about how it's going to look, what you can find around the house to add to it etc, then show him how to use the bigger scissors (under supervision of course) etc so that he learns from the process as well and has more involvement.

Oh and I find UHU or a glue gun sticks pretty much anything. Ds1 can now use the UHU safely under supervision although I do the glue gun myself.

Ds1's 'homework' is that I have to take photos of ds1 doing an activity this weekend and then print them out for him to take in - fine except our printer has broken and so I'm going to have to find somewhere I can do an instant print today - now that is annoying me.

spottygoat Sun 29-Sep-13 10:43:28

Just let him get on with it, why do you care what other people's look like?

My friend goes ott when her DC have a task like this and she does it all. What's the point in that?

My DN had to do this when I was babysitting years ago. I gave him loads of boxes, tin foil and some shapes to stick on and he did a great job. Only thing I did was help cut the foil. So what if it looked abit crappy and not really like a robot?? He was proud of it and had fun and most importantly he could speak about how he did it in show and tell.

hettienne Sun 29-Sep-13 10:45:24

He's 4, of course it would just be a collection of boxes with a smear of glitter on it confused

Really don't understand this competitive parents doing the homework thing. What's the point?

sparklekitty Sun 29-Sep-13 10:47:09

As a etcher I would value the unrecognisable ones that they can explain all about over the professional, flashing, moving robots that when you ask the child about they look blank and say 'I don't know, mummy made it'.

Let him get on with it on his own, unless he requests your help, and smile smugly at the other parents tmrw proclaiming loudly that he did it all by himself smile

sparklekitty Sun 29-Sep-13 10:47:29

Obviously I mean teacher!

Sokmonsta Sun 29-Sep-13 10:50:09

Pva glue mixed in paint is also useful for covering cereal boxes and the like if you don't want to cover them first.

fluffyraggies Sun 29-Sep-13 10:50:34

TIP FOR PAINTING BOXES (cereal boxes, etc):

Carefully peel open both ends and the seam down the length so you can open the box out flat. Then turn it inside out and make the box back up, using masking tape. Then you have a nice plain mat surfaced box to paint smile

CrispyFB Sun 29-Sep-13 10:51:28

My DD in Y2 had to make a junk model recently of the Fire of London. Like you I HATE craft stuff (was rubbish at it as a child, even worse now..) so I let her get on with it because she loves it. She spent an entire afternoon coming up with what was in my opinion a very inventive version, with no help whatsoever from any of us.

She proudly took her model in last week. When I picked her up, she told me that some children had laughed at it, poked at it so bits broke off and when she went to tell the teacher, he told her "not now" (I appreciate he was probably busy, but still). I saw all the other models the next day as they were out on display, and with a few exceptions it was quite clear there was either some amazing talent (not impossible, admittedly) or a lot of help going on.

I know DD1 learned far more by doing it all herself but I feel so sad for her that her endeavours ended up making her sad. It's hardly going to encourage her in the future.

I wish they would keep this stuff in school where the parents aren't going to be there to turn it into a bloody competition.

hettienne Sun 29-Sep-13 10:52:05

YANBU to only want to do something like this if you choose to though. If DS had got this homework I'd have helped/supported but not made him do it if he didn't want to, and not done it for him.

sydlexic Sun 29-Sep-13 10:57:20

I found that if I collected the components over the week. With a box obviously for the head another for the body, tubes for the legs. So it was a kit that could really only connect in one way DS would get the hang of it.

SuburbanRhonda Sun 29-Sep-13 10:57:31

crispy, how sad for your DD and what a shame the teacher didn't give awards out to recognise those that had been made by the child and not the parent.

When I was working in a year 5 class, the children were asked to make a musical instrument from scrap materials. One child brought in a tone-perfect xylophone, made by her dad, and the winner was a one-man band thing, made by the child out of old tins and bits of paper and card. The teacher told me she was tempted to give an award to the dad who made the xylophone smile

Sirzy Sun 29-Sep-13 10:58:11

At home, he would make up for this by talking us through it, but at school he would be likely to just stand there.

But that is what school are trying to encourage, they have given them a task which when they have done they can explain the part of the robot to the other children, with encouragement from the staff.

It won't be about who has the best robot but encouraging the children to talk, to give them that bit more confidence to talk about what they have done.

PeppiNephrine Sun 29-Sep-13 11:03:07

You feel like you will be shown up in a class of four year olds because others will be better? You're causing the problem here. Why would you care whether some look professional made?
Let the child do the school work he was meant to do, its not your work and its not a judgement on you. Stp swelling the ranks of parents doing it for them and spoiling the whole thing.

rosyryan Sun 29-Sep-13 11:04:54

Crispy that makes me so sad. I am dreading DD going to school and being crushed in this way.

CSIJanner Sun 29-Sep-13 11:06:12

Disclaimer When I say I sit on my hands, I supervise until DC asks for help, but pretty much follow what my child wants. "no mummy - the bottle top eyeball goes there, on the foot"

You get the gist...

I don't mind craft. I mind the mess and devastation left in its wake though. And I loathe glitter and moonsand

Threalamandaclarke Sun 29-Sep-13 11:06:35

Oh I think I can see why you are annoyed but it's his project isn't it?
It's ok for him to do it (with some guidance from you) in his own way surely.

StillSeekingSpike Sun 29-Sep-13 11:06:51

'Ds1's 'homework' is that I have to take photos of ds1 doing an activity this weekend and then print them out for him to take in'

What about some poor parent who doesn't have a colour printer or camera or the money to pay for them to be printed?? How is this helping the child, as opposed to giving the parent a task to do?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now