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Kids Project - How to make a Model of a Forest?
My 7 year old son had an assignment to make a model of a forest. At first I didn’t had any idea how to proceed. I searched on the net and collected information on how to make trees and animals from paper. But still it was very vague and I had to combine all those information and work on my concept of a forest.
I took a big square shaped cardboard piece and pasted a layer of thin sponge sheet over it. Painted a layer of brown acrylic on the sponge. Using paper mache, made a river with slightly raised banks and painted the river blue and the banks green after drying. I made some rocks and stones using paper mache technique and placed it at certain points on the card board. Now the basic frame was ready.
Now we had to make some trees. I made an old dried tree with big roots using paper mache and painted it light brown. Artistically twined climbers gave an eerie look. I made a palm tree using an empty paper roll and broom pieces. The coconuts were made using paper mache. Other trees were made using branches of real trees. I selected some branches of deciduous trees and air dried them and later spray painted the leaves with green color. I then made small holes on the card board and inserted these trees on the holes and applied plaster of paris to firmly root them on the board. I had made few climbers using thin vein of coconut leaves and paper leaves. After fixing all the trees at different locations on the board, I entwined the climbers on few trees.
In stage three, some paper mache animals like lion, elephant, bear, owl, crane, crow, and fox made from clay were placed at different places inside the forest. The basic structure of these animals was made using thick card board and the legs were attached separately in such a way that there was a gap between the body and the legs. Later the structure was covered using tissue paper dipped in a thick mixture of fevicol and water. Allow them to dry for at least 2-3 days and then paint. A den was made for the lion using paper mache. Soaked paper pulp was mixed with brown and black colors and used to make the den.
Paper mache can do wonders. The range of things that can be made using paper mache is very wide. Few nests were made using palm leaves and aluminium foil and placed on trees. Some grass and shrubs were placed using some old plastic flowers which I had in my store and some real dried grass. I scattered some mud made using dried tea dust. And the forest was ready!
It took nearly10 days. But I had ample time and there was no need to rush. Moreover, I didn’t want to spend on buying ready made plastic animals and birds. So I made all of them using paper and card board. The forest came out well. I made the figurines and my son painted them. I did the final touch up. I asked my son to paint the main land area, river, river bank, rocks, trees, trees, leaves, etc. It was his idea to make a den. I think he never noticed a forest with such great detail. Now he knows what a forest is.
More Ideas to Improvise Forest:
- Those who want human figurines in a forest project can make using clay dough or paper mache and colour them, or even purchase ready made plastic toys and place them at various points inside or outside the forest.
- Can build a village or hut using dry or raw sticks, or bamboo sticks or coconut veins, or any similar object.
- One can make leaves with green coloured cloth bits and then stick to the tree trunk to make trees.
- Paper leaves can also be made.
- 2D animals, birds, humans, etc can be cut from card board and fixed inside the base board.
- Same principle can be applied to make a village, Zoo or a similar project.