to Boredom Busters for FREE in format.

to Boredom Busters for FREE in  format.
by Tommy Donbavand
First published by How To Books, 2002
This edition published for Amazon Kindle, 2011
© Tommy Donbavand 2002 − 2017
Reproduction in part or in full without prior written permission is prohibited.
Between 1999 and 2002, I wrote four books of boredom busting games and
activities for kids of all ages which were published by the lovely people at How To
Books in Oxford. The books, although popular, eventually went out of print, and
ownership of the content reverted back to me. Since then, they've sat in a dark
corner of my hard drive. Until now...
With the surge in popularity of Amazon's Kindle e-reader, and the free Kindle
app for PCs, Macs, smart phones and tablets, self-publishing has never been easier.
So, I've decided to dust off my old manuscripts and give them a new lease of life as
e-books. This book, Boredom Busters, is actually the third title I had published by
How To Books, and it contains 33 chapters packed with games, activities and
ideas for fun things to do that will keep even the most die-hard of bored kids
entertained. Before long, your youngsters will be building volcanoes, racing homemade formula one cars, and joining King Arthur at the Round Table - and, best of
all, each of the projects can be completed at little or no cost.
Reading through the manuscript again, I was struck by how much had
changed in the 10 years since I first wrote it - and I had to make a few tweaks and
changes in order to bring the book up to date. Gone are the references to gathering
with your friends around a tape recorder (would today's kids even know what a C90
cassette is?), replaced by suggestions of using voice recording software on the
family PC. Of course, it is possible that one or two mentions of out-dated technology
or old-style methods were missed, or that the odd typo has snuck through. So, if you
spot anything you feel should be updated, please do drop me an email at
[email protected] and I'll look at correcting the text in a future edition.
It is, of course, important to remember that while the activities in the book are
designed for children to run unsupervised, parental guidance and assistance is
needed when smaller children are involved, or when items need to be cooked,
baked, cut out, or require the use of any piece of equipment you wouldn't ordinarily
allow your children to handle. I cannot be held responsible for accidents which occur
due to readers following instructions incorrectly.
So, whether you're a parent, teacher or a group leader searching for some
inspiration on what to do with your little ones during the seemingly endless school
holidays and inevitable wet weekends - look no further. Boredom Busters is back!
Tommy Donbavand
June 2011
It’s now March 2017, and I’m adding this small update. This 100% Boredom
Busters ebook is still available to Patreon subscribers – with my untold thanks for
your continued support. It really does make a big difference to myself and my family.
One small point to bear in mind – with each day, week, month and year that
passes, any book content slowly goes out of date. So, if you find something in these
pages that sounds old-fashioned – it probably is. If there’s a new, up-to-date way to
do something – go for it! Even better, if there’s an app for it – download that instead!
Good luck!
Tommy Donbavand
March 2017
Tommy Donbavand is the author of over 100 books for children, including the
13-book Scream Street series for 7 to 10 year olds, published by Walker Book,
Doctor Who: Shroud of Sorrow, and My Teacher Ate My Brain. He is also associate
producer and a scriptwriter for the Scream Street animated TV series (Coolabi).
His other books include Zombie!, Wolf and The Uniform (winner of the
Hackney Short Novel Award) for Barrington Stoke, and Making A Drama Out Of A
Crisis (Network Continuum).
In theatre, Tommy's plays have been performed to thousands of children on
national tours to venues such as The Hackney Empire, Leeds City Varieties, and
Nottingham Playhouse. These productions include Hey Diddle Diddle,
Rumpelstiltskin, Jack & Jill In The Forgotten Nursery, and Humpty Dumpty And The
Incredibly Daring Rescue Of The Alien Princess From Deep Space. He is also
responsible for five episodes of the CBBC TV series, Planet Cook (Platinum Films).
As an actor, Tommy played the Clearlake MC in the West End musical Buddy:
The Buddy Holly Story for over eight years, in addition to roles in the movies Zombie
Love Stories (where he battled hordes of Scottish undead) and Going Off Big Time
(where he was beaten up on a bouncy castle). A veteran of pantomime, he has
portrayed just about every comic character from Abanazer to an Ugly Sister.
Tommy lives in Lancashire with his wife and two sons. He sees sleep as a
waste of good writing time.
Chapter 1 - Let's Do The Show Right Here!
Stage a short play for your friends and family!
Chapter 2 - All the Fun of the Fair
Roll up, roll up and create the greatest show on Earth!
Chapter 3 - Arty Party
Get colourful with this painting party theme!
Chapter 4 - Funny Formula One
Start your engines for some crazy car racing!
Chapter 5 - Comic Strip
Put pencil to paper and make your own comics!
Chapter 6 - Hot on the Trail
Get to the heart of the matter by making a documentary!
Chapter 7 - Pop Stars!
Stage a pop concert with your friends!
Chapter 8 - Really Robotic
Make a robot costume and engage in some mechanical mayhem!
Chapter 9 - Potty Picture Holder
Make a personalised photo holder to give as a gift!
Chapter 10 - Redesign Your Room
Sort out your space with this low-cost makeover!
Chapter 11 - Body Shot
Become a surgeon in a gory game that gets your insides out!
Chapter 12 - Quiz Kids!
Be quick off the mark with your own quiz show!
Chapter 13 - Write a Song
Compose a tune and lavish it with lyrics!
Chapter 14 - Around the World
Sample the food of five very different countries!
Chapter 15 - Crazy Golf
Tee off on your very own crazy golf course!
Chapter 16 - The Monster Olympics
Make some crazy costumes and compete for gold!
Chapter 17 - Make a Volcano
Cause an eruption - right on your kitchen table!
Chapter 18 - What a Novel Idea
Learn how to write a short story, and maybe more!
Chapter 19 - Dinosaurs
Go back in time and play with some prehistoric pals!
Chapter 20 - On the Catwalk
Redesign your wardrobe, then show it off in a fashion show!
Chapter 21 - Lost in Space
Look up to the sky and explore the universe!
Chapter 22 - Get up, Stand up
Think you're funny? Then become a comedian!
Chapter 23 - Pirates!
Why are these pirate games so much fun? They just Arrrrrrr!
Chapter 24 - Hold the Front Page!
Becoming a roving reporter and up a newspaper for your class at school!
Chapter 25 - Now You're Cookin'
Prepare a three-course feast for your friends and family!
Chapter 26 - The Great Indoors
Experience life in the wild with an overnight camping trip – indoors!
Chapter 27 - Knights of the Round Table
Join King Arthur in his court at Camelot!
Chapter 28 - Under the Sea
Dive into the deep for some fishy fun with this great underwater party theme!
Chapter 29 - Science Lab
Conduct some exciting experiments in your own kitchen laboratory!
Chapter 30 - On Safari
Create an African Safari Hunt game for your friends!
Chapter 31 - Halloween Horrors!
Create dreadful decorations, ghoulish games, creepy costumes and more!
Chapter 32 - Secret Agents
Become detective for the day and you and a friend train to be spies!
Chapter 33 - Oh, What a Circus!
Invite your friends and family to join you beneath the Big Top!
Tread the boards as you write, direct and star in your own 15 minute play!
Not only will it be great fun, but it could be the beginning of an exciting career – this
is exactly how I started out as an actor!
Something To Say, and Someone To Say It!
People who appear in a play are called the CAST – you can ask your friends
to be part of yours. Some of them might not want to appear on stage, but they can
still be involved by making costumes and making scenery (working back stage), or
handing out tickets and programmes (front of house).
As well as a cast, a play also needs a SCRIPT – the more exciting the better!
You could write about deep sea divers, searching for treasure, or space adventurers,
landing on a strange world. Whatever you choose, write down the story so that you
don't forget it.
Create characters for the story. You'll need a hero (the good guy - or girl), a
baddie, and a part for every other actor in your cast. If there are only a few of you,
you could double up and play a few roles each.
Take a sheet of paper, and write your script, setting it out like this:
CAPTAIN: Snotty, take us in to land.
SNOTTY: Aye Aye, Captain.
Suddenly, the doors open, and an alien enters.
You can't park here! That's my carrot patch!
Write about 15 pages, and add some jokes to get the audience laughing.
Print off a copy of the script for everyone in the cast and tell them which part (or
parts) they'll be playing. Now they can start learning their lines!
Setting The Scene
SCENERY is the background in front of which you perform your play. It
shows the audience where the action takes place. On a sheet of paper, design the
picture you want to use, and colour it in.
To make the scenery, lay out 30 sheets of paper – six across and five down –
and tape them together. Copy your design onto the back of the paper so that it fills
the whole sheet, and paint it. When it's dry, you can fold it up until it's time for the
Any items that you use in the play, like binoculars or moon rocks, are called
PROPS. You can make props from just about anything. Glue two cardboard tubes
together and paint them black for binoculars. Moon rocks can be made by screwing
up sheets of newspaper, and covering them with tin foil.
Make any props that you will need for your production, and them store them
away. It might be a good idea to make some extra props in case they break or get
Your production is coming together!
I Haven't Got A Thing To Wear!
COSTUMES are not only useful so that everyone has something to wear –
they also show the audience who a character is, even before they speak. You can
easily make costumes by using your own clothes, and adding a few extras.
Remember to get permission before altering any items of clothing, of course!
You could create a space suit by wearing a white shirt and trousers, and
painting a cereal box white to hang on your back with lengths of string as an oxygen
pack. To look like a deep sea diver, wear a black jumper and trousers, and paint two
large lemonade bottle to look like oxygen tanks. You could use a big pair of
sunglasses as goggles, too!
Get each person in your cast to make their own costumes and show you how
they look. Each costume should be different so that the audience don't get confused
and mix the characters up – unless you want them to!
Have A Go!
Time for a REHEARSAL, where the cast get together to practice the play.
You don't need costumes or scenery for this, but you should use your props, so that
you get used to handling them.
Run through the script a couple of times, so that you can decide where
everyone stands to say their lines, and comes on and off the stage. You can also tell
the other actors how you want them to perform. This is called DIRECTING.
Remember to be nice - countless plays have been ruined by arguments between
actors and directors!
Things will go wrong during the run through, but don't worry - that's exactly
what rehearsals are for! The more you practice, the better you'll get.
Anyone not on stage can make TICKETS to hand out. Cut sheets of paper
into squares and, on each piece, write the name of the play, and the date and time
it will be performed.
Once More With Feeling
Another rehearsal, this time wearing your costumes, and with the scenery
pinned up on the wall behind you. This is called a DRESS REHEARSAL.
This time, rehearse without using your scripts, and see if you can remember
your lines. If someone forgets their words – keep going! You'll need to do that when
you perform for the audience.
Your front of house friends can now make PROGRAMMES to tell people
about the play. Write the name of the play, and a list of everyone who's in it. Print
off enough copies to hand out to the audience.
On With The Show!
The BIG DAY! Pin your scenery onto the wall, and arrange chairs in front of it
(or your audience could sit on the floor.) The Front of House staff can collect tickets,
and hand out programmes.
When the play starts, keep going even if things don't go right – just like
you did in the dress rehearsal. It might feel scary with the audience laughing and
clapping, but it means they're having fun!
At the end of the play, take a bow – and you might even have to sign a
few autographs!
Funfairs have thrilling rides, tasty food, and exciting games. Here are a few
ideas for fantastic fairground fun!
A great game at the fair is the RING TOSS, where you have to throw a ring
over a peg to win a prize!
Paint four cardboard tubes and stick them to the corners of a large sheet
of card so that they stand up in the air.
To make the rings, draw around a plate on a piece of thinner card and then,
inside that circle, draw around a smaller plate. Cut around the two lines, and you're
left with a card ring! Make six of them.
Stand a few metres away from the tubes, and take turns with your friends to
throw the rings. You get 10 points for each ring you manage to land over one of the
tubes. The player with the highest score after six tries is the winner!
Fairgrounds often give goldfish away as prizes. You can make your own by
filling clear sandwich bags with water, and adding a fish shape cut from carrot!
A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts
At the COCONUT SHY, you throw balls at coconuts on stands to try and
knock them off. It's easy to make, too!
For the coconuts, blow up four balloons, and cover them with papier mâché
(which you can make by mixing four glasses of water with two glass of flour, then
dipping in strips of newspaper). Paint them brown but, before they're completely dry,
roll them in a dish filled with lengths of cotton, to make them look hairy!
The coconut stands are just empty yoghurt pots stuck onto the top of bamboo
sticks and painted. Push the stands into the ground in the garden, and rest your
coconuts on top.
Stand a few metres back and throw balls made of screwed up newspaper to
see how many coconuts you can knock down!
Sweet Tooth
When you're at the fairground, you can feast on all kinds of wonderful treats,
including my favourite – TOFFEE APPLES!
To make four toffee apples you'll need 110ml of water, 225g of sugar and,
of course, four apples! Get an adult to help you in the kitchen.
Mix the sugar and water in a bowl, and cook on full power in a microwave for
five minutes. Remove the bowl and stir the mixture until all the sugar has dissolved.
Return the bowl to the microwave, and cook for another 15-20 minutes until the
mixture turns a golden brown.
Wash the apples and push a lollipop stick into each of them. When the
mixture is ready, dip the apples into the bowl, making sure to cover them completely
with the toffee.
Stand them on a plate covered with greaseproof paper to cool and harden.
Scream If You Want To Go Faster!
The fairground is always full of screams – the loudest coming from the
You might not be able to build an entire roller coaster yourself, but you can
make one of the cars from the ride, and let your imagination do the rest!
You'll need a cardboard box big enough to sit in. Remove the top flaps and
the front of the box, and then cut the side panels in half diagonally.
Paint the box in bright colours, and invent an exciting name for your ride.
Some of the world's most famous roller coasters are called 'Viper', 'Thunder
Mountain', and 'Colossus'! Write the name on the back of your car.
Next you'll need a cardboard tube or bamboo cane long enough to reach from
one side of the box to the other. This will be the safety bar that stops you from falling
out during the ride! Paint it silver, and cut a notch on either side of the box to hold it
in place.
Now the fun begins! Put your roller coaster car on a chair, and sit inside. Slot
the safety bar in front of you, and imagine that you're being pulled up a high hill to
start your ride. When you get to the top, grab hold of the bar, and jiggle about in the
car as you race down the other side. Imagine that you're whizzing through tunnels,
being flipped upside down, and even splashing through lakes – and don't forget to
Strong Man!
The fairground is a great place to TEST YOUR STRENGTH, so here's a silly
strong man game to play with your friends! You'll need two identical foot pumps with
hoses – the type used to blow up inflatable boats or mattresses. On the end of each
hose, tightly secure a balloon with a rubber band.
Each player chooses a pump and, after a count of three, use it to blow their
balloon up as fast as they can! They can stand on the pump, use their hands, or
even sit on it!
The first player to blow their balloon up so much that it bursts is the winner!
Back To The Future...
A popular attraction at old fairgrounds was the FORTUNE TELLER. They
would gaze into a crystal ball, and mysteriously tell you what your future would bring!
You can entertain your friends by telling some funny fortunes for them!
Instead of a crystal ball, you'll have a crystal BOWL! Any clear glass bowl will
do. Cut up 30 pieces of paper, and write a potty prediction on each, such as "You
will meet a man with a very big nose!", or "Your feet will smell on Tuesday!" Fold the
predictions up and drop them into the bowl.
Cover a table with a brightly coloured cloth, and sit behind it wearing a
headscarf. Now, invite a friend to 'cross your palm with silver' (they can give you 50p
so long as you give it back later!)
To tell their fortune, wave your hands magically over the bowl, then reach in
and pull out a piece of paper. Unfold it, and tell your customer what silliness their
future holds!
Discover your artistic side by inviting your friends to a crazy, colourful party!
Doodle Decorations
COLOUR is the theme for your party decorations but, in a break
from tradition, your guests are going to decorate the party room for you!
You'll need a few rolls of WALLPAPER, which you can buy quite cheaply at
DIY stores. It doesn't matter what the pattern is – you're going to use the other side.
Ask an adult to help you pin up as many lengths of the wallpaper as you can,
with the plain back showing. When you've covered the walls, leave coloured
pens, pencils and crayons around on tables.
As your guests arrive, they can grab a pen, and help you draw pictures and
shapes around the room, creating the decorations as you go!
Starving Artists!
Like all artists, your friends will be HUNGRY after they've helped decorate the
room. Cut a large ARTIST'S PALETTE from card to cover the table, and arrange
your party food in groups of colours.
Make CUBIST SANDWICHES by cutting the crusts from bread before
making the sandwiches, and leaving the filling – such as squares of ham or cheese,
sticking out all the way around.
Fill bowls with crunchy CARROTS, crisp CELERY and tasty TOMATOES to
add to the colourful theme – they're good for your party guests, too!
Complete the feast with glasses of PICASSO PUNCH – a delicious fruit
drink served with lots of ice. Simply mix together orange juice, pineapple juice, and
a dash of lemonade!
Don't forget to have several different colours of paper napkins available!
Smock Horror!
For the rest of the party, everyone should wear traditional ARTIST'S
COSTUMES! Ask everyone to arrive in old clothes, and bring an old shirt belonging
to an adult.
Wear these shirts backwards over your old clothes to look like artist's smocks
– you can help each other button them up the back, and fold up the sleeves so that
your hands are free!
For the traditional artist's beret, cut a large circle from crepe paper, and
carefully sew around the edges of the circle with a needle and cotton (you can get
an adult to help you with this bit). When you have stitched all the way around, gently
pull the ends of the cotton together to draw the edge of the circle inwards. When it's
small enough, tie a knot in the cotton, remove the needle, and slip it onto your head.
Press the middle of the circle down so that it flops over the side of your head – and
you have a silly artist's beret!
Everyone could make a beret in a different colour!
Time for a GAME! The first one is filled with quick fire sketching silliness –
Write the name of everyone at the party, and some of your school friends and
teachers on slips of paper, fold them up, and drop them into a bowl.
Players take it in turns to remove a slip of paper from the bowl, and read the
name. This is where the fun begins!
That player must then grab a pen, rush to an empty spot of the wallpaper
decorations, and draw the person whose name they have picked. They aren't
allowed to write words, or speak – only draw.
The other players have to guess who the person being sketched is. They can
shout out names as they watch the image take shape, and keep shouting until
someone guesses correctly.
The player drawing isn't limited to a picture of their 'model' – they can add
other clues, too. If the person they're drawing plays football a lot, they could draw a
ball and a boot beside them. Or, if they have a dog that they take everywhere,
sketch the pooch, too!
When a correct guess has been made, the next player pulls out a name,
and the fun starts all over again!
Clay Play
Time for MANIC MODELS – a giggle-filled game of modelling clay madness!
Put plenty of different coloured modelling clay in the centre of the table, and
get everyone to stand around the edge. In advance, write the names of around 30
items on bits of card – such as 'house', 'snake', 'teapot', etc.
When the game starts, one player grabs a card from the top of the pile, and
reads out the word. Everyone then has 30 seconds to grab some clay, and make a
model of the item named!
After 30 seconds are up, everyone stops modelling, and takes a look at each
other's efforts. Chances are they won't look very much like the item on the card!
Everyone then puts their clay back in the centre of the table, another card is
chosen, and more madcap models are made! Keep going until you've used all the
cards, or everyone's hands are tired!
Brush Strokes
To end the party, take everyone outside for the game SELF PORTRAITS.
This is why I told you to ask everyone to wear old clothes to the party!
Cut open plenty of plastic bin liners, and spread them over the ground. You
can use stones to hold them in place if it's a windy day. Next, place several pots of
poster paint mixed with water around, and enough brushes for everyone.
When the game starts, everyone grabs a brush, dips it into a colour and has
to paint – each other!
Yes, you have 3 minutes to paint each other's artist's smocks (the old shirts
you're wearing), while being painted yourself. You can paint patterns, designs,
pictures – anything so long as it covers the shirt!
Be very careful not to paint any higher than people's chests, and keep away
from each other's faces – getting paint in your eyes can hurt!
When the three minutes are up, everyone stops to admire each other's work.
I bet you'll look a picture!
Start your engines for some crazy car racing!
Box Cars
To BUILD your car, you'll need a cardboard box that is wider than your body.
Remove the two smaller flaps at the bottom, then fold the two larger flaps inside the
box, and secure them with tape.
Next, fold the two large and one of the small flaps on the top of the box inside,
and also tape them in place. This should leave you with one of the smaller flaps on
the outside.
Make a small hole in each corner of the box, and tie the ends of two lengths of
string to these holes – one on the left side, and one on the right. You should now be
able to step inside the box, and hang it over your shoulders. Adjust the length of the
string so that the box hangs around your waist.
Paint Shop
Time to PAINT your car! Create a design on a sheet of paper and, when
you're happy with it, copy it in pencil on one side of the box. Paint the design in
bright colours. While it's drying, repeat the image on the other side of the car and
paint that, too.
Now paint the front and back sections – and add your name to them so that
the crowd can identify you during the race.
Next, paint two cardboard tubes, and tape them to the back of the car, so they
stick out like exhaust pipes.
Finally, paint a display panel on the front flap of the car. You'll need a
speedometer to tell how fast you're going, and a petrol gauge so you know how
much fuel you have left.
Safety First
All racing drivers wear HELMETS to protect them in the event of a crash –
and everyone in your race will have one. For this, you'll need a smaller cardboard
box that fits over your head. Remove the flaps, and cut out the front section so that
you see!
To keep it in place, attach a piece of ribbon to either side so that you can tie it
under your chin. Paint the helmet in the same colours as your car, and write your
name across the front.
It's The Pits!
During a race, cars have to stop to refuel, or replace their tires. This part of
the track is called THE PITS. All the cars in your race will share the same pit area –
so all your friends can join in and help make it!
You'll need another big cardboard box, which you can paint with dials and
displays. Tie a long length of string to one side of the box, and tape a cardboard
tube to the end – this will be your fuel line.
When a car comes into the pits in Formula One, one of the mechanics holds a
sign in front of the driver to tell him when to stop and go. You can make one by
cutting a circle from card. Paint one side red, and write STOP on it, then flip the
circle over, paint the other side green, and write GO.
Tape the circle to a stick or broom handle, and you have a sign to hold out
in front of drivers who enter the pits.
The last thing you need to make is a chequered flag. This will be waved as
the winning car crosses the finish line. Tape together four sheets of paper, and
divide each side up into squares. Paint each alternate square black and, when both
sides are dry, attach your flag to a stick.
Build Your Track
You only need one more thing in order to race – a TRACK! The size and
shape of your track will depend on where you are racing.
Design your track on a sheet of paper. Add a few twists and turns to keep the
drivers working hard, and don't forget to include the start/finish line.
When you have a design all the racers are happy with, mark it out by lying
string on the ground. You'll need a long length of string for either side of the track. If
it's a windy day, hold the string down by placing stones over it at regular intervals.
Mark the start/finish line with more string, and place the pit area beside it.
The Race!
Finally it's time for the RACE! You can decide who starts from where by
drawing positions. Write each driver's name on a piece of paper, and drop them into
a helmet. Shake them up, and pull them out one at a time.
The first driver out gets POLE POSITION (the front spot), and the second
name stands beside him. The third driver starts behind the first car, the fourth next
to him – and so on until all the names have been drawn out.
One of your friends can act as STEWARD for the race (the person in charge).
He will decide how many laps you need to complete, hold the stop/go sign in front of
the cars as they enter the pits, and wave the chequered flag.
On his count of "three, two, one, go!" the race will begin! All the drivers grip
the front of their cars, and run around the track, staying inside the string.
Each car must stop in the pits to refuel one time during the race for seven
seconds. The steward hold out the stop/go sign until the time is up.
The winner of the race gets 10 points to add to his driver's championship
score, second place gets 8, and third place gets 6. Then it's time to design a new
track, make any necessary repairs to the cars – and race all over again!
Be quick on the draw as you create crazy comics to hand out to your friends!
Character Witness
The first thing you need for your comic are CHARACTERS. You'll need a
main character, a baddie, and other smaller characters to help tell the story.
Perhaps your main character is a superhero who fights evil and helps rescue
those in danger? Or maybe she's a naughty girl starting a new school, and always
getting into trouble?
Whoever your main character is, take a piece of paper, and write about them.
First, give them a name. If the character is a superhero, does he have a
secret identity? What are his super powers? Invent a history for your naughty
schoolgirl. Where was she born? What do her parents do for a living? You don't
need to know everything about your character – just enough to guess how they will
react in your story.
Create a baddie to oppose your main character – an arch villain for your
superhero, or a strict headmaster for your schoolgirl. Write a little about them, and
how they get in the way of what your hero wants.
Keep these character biographies safe – you'll need to refer to them when
you start writing your stories.
Quick On The Draw
Now it's time to DRAW your creations. Don't worry if you think that you're not
very good at drawing – some of the most popular comic strip characters in the world
have been created the way they are because the artist wasn't very good!
Take a sheet of paper, and draw your main character in black and white.
Keep the picture as simple as possible – you're going to have to draw it again and
When you have a design you're happy with, try drawing the character from
different angles. How does your superhero look from the side, or when he's
running? Can you sketch your schoolgirl sitting down and standing up?
Now draw your character with different facial expressions. Change the shape
of their eyes and mouth to make them look happy, angry or sad.
Draw your other characters in the same way, and pin these sketches to the
wall where you draw. You can glance up at these sketches for help when you're
creating your final comic.
Story Time
You need to invent a STORY for your characters to act out. An interesting
and exciting story will keep your readers turning the pages, eager to find out what
happens next.
On a sheet of paper, write down as many ideas for your main character as
you can. How many rescues can you think of for your superhero? How many ways
can your schoolgirl get into trouble?
When you have nine or ten ideas, pick the one you like the best and write a
short story about it that lasts between one and two pages. You'll need a start,
middle and end to your story – and make sure that your hero wins!
Toon Time!
It's time to start creating your COMIC!
Take a sheet of paper, and draw a panel at the top left of the page – a panel
is a single square of a comic story. In pencil, draw the first picture of your tale,
remembering to leave space for any speech balloons to show what your characters
are saying. Don't worry about making it too neat at this stage – you're only planning
at the moment.
Now, add another panel, and draw the next frame of your story – remember
to keep the action moving, and try to use as little speech as possible. Keep adding
panels of different sizes, until you have filled the page. Then continue on a fresh
sheet of paper.
When you have finished a rough draft of your comic strip, show it to one of
your friends to see if they can follow the story. If they have a problem understanding
something, erase that panel, and redraw it. Keep going until the story is easy to
Pen And Ink!
The next stage is to go over your pencil drawings with a black felt tip pen. In
comic strip production, this process is called INKING.
It is worth taking your time over this – you can't erase any mistakes
once they're made in ink!
Rest the first page of your rough draft on a table, and ink over the outside of
the panel. The next thing to go over is any speech, as this must be easy to read.
Continue with the drawings until the panel is complete – then take a blank sheet of
paper, and lie it over the inked area. This will stop you accidentally smudging it as
you move on to the next panel.
Keep going until you have inked the entire page, then place it carefully
between two sheets of blank paper, and put it somewhere safe. Now move on to
your next page.
When you have finished, design a cover for your comic, and ink that too.
Copy, Copy, Copy!
When you have completed your inking, you can COPY your pages to hand
out to your friends!
Your local newsagent may have a photocopier that charges a few pence for
each copy – or perhaps there is one at school that your teachers will allow you use.
Make the same amount of copies of each page. There's nothing worse than finding
you have one sheet missing!
Staple your pages together, and give the first edition of your comic to
your friends. If they like it, you might have to get started on your next adventure
right away!
You could even write a longer story and split it into segments, so that
your friends have to wait for the next edition to find out what happens!
Get to the heart of an important matter as you research, write, and film
your own 10 minute documentary!
Subject Matter
Every documentary has a SUBJECT – a topic that your viewers will be
interested in. You could choose yours by looking at your own daily routine.
You get up in the morning and have breakfast – maybe you could make a
documentary on what different people have for breakfast. You go to school – how
about a 10 minute look at what your head teacher's day is like? Whatever you
choose, it should be something that your audience – your friends and family –
would like to learn more about.
When you have chosen a subject, you need to do some RESEARCH.
Researching a subject simply means that you discover as much as you can about it.
For example, if you were researching your head teacher's day, you could find out
what time he or she arrives at school. Do they leave later than the pupils when
classes are finished? How many meetings with the other teachers do they have
each day?
Write down all your research in a notepad – you'll need to refer back to it
when you are writing your script.
Question Time
The best way to research your subject is to INTERVIEW people. By asking
them questions, and making note of their answers, you can learn a lot about your
chosen topic.
You could arrange to interview your head teacher to ask about their day. But
don't stop there, interview some of your fellow pupils and teachers to ask for their
opinions on what a head teacher really does. How do they think someone gets to be
a head teacher? Is it a job they would want to do themselves?
Whoever you interview, you should always arrange a time to meet them, and
don't be late – they're doing you a favour by answering your questions. Write their
answers down in your notepad, or you could take along a recorder, record the
interview, and write their comments down later.
You might be surprised by what you hear.
Video Diary
Now it's time to FILM your documentary. Ask one of your friends to operate
the video camera while you DIRECT the action.
In the head teacher example, you could film your head teacher arriving in the
morning, and entering their office. Perhaps you could be allowed to film a short
portion of the teachers' staff meeting to see how the day's classes and events are
planned. As with interviews, always ask for people's permission before you film
While your friend is filming, you can add a VOICEOVER to the documentary.
That means you talk about what is happening, and explain it to the viewers who will
be watching. Try not to just describe what is going on, but give extra details that the
image on the screen doesn't show. For example, if you're showing a meeting in the
staff room, give a few details on what the meeting is about, and why it is important.
The Write Stuff!
When you have completed your video footage, you can write the SCRIPT for
your documentary. The script will show you the order in which events in your film will
Watch all the video you have shot in one go. Make notes in your pad as to
which scenes are the most interesting. Now, put those scenes in order.
Remember to check that everything happens in the script as it does in real life
– you can't show your head teacher having lunch in one scene, then have them
arriving for work in the next!
When you've finished your script, use the rewind and fast forward controls on
your video camera to watch your scenes in the order of the script. Does the
documentary make sense? If not, go back to the script and correct it.
The Big Edit
Time to EDIT your footage, and arrange your scenes in the right order.
Many computers come with video editing software. If you have access to a
computer with that facility, follow the instructions on how to connect your camera
to the PC, then copy your footage across.
Now, edit your documentary, putting the scenes in the right order. After it's
done, you can burn the finished product to a DVD, ready to show the world!
Editing is a painstaking process and, in professional television, is undertaken
by highly qualified people. So don't worry if your video jumps a little in between the
scenes – everyone should be too interested in your subject to worry about a few
blips on the screen!
On The Box
Finally, you can show your documentary to your friends and family. It's also
polite to invite the people in the documentary to watch it too – they should enjoy
seeing themselves on TV!
Dim the lights and play your film. Allow your audience to watch the entire
documentary, then ask if they have any questions. If there was something they
didn't understand, you may have to go back and re-edit part of your video.
Congratulations! You're now a documentary film-maker!
Time to be get the X Factor, as you and your friends take to the stage
to perform a mimed concert as your favourite stars!
Tonight, I'm Going To Be...
First, you'll need to choose which STARS you and your friends are going to
become. You could be one of your favourite solo acts, or a group. Whichever stars
you choose, they should be instantly recognisable to the audience.
You'll also need to decide which of their songs you will perform. They should
be songs that you know quite well, and ones that you or your friends have on CD or
MP3. For an entire concert, you'll need between 4 and 8 songs.
Now, make a SET LIST. This means deciding which order your stars will
appear in. Remember not to have the same person performing twice in a row, or
they won't have time to get changed into their next character!
When you have a set list, record the songs in order onto a cassette. This will
be the tape your show is mimed to, so make sure that the songs are clear, and
have around 10 seconds of silence between them (you can fast forward the tape a
little after each song).
Getting Lyrical
In order to mime to the songs, you'll need to know the LYRICS! Play the
song, and write down the words to each of the songs on a separate sheet of paper.
Now, practice singing along to each of the songs, trying to get all the words in time
with the tape. It doesn't matter if you're not perfect – even pop stars make mistakes!
When you can sing the songs without looking at the words, try MIMING to
the tape. This means that you sing, but don't make any sound! Mime in front of a
mirror, and it should look as though the pop star's voice is coming from your mouth!
Dress To Impress
Now that you 'sound' like your favourite stars, you need to LOOK like them,
Examine pictures of the stars you have chosen and see if you can create
similar COSTUMES. The costumes don't need to be exactly the same, but should
be in a similar style. You can use your own clothes, and make any extra bits, such
as t-shirt designs, from paper or card.
When you are happy with the costume, mime in front of the mirror again,
this time while dressed up. Your star should be looking right back at you!
Let's Dance!
Of course, pop stars don't stand in one spot while they're performing, they
DANCE to their songs. This is your chance to join them, and rehearse some great
See if you can find a video of your favourite performers in action. Pop
programmes on TV show music videos or live appearances from artists, so record
a few of these.
Watch the videos, and see if you can imitate the dance moves. Don't worry if
you can't copy all the moves, you only need a few steps for your own performance.
If you're appearing as a group with some of your friends, practice together so
that your moves all look the same.
Keep the routines simple, and they'll look effective!
Unload The Equipment
If you watch a pop concert, you'll notice that the bands have a whole range of
musical INSTRUMENTS to play. To help your concert look authentic, you can make
your own, and pretend to play them!
Making GUITARS is easy. Cut the top and bottom flaps from a large
cardboard box, then cut it open along one corner so that it lies flat on the floor. Draw
a guitar shape on the card, and cut it out. Paint your guitar in bright colours. Draw
the guitar STRINGS along the neck, and tie a length of normal string at either end
of your instrument to allow you to hang it around your neck.
Don't forget that each guitar needs an AMPLIFIER, so that the audience can
hear it! Use another cardboard box, but this time seal the top and bottom flaps with
tape. Draw a SPEAKER on the front, and add some buttons to control the volume.
Connect the guitar to the amp with a guitar lead made of string, and you're ready to
To make a DRUM KIT, tape smaller boxes to a sheet of card, and lie it on a
table. Use a larger box beneath the table for a bass drum, and paint the boxes in the
same colour. Sit behind the kit with two wooden spoons for drum sticks to get into
the beat.
Finally, each singer will need a MICROPHONE. Use a cardboard tube, and
tape a screwed up ball of newspaper to the top. Paint the microphone grey and,
when it's dry, practice singing into it!
We Will Rock You!
The day of the big concert! You can advertise your GIG by handing out
POSTERS to your friends and family.
Create a stage by marking off an area of the room with lengths of string, tied
between chairs – or you could even perform an outdoor concert in the garden. Your
audience can stand in front of the stage.
Anyone connected with the concert will need a BACKSTAGE PASS to make
them look official. Cut out a square of card, and write the name of your concert on it.
Tie a length of string to it so that you can hang it around your neck.
When the audience is ready, play the music and start your concert! Each act
in turn can take to the stage and mime to the songs. Have the music as loud as you
can (without disturbing anyone) and your audience should soon be singing and
dancing along!
Enter the world of science fiction and engage in some mechanical
mayhem with this fantastic robot costume!
Brain Drain
The first part of your robot costume will be the HEAD. This is where the
robot's computer brain will be!
Take any hat – such as a baseball cap or woollen bobble hat – and cover it
in tin foil. Use tape to hold the foil in place on the inside of the hat, so that it doesn't
Now, cover a few lengths of string in foil and stick them around the hat to look
like computer wires.
Find an old pair of sunglasses, and paint the lenses silver. Before the paint is
dry, use the tip of a pencil to scratch thin lines through the paint. This will give the
lenses a computer screen effect, and allow you to see where you are going!
Finally, wrap a pair of personal stereo headphones in some more foil to
create super sensitive robot ears!
I Ain't Got No Body!
To make the robot's BODY, you'll need a cardboard box that's big enough for
you to squeeze your shoulders inside.
Cut holes in the top and sides of the box, then lower it over your head, and
push your arms through the sides. You may need to adjust the size of the holes until
the box feels comfortable to wear.
Paint the box silver, and add some more foil covered string wires across
the surface.
Glue the top of a butter or ice cream tub to the front of the box as a
computer screen. You can paint the screen black, and draw strange symbols on it
to make it look more realistic. Paint some tops from jars or toothpaste tubes, and
stick them around the screen as buttons.
Now you can make a radar dish to stick to the back of the body. Paint a
paper plate silver, and make a small hole in the middle. Push a straw through the
hole, and glue the other end to the back of the box. The radar dish with wobble as
you walk, making it look as though the robot is scanning the area!
Limb From Limb!
Making robotic ARMS and LEGS is quite simple, and only requires an old
jumper and pair of trousers and some wool. It doesn't matter what colour the old
clothes are, but the darker, the better.
Get an adult to help you thread a large sewing needle with the wool then, at
the top of one of the jumper's sleeves, start to loosely thread the wool around the
arm. You only need to stitch the wool through the jumper a few times to keep it in
place. When you have gone all the way around the arm, tie a knot in the wool to
stop it from coming out.
Now, sew another circle around the arm a few centimetres down, and then
another a few centimetres after that. Keep going until you have covered the arm
with circles of wool, then repeat the process for the other arm.
For the trousers, sew the wool up and down the legs in long lines, again a few
centimetres apart. Your limbs will now look like they are make from some strange
space-age tubing!
That's Handy
You'll also need to make some robotic HANDS and FEET!
For the hands, roll a piece of thin card around one of your fingers, and tape
the ends together. Now mark where your fingertip is with a pencil, remove the tube
and carefully trim it to the right size with a pair of scissors.
Put the tube back onto your finger, and use the pencil to mark where each of
your finger joints are. Remove the tube again, and cut small slits in the back of the
tube, so that you will be able to bend your robotic fingers. Make ten of these tubes –
one for each finger and thumb – and paint them silver.
When they are dry, punch a small hole in the bottom of the tubes, and tie a
short piece of string to each of them. Pin the other end of the bits of string to the
cuffs of your robot jumper, then wrap them in foil. This will keep the tubes in place
on your fingers, and make each one look like it is operated by a separate wire!
Robot FEET are easy to make. You'll need two small boxes – about the size
that teabags come in.
Tape the box closed, then cut a hole in the back of each box that's large
enough for you to push your foot into while wearing shoes. It doesn't matter if your
foot doesn't go all the way in.
Now, stick some more foil covered string to each side of the box, and tie it
behind your ankle – just tight enough to keep the box in place.
You can paint the boxes silver, and even draw on some robot toes
with toenails made from bits of foil!
Put It All Together!
Ask a FRIEND to help you put on all the bits of your robot costume!
First of all, put on the jumper and trousers, slip your fingers inside the
tubes and feet into the boxes.
Next, put the body over your head and push your arms out the holes at the
side. Now you can add the hat, sunglasses and earphones.
Practice walking around the room like a robot would. Keep the movements
jerky and awkward – although it shouldn't be too much of a problem while you're
wearing the costume!
If your friends have made robot costumes too, put on a CD, and try
dancing like a robot. Can you put together a whole robot routine?
Go potty and make a personalised photograph holder that you can give away
as a unique gift to your friends and family!
Potty Time
To start, you need to get a terracotta PLANT POT, approximately 10cm in
diameter. You can use a larger or smaller pot if you want to – just adapt the number
of picture clips accordingly. Wash your plant pot, and leave it to dry completely.
When it's dry, paint the pot in bright colours. It might be difficult to do as
some paints don't stick to terracotta very well. If this is the case, you could wrap the
pot in crepe paper, or bright wrapping paper. Glue the paper in place, and try to
keep the shape of the pot showing through.
Now, wash a handful of stones and drop them into the pot. They will give it
extra weight, and stop it from falling over.
Next, push in a block of floral foam, which you can buy from your local florists
or garden centre. If you can't get any, use a large lump of modelling clay instead.
Push it right down to wedge it in place.
Rock your pot a few times to check that it's not easy to tip over. If it is,
remove the foam or clay, and add some more stones.
The Peg Leg
To keep your pictures in place, you'll need three CLOTHES PEGS, and three
WOODEN KEBAB STICKS. You should be able to get all of these from your local
Paint the pegs and sticks green – they're going to look like the stalks of the
flowers that are growing out of the pot. When they're dry, glue a peg to the top of
each stick, making sure that the part that opens is pointing upwards.
On a sheet of paper, draw and colour three flowers that are larger than the
length of the clothes pegs. Cut these out, and stick onto the side of the pegs to hide
them. It should now look like you have three flowers on green stalks.
To add an extra touch to your flowers, cut out petal shapes from crepe
paper, and stick them on!
Show You Care!
If you buy a plant in a pot, it usually comes with a CARE CARD to show you
how to look after your plant. The care card is often sticking up out of the soil to make
sure it doesn't get lost.
You're going to make a care card with a difference – a 'card' to
show someone that you 'care'!
Paint a lollipop stick in a bright colour to match your pot, and cut a small
square from a sheet of card. Write a message on the card, such as 'Happy
Birthday', 'Congratulations', or 'Get Well Soon', and tape it to the top of the stick.
To hide the foam or clay in the pot, you can make some foliage (leaves and
grass) from tissue or crepe paper. Cut out leaf shapes and bunch three or four of
them together. Twist the ends to keep them in place.
Now, pull open a wire paper clip, and twist the end of it around the bottom
section of the leaves, taking care not to hurt yourself with the ends of the metal – it
can be quite sharp. You'll need to make about ten of these leaf bunches to cover the
surface of the pot.
Assembly Plant!
It's time to put it all TOGETHER!
Push the three peg flowers into the foam or clay, with the flowers facing in the
same direction. You can have one flower pointing straight up in the middle, with
those on either side at a slight angle.
Next to the flowers, stick your care card into the pot, making sure that the
message is showing clearly. Cover the surface of the your foam or clay by pushing
the metal ends of your leaf bunches in. Once they're in place, you can spread out
the individual leaves to create more cover. Tie a ribbon around the pot if you have
Now you can clip photographs in the clothes pegs – the spring action of the
pegs should keep them firmly in place. Choose pictures that will mean a lot to the
person you'll be giving your gift to, such as photos of the two of you together, or
pictures that will remind the person of a special time.
You've not got a very personal gift that will be cherished forever.
Daddy Cool!
Of course, if you're giving your Potty Picture Holder to your DAD,
GRANDDAD or UNCLE – it might look a bit soppy covered in flowers! So, here are
a few ways to alter the pot for a male friend or relative.
Instead of sticking flowers onto your pegs, you could cut out little footballs
from card! Paint the pot in the person's favourite team colours, and make crepe
paper grass to cover the foam or clay. You could even make your care card into the
shape of a goalpost!
If the person is a computer geek (like me!), draw little computer mice, and
paint them grey. When you stick them to the pegs, add a piece of string that twists
around the stick and goes into the pot as the mouse's wire.
You could print off the image from a computer screen to wrap the pot in, and
make cardboard computer keys to cover the foam.
Pot Shots
You can adapt your Potty Picture Holder for other times of the year, too!
For CHRISTMAS, stick stars onto your pegs, cover the surface of the pot in
tinsel, and make a Christmas tree shaped care card.
At EASTER time, paint the pot yellow, stick Easter egg shapes to the
pegs, and you could even add a toy chick!
How many ideas can you think of for your pots?
Fed up with the way your room looks? Sort your space out with this low cost
makeover project! Remember to get permission first, however!
How Big Is It?
If you're going to start moving your bedroom around – a little forward planning
will save you a lot of hard work! The first thing to do is MEASURE everything in your
room. You'll need a long tape measure and a pen.
To start, measure the length of each wall in metres, and make a note of them
in your pad. Next, measure the height and width of your windows, and the bedroom
Finally, you need to measure the widths of any furniture in the room, such
as your bed, wardrobe, and any chests of drawers or desks, etc. Again, mark all of
these lengths down in your notepad.
Master Plan
Stage two of the measuring involves making a FLOOR PLAN of your room.
It's best to do this on graph paper, but if you haven't got any, use a ruler to divide a
sheet of plain paper into 1cm squares.
Start by marking the walls onto the paper, using the lengths jotted down in
your notepad. A good scale to use is 5cm to 1m – that means if you have a wall that
is 4m long, it will take up 20cm on your floor plan.
When you have the walls in place, mark in the window and the door. Now you
have an accurate floor plan of your room.
Next, draw pictures of your furniture using the same scale onto a sheet of
card, and cut them out. So, if your bed is 1.8m long, your picture would be 9cm in
Move the furniture pictures around on the floor plan to see which way they fit
best. This is the part that saves you a lot of work!
When you're happy with the way your room looks – stick the pictures in place
with tape.
A Moving Experience
Now comes the fun part – the MOVE!
Start by moving all the smaller items, such as toys, CDs and books out of the
room, and store them neatly somewhere else (a nearby bedroom would be ideal).
This may take a little time, but it will be worth the effort.
Don't forget to empty your wardrobe and any chests of drawers of clothes
– they'll be a lot easier to move then they're empty!
When you only have the furniture left, move it around to match your new floor
plan. If your scale has been correct – they should fit perfectly.
Now you can return all your clothes, books and CDs back to the room.
Box Clever
You may find that you have lots of stuff lying around, such as magazines,
pens and paper that make the place look untidy. The best way to deal with these is
You'll need a few cardboard boxes on a variety of sizes – everything from
shoe boxes to large boxes from the supermarket will do. Start by taping any top and
bottom flaps closed, and either painting the boxes in a colour to match your room, or
covering them with wrapping paper.
Now, cut around the sides of each box, a few centimetres from the top. This
will remove the top portion of the box, and create a kind of lid. If you cut small slits in
each of the four corners the lid will fit over the top of the box when you replace it.
You can now store all your bits and pieces away, out of sight.
For magazine racks, cut one side of a cereal packet away, and paint it to
match the room. You can stand several of these side by side and fill them with your
favourite magazines, keeping them neat, and stopping them from getting lost or
Clothes Chaos
If you always seem to have more clothes than space to store them, you can
make some simple ORGANISERS to keep them neat and tidy.
For belts, school ties, and so on – carefully tap a couple of small nails into the
inside of your wardrobe door to hang them on. Inside the other door, you can hang a
strong carrier bag on a nail to hold pairs of socks, or t-shirts. Always ask an adult to
help with this.
If you have jumbled up drawers, why not use bits of card to separate the
drawers into different compartments? You can hold the card in place with tape, and
never have mixed up clothes again!
Wall Work
If you're bored of the posters you have on your bedroom wall, why not turn
them over and make them into WORKS OF ART?
You can paint simple designs with paints that match the other colours in the
room and make it look as though you paid a visit to an exclusive art gallery! You'll
be amazed how a few blocks of colour will transform a wall! The best part is, when
you're tired of them, your favourite posters are on the other side!
If you're like me, you have lots of bits of paper lying around that are easy to
lose – normally just when you need them! The way to solve this is to make your own
message board.
Get a couple of cork tiles from a DIY shop (they're normally quite cheap), and
ask an adult to stick them to the back of your bedroom door. Then, with a few pins,
you can attach them to the tiles, and keep all your messages safe.
Another use for your board is to keep your mobile 'phone safe. Simply
remove the top from an old stock cube box, pin it to the board, and slot your
mobile into it whenever you're in the room!
Become a surgeon in a gory game that gets your insides out!
Body Line
The first thing you'll need is the OUTLINE of a human body. Tape several
sheets of paper together until you have a piece big enough to lie on with space all
around you.
Take off your shoes, and lie on your back on the paper. Open your legs
slightly, and spread your hands flat, with your fingers apart. Now, get a friend to
draw around you with a marker pen. Don't press too hard, or the pen might rip
through the paper. It doesn't matter if it's not too neat – you can always use the pen
to go over the line again later.
It's a good idea to make two outlines, in case one gets damaged. Fold the
spare outline up, and keep it safe.
Dem Bones!
Now you can start making the bits that go inside your body – starting with the
Although the human body has over 200 bones, you only need a few of
them for this game: two for each arm, two for each leg, your hands and your feet.
Measure a piece of card from your shoulder to your elbow, and cut out a bone
shape, so that it fits inside the outline on the paper. Do the same for the bone that
runs from your elbow to your wrist, and repeat this for the other arm.
Now, trace your hands onto card, and cut them out. You can draw the bones
onto these hands – can you work out how many you have in your fingers?
Time for your legs – make bones that fit the outline from your hips to your
knees, and from your knees to your ankles. Trace your feet from the side, cut them
out, and draw in the bones on your toes.
Store your bones somewhere safe.
Brain Box & Heart Of The Matter
Now you can make your internal organs – starting with your BRAIN! Although
your brain is actually quite soft, and feels like dough (don't ask me how I know that!),
we'll be making yours from newspaper.
Screw up several sheets of newspaper, so they make a ball shape that fits
inside the top of your head on the outline. Press one side of the 'brain' against a
table top so that it flattens out a bit, then use sticky tape to stop the newspaper
from unravelling.
Paint your brain grey (that's why they call it grey matter!), and leave it to dry.
To make the HEART, you'll need an old sponge, like the type used in the
kitchen or bathroom.
Make sure the sponge isn't wet, then carefully use a pair of scissors to trim
it into a shape like a potato, about the size of your fist.
Paint it red and set it aside to dry.
Hot Air & Hungry!
Next you have to make your LUNGS – the parts of your body that keep you
These are the simplest parts to make, as you just have to blow up two
identical balloons. Make sure that they are small enough to fit inside the chest
section of your outline, with the heart in between them.
Your STOMACH is also quite easy to make.
Screw up some small pieces of newspaper, and drop them into a paper bag.
Now, blow some air into the bag (but not too much, you don't want it to burst!), and
twist the top closed to trap some of the air. Use tape to secure the opening – and
you should be able to hear the contents of your stomach rattling about inside! Yuk!
Paint the stomach pink, and leave it to dry.
Doctor, Doctor...
You're now ready for surgery – so you'll need to make a DOCTOR'S
For the doctor's coat, ask if you can borrow a large white shirt from an
adult, and wear it backwards.
You can make a STETHOSCOPE (the thing the doctor listens to your chest
with) by winding wool around the wires of a pair of headphones, and making a tin
foil circle for the end. Hook the earphone part around your neck, and let it dangle!
Wear a pair of rubber washing-up gloves on your hands, and you're ready to
Gather your friends together for a session of surgical silliness!
Stick the outline of your body onto the wall (ask an adult to help), and place
all the bones and body parts on a table nearby. Fold pieces of tape over so that they
are sticky on both sides, and stick them to the back of each item.
Now, choose a doctor, and dress him or her in the costume. Tie a blindfold
on so that they can't see (a piece of material cut from an old t-shirt will do), and
your body is in their hands!
They will have two minutes to pick bones and organs from the table and
stick them into your body outline on the wall. But, as the doctor is blindfolded – who
knows where they'll end up!
The arm and leg bones should go back into your limbs; the brain in the top
half of your head; your heart in the middle of your chest, with a lung on either side –
and your stomach below. The rubber gloves will make it harder for the doctor to feel
which item is which!
When the time is up, or all the body parts have been put in place, remove the
doctor's blindfold, and show him how well he has done – then carefully peel the
items from the outline, choose another doctor, and operate again!
Turn on the TV and you won't have to wait long until you find a quiz show!
These are contests where people can win prizes by answering questions. Now you
can run a quiz show for your friends, right in your living room!
Come On Down!
In your quiz show contestants will need to answer GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
questions to score points. The contestant with the highest score at the end of the
show will win the prize!
Think of a NAME for your quiz show. It will need to be something exciting that
would make viewers want to tune in and watch. Some popular quiz show names are
'Wheel Of Fortune', 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?', and 'Countdown'.
Time To Format!
Now you have to decide how your quiz show will work. How many
contestants will there be? How many questions will they be asked? The answers to
these questions go together in a FORMAT – a sort of rule book for a new show.
To create your format, staple together four sheets of paper. On the first page,
put the title of your show, and your name underneath. That will identify you as the
On the other pages, fill in the following information:
What will the SET for your show look like?
How many contestants will there be?
What type of questions will they be asked?
What can they win?
You might not know all of the information just yet, but you can go back and
fill it in when you do.
Design The set
The SET of your show is the area where the quiz takes place. You can build
yours, and set it up in the corner of your living room.
First, you'll need to design it. Take a sheet of paper, and draw a PLAN for the
set. This is an overhead view of where everything will be. There should be a table
for the HOST (the person who asks the questions), and a PODIUM (a tall box) for
each of your contestants to stand behind.
Colour in your set design, and attach it to your quiz show format.
Can We Build It? Following
your design, it's now time to BUILD the set.
Choose a table for the host, and add a SCORE CARD for each contestant.
You can do this with a sheet of card and some spiral bound notebooks. Using a
notebook for each contestant, stick the backs of the books onto the card with tape,
so that the spiral tops are sticking over the edge. Now, turn the card around so that
the books open towards you. On the back of the first page, draw a large number '1'.
Flip the next page over, and draw the number '2'. Keep turning and flipping until
each notebook has at least 30 numbered pages.
Now, place the card on the edge of table, and you should be able to flip
the pages over so that the scores dangle in front of the host.
Making the podiums is easy. You'll need two cardboard boxes for each
contestant. Seal all the boxes with tape.
Place one box on top of another and tape them together. Paint the boxes in a
bright colour, and you have a simple podium. Make one for each contestant.
You could sprinkle glitter onto the boxes before the paint dries to make them
look even more impressive!
Question Time
What is a quiz show without QUESTIONS? You'll need plenty of them in
order to test your contestants' knowledge.
Think up as many different questions as you can, or use questions from a quiz
book, or board game, such as 'Trivial Pursuit'. Make sure they are the sort of
questions that your friends are likely to know the answers to – there's nothing more
boring than a quiz show where no-one wins!
Write each of your questions onto a separate piece of card – you could use
a pack of index cards for this. Remember to add the answer below so you can tell
whether a contestant is correct or not.
To work out how many questions you will need, multiply the number of your
contestants by 20. So, if you have two contestants, you'll have to come up with 40
questions, or with three contestants – you'll require 60.
When you have all your questions, keep them safe by sealing them in an
envelope until the quiz show starts. That way, no-one can cheat!
Time To Play!
Keep the contestants in another room while you let your other friends in to be
the AUDIENCE. Tell them to clap whenever one of the contestants gets a question
Now, bring in your contestants, and stand them behind their podiums. Write
their names on the card behind each notebook, so that you know which scores
match which player. You could also stick a piece of card with the contestant's name
to the front of their podiums.
Now start asking questions! Read them aloud in a clear voice, so that both
the contestants and audience can hear. In order for your contestants to answer,
they must first shout out their name.
The first player to call out gets a chance to guess at the answer. If they are
correct, they win one point (flip a page over in their notebook), but if they are
wrong, ask the question again to the other contestants.
Play continues until a specific score has been reached (such as 'first to
20'), or until you run out of questions. Award the prize to the winner, and ask your
audience to give all the contestants a big round of applause!
How many times have you had a tune going round in your head all day – you
just can't stop singing it? You can use that feeling to write your own song, and you
don't need to be able to play an instrument or read music to do it!
Whistle A Happy Tune
The first thing to do is hum or whistle. It doesn't matter what, just make some
noise. See how high and low you can go.
Now listen to some of your favourite songs. You'll notice that most of them
are in 4/4 time – that means that you can count 1, 2, 3, 4 over and over again
with the beat of the music – and always be in time.
Try to whistle a simple tune in 4/4 time. You can tap your foot on the floor if it
helps you to count.
Many popular songs have two different parts – the VERSE, which is usually
the first part you hear, and the CHORUS, which is repeated between the verses.
If you have voice recording software on your computer, you can record your
tune using the microphone. It doesn't matter what it sounds like – no-one will hear it
yet but you!
It's Only Words!
Almost all pop songs have WORDS – if they didn't, it would be hard to sing
Play your song back and see if you can invent some words to go along with it.
It can be about anything at all – your family, friends, or even your favourite film or
music star. Write down the words to a verse of four lines – and see if you can
make the words rhyme at the ends of the lines. Listen to some of your songs again
and see if you can spot where the rhyming words go.
Write two more verses that follow the same pattern. The words should tell a
kind of story with one verse following on from another.
Now write words for the chorus. This bit will repeat in between each verse –
and is usually the catchy bit that hangs around in your head all day. The chorus will
have a slightly different tune, so listen to your tape to remind yourself.
Mix And Match
It's time to put your music and words TOGETHER!
Start recording, and sing your song onto the computer again, this time using
the words instead of just humming or whistling the tune. It might take you a few tries
to sing it all the way through, but keep going – the more often you sing your song,
the better you will know it.
Once you have it recorded, play it back and try to think of a title for your song.
It could be a few words taken from your lyrics, or something that describes the topic
of your song. It can always be changed later if you don't like it.
Congratulations – you're a songwriter!
Can't Stop The Music
The next stage is to find someone who can play a MUSICAL INSTRUMENT.
It doesn't matter which one, but piano or guitar would be good instruments to use.
If your school has a music teacher or someone that comes in to teach instruments,
ask them to suggest someone who might want to help. Maybe there's
someone in your class that has piano lessons after school? Chances are that they'll
be bored with practising scales all the time, and would be thrilled to work with you
on your song.
When you have found a musician, give them a copy of your song and ask
them to learn it on their instrument. It might take them a while to do it, so be patient.
It will be worth it!
In The Studio
When your musical friend has learned to play your song, it's time to RECORD
it! Top groups pay thousands of pounds to spend time in recording studios to make
their records – but you can do your for free!
The first thing you need is a small room (not too small, you've both got to fit
in there!) If your friend plays the piano, you will have to use the room where that is.
Call your name out in the room a few times. Is there an echo? If there is, you'll
have to sound proof the area where you'll be recording. To do this, lie blankets and
quilts over hard objects like tables and, if you can, hang them up to cover the walls.
If you aren't able to do any of this – don't worry, it won't spoil your song.
The next bit might be hard. You'll have to sing your song while the musician
plays it. Practice a few times, then record it onto tape. If your friend has some
suggestions as to how you can improve your song, try them out. They might make
the song sound even better.
Live On Stage
As well as recording their songs, pop singers perform their music LIVE – and
you can too!
You might be nervous about singing in front of an audience, but that's OK.
Most big stars were nervous when they started out, and some of them still are!
Ask your friends and family to sit together, and your musician friend to play for
you. If they can't, record an INSTRUMENTAL version of the song (without any
words), and sing along.
Perform your song for the audience, and take a bow at the end when they
applaud. You're on the road to becoming a pop star! Now it's time to go back to
section 1, and start writing your next song – you can't keep your new fans waiting!
Take a whirlwind trip around the globe as you sample the food of five
different countries!
All Aboard!
The WORLD is an amazing place! With so many different countries, each
with its own language, food, culture and traditions – it could take you years to visit
them all.
This project tells you a little bit about five very different nations – but
don't stop there. The Internet and your local library are packed full of
international information, just waiting for you to explore!
The first thing you'll need is a world ATLAS. This is a map that shows all the
different countries. You can find one at the library, or simply search online.
Pick the following countries out on the map, learn a little about them, and try a
meal or two.
You could also start a SCRAPBOOK for your tour. Staple together 5 sheets of
paper, and add covers from stiff card (you could decorate the covers with the flags of
the countries you'll be learning about). For each country, write down what you can
find out about it, and tell your guests during the meal!
If you are lucky enough to ever visit one of these countries on holiday, you
could collect items such as postcards and photographs to add to your scrapbook.
Now, on with the trip...
Our first stop is MEXICO - a country that borders the southern edge of
the United States of America and became independent from Spain in 1810. The
Mexican flag is green, white and red. Use crepe paper in those colours to decorate
the dinner table and try out this delicious meal – TACOS!
Mexican food requires some special spices, but you can normally find readymade ingredients, such as Taco shells and seasoning, in your local supermarket.
Cook some minced beef, and stir in the seasoning according to the packet.
Fill the shells with the mix, and add some salad and grated cheese – delicious!
You can also make a kids' version of the popular drink, SANGRIA by mixing
125ml of blackcurrant juice with 75ml of orange juice and 100ml of lemonade. Add
some ice and a slice of orange, and you have a tasty kids cocktail!
Our next stop is RUSSIA!
Russian cities, such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, are packed full of history
and tradition, and have some of the best architecture in the world.
Decorate your table in white, red and blue – the colours of the Russian flag
- and make this simple CABBAGE SALAD.
Cut a large white cabbage into thin strips, and sprinkle on half a teaspoon of
salt. Rub the salt into the cabbage with your hands to make it softer. Cut an onion
and an apple into strips, and mix with 125ml of mayonnaise and some grated carrot.
Add this to the cabbage. Sprinkle some sugar over the top, and serve cold.
You can make a MILK COCKTAIL to serve with this – just mix 200g of
ice cream with 200ml of milk!
On to CHINA, the country with the highest population in the world – over
1.2billion people!
Chinese food is some of the most popular in the world – you can't go far
without seeing a Chinese restaurant or take-away! You can also find plenty of tasty
Chinese dishes in your local supermarket. Why not try making SWEET AND SOUR
The Chinese flag is red, with five yellow stars – so use red crepe paper, and
cut the stars out of card to decorate your table for the meal.
TEA is a popular drink in China – but is prepared very differently to how we
know it. For a taste close to Chinese tea, try some GREEN TEA without any milk or
The next stop on our worldwide tour is one of the most beautiful in Europe –
ITALY. Chances are you've already tried some Italian food, even if you don't know it.
PIZZA, PASTA, and SPAGHETTI are all Italian dishes.
You can buy pizzas ready-made – but it's much more fun to make your own.
Again, your local supermarket should have all the ingredients, such as pizza
bases, sauces, grated cheese – and any other toppings you like.
Spread them evenly across the top of the pizza and, with the help of an
adult, bake it in the oven according to the directions on the ingredients.
Decorate your table in stripes of red, white and green like the Italian flag,
and enjoy your meal with a glass of fresh FRUIT JUICE.
Our last destination is a country in the north west of Africa – MOROCCO!
Morocco is just packed with culture! You can wander the old towns, shop in the
amazing bazaars, and even see snake charmers at work in the street!
The Moroccan flag is red with a green star in the middle – but this is one time
where you won't be decorating your dinner table. Meals in Morocco are traditionally
served on very low tables, with everyone sitting around on cushions. If you have a
low table, decorate that in red, with a green star in the centre of the table. Scatter
some cushions around for your guests to sit on, and serve a traditional Moroccan
drink – MINT TEA – as they arrive.
You may have to search a bit harder for traditional Moroccan food, but it is
appearing in shops more and more as people travel further abroad. Look out for
Take your clubs and hit the green as you create obstacles for an indoor
crazy golf course. Fore!
Club Culture
A golfer isn't a golfer without a CLUB to hit the ball – and each of your players
will need one of their own. All you need is a bamboo cane and an empty stock cube
Tape the box closed, and paint it grey. When it's dry, carefully make a hole in
the side of the box, near the edge, and push the end of your bamboo cane into it.
Secure the cane in place with some tape, and you have your own golf club!
For the golf ball, it's best to use a table tennis ball, but if you haven't got
one, screw up a sheet of newspaper, and completely wrap it in sticky tape. Keep
squeezing it until it's as round as you can get it, and it rolls quite well.
Now you're ready to play!
In The House
In crazy golf, you score points by hitting your ball through some weird and
wonderful obstacles. The first of these is the HAUNTED HOUSE!
Take a cardboard box, remove the top flaps, and turn it upside down. Now
carefully cut a doorway and four windows out of one side of the box – two windows
near the top, and two windows near the bottom. Make sure that they are all big
enough for your golf ball to fit through.
Next, paint your box to look like a haunted house – you can draw crumbling
brickwork, add a few bats flying around it, and so on.
Finally, tear up some strips of tissue paper, and tape them to the tops of the
doorway and windows. They should dangle in view, but shouldn't stop the ball from
passing through.
When you play this hole, the aim will be to hit your golf ball from a short
distance away to see if you can get it inside the house. You'll receive 1 point if you
get it through the door, 2 points if it goes through either of the lower windows, and 3
points if you can hit it through one of the top windows.
A spooky way to score!
Jumped Up
The next obstacle you'll make is the SKI JUMP. For this, you'll need a sheet
of stiff card, a few books, and three plastic cups.
Number the cups 1, 2, and 3 with a black marker pen, and put them to one
side for a moment. Now stack your books on top of each other, and rest the sheet of
card against the side, so that it forms a ramp.
Place your three cups one behind the other – starting with '1' – on the far side
of the ramp. The aim of the hole is to hit the ball hard enough so that it rolls up the
ramp, and lands in one of the cups on the other side. You may have to experiment a
little to see how far away to place the cups for the final game.
Now on to the next obstacle!
Bowled Over
A very simple obstacle to make is GOLF BOWLING.
Take six empty toilet roll tubes, and paint them white, with a thin red stripe
around the middle, to make them look like bowling pins.
When they're dry, simply stand them in traditional bowling style – one at the
front, two behind, three behind that – and see how many you can knock down with
your golf ball. It's not as easy as it sounds!
Each player will have two tries to knock down all the pins. Your score is
however many pins you knock over during your turn.
Standing tall
PERILOUS PILLARS is the final obstacle you need to make before you can
Blow up 6 balloons, and attach a 4cm length of string to the knot of each. On
the other end of the string, tie a small weight, such as a paper clip.
Now, stand 6 toilet roll tubes in different places around the room (you can use
the same tubes you used for the bowling obstacle), and rest a balloon on top of each
one – making sure that the paper clip weight dangle freely inside the tube.
At the far end of the room, lie a plastic cup on its side. The aim of this hole is
to get your ball into the cup, without knocking any of the balloons off their pillars!
Experiment with different positions of the pillars to make this hole harder or easier
to play. You'll get 3 points for getting the ball in the cup within 6 shots.
Tricky stuff!
Game On!
Now you have all of your obstacles, it's time to play CRAZY GOLF!
All players should gather together with their clubs and balls, and make a score
card. This has the name of all four obstacles, and a space to jot down each player's
score beside it. If you want a longer game, you could play each hole twice, so leave
two score spaces beside each name.
Chances are you'll have to set the obstacles up one at a time (unless you have
a really big room!), so start by placing your Haunted House at one end of your 'golf
course', and mark a spot to play from with a circle of card a few metres away.
Take it in turns to hit your ball towards the house, and see how many points
you can score – marking them all down on your cards.
When everyone has played the first hole, remove the Haunted House, and set
up the Ski Jump. Keep playing until you've played all the holes, then add up the
scores to see who is the Crazy Golf Champion!
Every year, monsters get together to compete in gruesome games and scary
sports. Pull on your furry feet and join in!
Beastie Boys...
You may not know it, but MONSTERS are competitive beasts. They like
nothing more than taking part in their favourite scream-filled sports – and get
together every year for THE MONSTER OLYMPICS.
Of course, the monsters are you and your friends! You'll make costumes and
play the games– a fantastic way to spend a sunny day in the garden.
Each of your friends should bring with them as many empty boxes, toilet roll
tubes, bits of fabric, and sticky tape as they can – anything that will help make a
monster outfit.
Dress To Impress
Time for everybody to pile their materials in the centre of the garden to
make COSTUMES. Spend a while searching through the pile of boxes, tubes and
cloth, etc. Then, dive in and start to CREATE.
You can make your monster costume in any way you like, but here are a
few ideas to get you going:
FEET. Cut holes in two cereal boxes to make monster feet. Slip your own
feet inside, and secure the boxes in place with string. You could even stick on some
furry material if you have some to make them look real!
MONSTER MASKS. Cut holes in a paper plate for your eyes and mouth, and
draw a horrible looking face. You can tie the mask to your face with string, and add
some horrendous hair with lengths of wool.
HANDS. Why not cover an old pair of rubber washing up gloves with material
to create some fiendish fingers? You could draw long claws on the front of the
gloves to make them look scarier!
Don't stop there. You could make extra arms, legs, humps, tails – anything
you can imagine! Keep going until everyone is dressed looks monstrous!
Give yourself a scary sounding name, then it's on with the games!
Running Wild!
Time for the first event – the ROTTEN RELAY!
Split everyone into two teams, and give each side a bone made from a long
tube with screwed up paper stuck to the ends. This will be each team's BATON.
At the start whistle, the first monster from each team must run towards a
marker at the other end of the garden, around it, and back again to pass the bone on
to the next player. Of course, running in monster feet isn't easy – so the game will
look hilarious!
Should a monster drop their bone at any time, they must go back, pick it up,
and carry on from that point.
The first team to have all their monsters run around the course are
the winners!
The Monster Match!
The two monster teams now take their places for a ten minute
Use an old football, and draw a face on it with a marker pen. Glue some wool
on for hair, and it will look like your monsters are playing the game with a human
head! Yuk!
Stick two bamboo canes into the ground at each end of your pitch as
goalposts – and select your largest monster to be the keeper. The other team
members should position themselves around the pitch, ready to play.
When the game starts, each team has to score as many goals as they can
– but be careful of those huge feet swinging around. Any fouls result in a penalty
for the other team!
After five minutes, stop for a half time rest, then play the second half to decide
the game. The team that scores the most goals are the winners.
For added fun, you could think up some silly names for your two teams. How
about 'Monst-chester United against Rottenham Hotspur'?
Cute Gets The Boot
The next event may be upsetting for those of you who have cuddly toys – it's
The game works exactly as it sounds. Monsters take it in turns to throw a
cute, innocent teddy bear as far as they can. The monster that throws it the furthest
is the winner!
Of course, no-one wants to volunteer their favourite teddy for this game, so
why not pay a visit to your local charity shop to buy a toy to use (remember to take
your costumes off first – you might scare the staff!)
When you have a terrified teddy, mark a line to throw from on the ground,
and step up to it one at a time to throw. Be careful you don't step over the line during
your turn, or you will be disqualified!
Throw the teddy as far as you can and, wherever it lands, place a piece
of paper with your name on, and hold it down with a stone. No cheating here –
the other monsters saw where it landed!
The monster with the furthest throw is obviously the one who dislikes the cute
toy the most, and wins the event!
The Big Bang!
The final event is just silly – POP DROP!
Quite simply, each monster blows up 10 balloons, and places them on the
ground around them. At the start of the game, they have to sit on each of their
balloons in turn, and burst them. The first monster to burst all their balloons is the
Monsters are not allowed to stamp on the balloons, or squeeze them with
their hands – all bursting must be done by bouncing on them with your bottom!
If it's a windy day, the game becomes even more interesting, and each
monster will have to chase their balloons around the garden. It might be a good idea
to write your monster name on your balloons with a marker pen to avoid accidentally
bursting someone else's!
Volcanoes are holes in the Earth's crust caused by red hot molten rock –
called magma – forcing its way up to the surface. Now you can cause an eruption at
home with this table-top volcano!
Got The Bottle?
When magma bursts through the surface, it becomes LAVA which cools and
forms a cone shaped crater. Some volcanoes remain 'active' meaning they could
erupt, sending more scorching hot rock and ash into the air – and that's what you'll
make in this fascinating project!
The first thing you need to is a 50cl plastic WATER BOTTLE. Wash the bottle
thoroughly, and make sure it is completely dry inside.
Now, use a large plate to mark a circle on a piece of sturdy card (the side of a
cardboard box is ideal) and cut it out. Paint the card a dark grey colour, and leave it
to dry.
To paint the bottle, you'll need to cover it in a coat of PVA glue first. This
helps the paint stick to surface. When both the card and bottle are dry, glue the
bottom of the bottle to the centre of the card.
Stage one of your volcano is now complete!
Adding Shape
You can now make the SHAPE of your volcano. For this you'll need a piece
of thinner card that is wider than the height of your bottle.
Roll the card into a cone, and hold this shape in place with sticky tape. The
bottom of the cone should be a few centimetres smaller than the circle of card onto
which you've glued your bottle. Carefully use scissors to cut a series of 2cm long
slots every 6cm around the base of the cone. Fold the flaps in between these slots
upwards so that they lie flat when you sit the cone on the table.
Lower the cone over the bottle. The flaps should fit neatly within the edge of
the card circle. Use tape to stick the flaps to the card, and hold the cone in place.
Now, squeeze your fingers around the top of the cone, and work your way
down until you find the mouth of the bottle. Cut the point of the cone off, leaving it
open at the same height as the bottle.
Use modelling clay to fill and seal the gap between the bottle and the card.
Papier Mâché
To cover the volcano, and give it some texture, you're going to use PAPIER
To make the mix, pour one glass filled with flour, and two glasses filled with
water into a bowl. Use a spoon to stir the mixture until it becomes sticky. Add extra
water or flour until it feels like glue. Add a tablespoon of salt to the mix – this will
stop it from going mouldy.
Now, take as many sheets of newspaper as you can find, and tear off strips
around 10cm long, and 3cm wide. Dip the strips into the mix , and press them
around the sides of the cone. Don't make it neat – you want a rough, rocky texture.
Remember not to cover the opening at the top of the bottle – but you can go
over the modelling clay around it.
When you have finished the first layer, leave the volcano aside to dry.
Getting Boulder!
Add another layer of papier mâché. This time, create some ROCKS and
BOULDERS on the surface by rolling up bits if newspaper, and sticking them to
the side of the cone, before laying more papier mâché over the top. In all, add four
layers of papier mâché, leaving the volcano to dry between each layer.
Screw up some green tissue paper, and stick it around the card around the
bottom of the volcano to look like bushes and shrubs. Paint some tiny pebbles black,
and glue them among the bushes to look like giant rocks that have fallen down the
side of the mountain.
You can even make little cardboard houses to sit at the foot of the slope –
some people actually like living near a dangerous volcano!
Paint And Seal
Use poster paints in black and grey to PAINT the sides of the volcano. Again,
don't worry about being neat as you need a rough appearance. Allow the paint to
dry, then add another coat.
To give the appearance of bubbling lava flowing from the mouth of the
volcano (the name for the hole at the top), stick on some more papier mâché and
paint it red when it's dry.
Finally, seal your volcano by covering it in a layer of PVA glue.
Leave your volcano to dry completely.
Time To Erupt!
Now comes the fun part! Your volcano is about to ERUPT!
Roll a sheet of paper into a funnel shape, and stick it into the top of the bottle.
Pour two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda (sometimes called baking soda) into
the paper funnel, and down inside the bottle.
Now remove the funnel, and drip in a few drops of red food colouring.
Cover a work surface with newspaper – and have a handful of kitchen towels
at the ready. This going to get messy!
Fill a measuring jug with 200ml of vinegar, pour it inside the volcano, and
stand back!
The vinegar reacts with the bicarbonate of soda, causing it to bubble up and
out of the bottle. It will hiss and bubble down the sides of your volcano like molten
When the volcano starts to die down, pour in more vinegar until the
earth shattering explosions have finally finished.
Wipe down the volcano with a damp cloth, and let it sleep – until it's ready to
erupt once more!
Discover how exciting it is to create characters, and write about them! Your
story will be 8 pages long – but if you get the writing bug, you can continue with your
tale and turn it into an entire NOVEL!
What If?
First of all, you need an IDEA. Think of the type of books you like to read. If
you prefer adventure stories, packed with mystery, you should write one like that. If
your favourite books are fantasy tales where the world is filled with magic, that's the
sort of story yours should be. The best way to come up with an idea is to use WHAT
Two girls volunteer to unpack new sports equipment after school. WHAT IF
the teachers forgot they were there, and locked them in. What would happen?
A boy is given a magic set for his birthday. WHAT IF it really was magic, and
allowed him to cast spells?
See if you can come up with an idea, and add an exciting WHAT IF? for your
Who's In it?
Every story needs CHARACTERS. For yours, you'll need to invent a
PROTAGONIST (the hero), an ANTAGONIST (the bad guy), and other characters
to move the story along.
The best way to do it is to take a piece of paper and DRAW them. If your
protagonists are schoolgirls, design their school uniforms. What colour hair do they
Now, turn the sheet of paper over, and have a CONVERSATION with your
character! Ask him or her questions such as, "What is your name?", "What scares
you?" and "What is the bravest thing you've ever done?" Think up interesting
answers to these questions, and write them down. They will tell you how your
character will act in your story.
Make a CHARACTER SHEET for each of your characters. They'll come in
very useful later on.
The Beginning
Now it's time to get WRITING! The first part of your story is called the SETUP, and will take 2 pages. Here you will introduce your characters to your readers,
and give them an UPSIDE DOWN MOMENT!
In the example above, the upside down moment would be when the
girls realise that they are locked inside the school.
Decide what will happen in your set-up. On a sheet of paper make notes
such as when and where your story opens, and what the upside down moment will
be – then fill in all the bits in between.
When you have a set-up you're happy with, write it out. It should take up
about 2 sheets of paper, but it doesn't matter if it's a little longer or shorter. Keep the
pages somewhere safe.
The Middle
The middle bit of you story is where the ADVENTURE happens! The
adventure will last for 4 pages of your story and, for some authors, can be the
hardest part to write. However, all you need to come up with an exciting adventure
of your own is to think of three terrible things that could happen to your characters
using the letters B, A and D – BAD!
1. B is for BAD! Make the first thing the BAD result of your characters trying to fix
their upside down moment. If the girls tried to ring the fire alarm to get help, they
could accidentally damage the electric circuits, and plunge the school into darkness.
2. A is for AWFUL! The next thing that happens should be AWFUL. What if the
girls were stumbling along a dark corridor and someone tried to grab them? They
manage to escape – but they're not alone in the school!
3. D is for DISASTER! The final thing is the worst of all! Perhaps the girls find some
candles to help them see, but one them is knocked over, and sets fire to a set of
curtains. Now the girls are locked in a burning school – with someone after them!
When you have come up with your B, A and D terrible things, write the
adventure section of your story and add it to your first few pages.
The End
The final part of your story is the CONCLUSION. This begins with your
characters' LAST CHANCE.
The last chance is exactly what it suggests - the last chance for your heroes
to save the day. There are two important points to consider when planning your last
It has to work! (Readers prefer happy endings!)
It must include something from earlier in your story.
This second point is important so that the story doesn't end on a
COINCIDENCE. If the girls are being chased through the burning school, and
suddenly remember the ladder in the caretaker's room that they can climb to safety
with – your readers will wonder why they didn't just use it in the first place.
However, if the girls use the sports equipment they started the story
unpacking – it will be a much more exciting conclusion.
They could barricade the door to the sports hall with hockey sticks to stop the
intruder from getting in. Then hit cricket balls at the windows to smash them, and
use the climbing bars to reach safety.
Write an exciting conclusion to your story, and add it to the start and middle
Time To Publish!
Put your completed story away for a few days, then REWRITE it. This means
to go through it, and change any bits that you don't like.
Now you can draw a cover for your story, print off enough copies for your
friends and hand them out. While they're busy reading – you can get started on the
Dinosaurs are huge creatures that wandered the Earth millions of years ago.
Go back in time and play with these prehistoric pals!
You Old Thing!
Scientists know all about dinosaurs through finding FOSSILS. Fossils are the
remains of creatures that died a long time ago, and were covered with mud or sand.
The flesh of the creatures rotted away, but their bones turned into a material like rock
to be discovered millions of years later. Fossils can be very hard to find but, with a
few simple materials, you can make your own!
First of all, make a flat circle out of modelling clay. Then take a seashell, and
carefully press it into the clay to create an image. This will be your mould.
Now, take a sheet of card and cut off a strip approximately 10cm wide. Tape
the ends together so that it forms a tube slightly narrower than the circle of clay.
Press the tube into the clay around your mould.
Mix together some Plaster Of Paris, and pour it into the tube, and down
over your mould. Make sure it covers the modelling clay completely.
Leave it to dry for 12 hours, then remove the tube, and carefully peel away the
modelling clay. You should be left with a perfect fossil which you can paint in stone
Walking With Dinosaurs
Imagine going into your garden and finding fresh dinosaur FOOTPRINTS!
You can fool your family that there has been a dinosaur on the lawn by making some
fake dino feet!
On the side of a cardboard box, draw a huge foot with three sharp claws. Cut
the shape out and draw around it on another piece of card from the box. Cut out the
second foot, and you're ready to play your trick!
Wait for a day when it has been raining. When the rain stops, attach the
dinosaur feet to the bottom of your shoes by making two small holes in the middle of
the card, and threading a piece of string through. Tie the string over your own shoes
to hold the giant feet in place.
Now you can take giant strides through the mud, and leave behind a set of
scary footprints!
Scary Skeletons
Take your bedroom back in time by covering the with a huge dinosaur
First, find a picture of a dinosaur skeleton – you could search online, or
visit your local library to find a book. Copy the picture, and then lie a sheet of
tracing paper over it. You can hold it in place with a small piece of tape.
Trace the major bones in the skeleton with a pencil – don't worry about getting
them all, just concentrate on getting the main shape of the dinosaur.
Now, give each bone on your traced picture a number. There could be a lot of
them, so it might take a little time.
Once you have all your bones numbered, start to draw larger copies of them
on card. You can use any colour card – but yellow or brown would look most like old
Cut these cardboard bones out, and use the traced image as a guide to help
you position them on your bedroom wall. Stick them in place, and transport your
bedroom to the land that time forgot!
Dino Eggs!
Dinosaurs gave birth to babies by laying EGGS. You can make your own
dinosaur eggs to give to your friends and family – but with sweets and toys
inside instead of baby beasts!
Blow up a balloon, and sit it in a glass or mug to keep it steady. Then make
some papier mâché mix by stirring two glasses of water and one glass of flour
together in a bowl. Add extra flour or water until the mixture is smooth.
Tear up strips of newspaper, then dip them in the mix and lay them over the
balloon. Cover it with four layers of papier mâché, leaving it to dry between each
layer. Leave the space where the balloon is inside the glass uncovered.
When it's completely dry, turn the egg over, burst the balloon with a pin, and
remove it. Fill the egg with treats, then cover the hole with more papier mâché.
Now you can paint your egg with a strange design, and give it as a gift!
Scientists believe that the dinosaurs became extinct (they all died) when a
huge METEOR hit the Earth. In the same way you made dino eggs, you can make a
meteor to hang from your ceiling.
This time, use a larger balloon, and cover it completely. Screw up bits of
newspaper, and stick them between the layers of papier mâché to make the meteor
look like a jagged rock.
When it's finished, paint it in a stone grey colour, and make two holes in the
top. Thread some string through, and pin the other end to your ceiling!
That rocks!
Dinosaur Droppings!
There's something else that dinosaurs left a lot of behind... POO! Surprise
your friends by making this recipe for Prehistoric Poo Pie!
First you need to melt a large bar of chocolate. You can do this by
boiling some water in a saucepan – ask an adult to help – and taking it off the heat
to cool slightly. Break up the chocolate, and put the pieces into a bowl. Wearing
oven gloves, carefully lower the bowl into the hot water, and stir the chocolate until it
melts. Now add some other tasty ingredients such as nuts, small sweets, or raisins.
When the mixture has cooled, tip it onto a plate, and use your hands to form
it into a disgusting poo shape!
Put it in the fridge to set for a few hours – then watch everyone's faces
when you serve it up for tea!
If you've ever sewn a patch on your jeans, or ironed a transfer onto a t-shirt,
then this project is for you! You'll redesign your wardrobe, and then show it off on
the catwalk in your own fashion show!
Rags To Riches
To start, you need to find some CLOTHES that you can alter. If you have any
old items that you don't wear any more, you can use those – but check with an adult
Another option is to pay a visit to your local charity shop. There you'll find
racks and racks of unwanted clothing that you can buy quite cheaply. As most
fashion shows tend to feature extravagant styles, see if you can find things that
look different to the ones you would normally wear.
Once you have a few items of clothing – it's time to start changing them!
Time To Design
Hang your boring clothes around the room, and spend a little while looking at
them. DESIGNING is all about using your imagination!
Think how they would look with the sleeves cut off, a new picture on the front,
a few sequins along the bottom – the choice is yours. If your friends are helping you,
discuss out loud how you could change the clothes. Don't worry if your suggestions
seem silly – it's only by getting the bad ideas out of the way that the good ones
appear! This process is called brainstorming.
A good way to come up with designs is to look back in time. Borrow some
books on historical fashions from the library, and see if old ideas like lace collars and
cuffs are due for a comeback!
When you have your ideas, take some sheets of paper, and draw how you
imagine your new creations will look in coloured pencils. Don't forget to sign your
name at the bottom like all famous designers do!
Sew Like The Wind!
When you're happy with your designs, it's time to put them into practice.
Take your old clothes, and start ADAPTING them. Follow your ideas to
change the dull designs into fantastic fashion statements!
A great way to brighten up clothes is with fabric paint. They come in loads of
exciting colours – and you can even get some with glitter in! If you use them, make
sure to lay out lots of newspaper before you start!
Don't forget accessories, too. Does a summer dress need a matching hat?
Can you cover a bag with scraps of left over material? How about making a mobile
'phone pouch for the side of your trousers?
When you've finished working with your creations, hang them up and cover
them with black plastic bin liners to hide them until the big day!
Model Behaviour!
Not only do you get to design your clothes – you get to MODEL them too!
Being a model can be hard work, but is also great fun. Professional models travel
the world to show off designer items that can cost thousands of pounds!
To practice being a model, you need to be able to walk well. That might
sound a bit silly, but take a look at people in the street and you'll see that they
often walk with their shoulders hunched over, dragging their feet, or swinging their
arms around wildly.
To walk like a model, start in the doorway of a long room or hallway.
Straighten up your back, raise your shoulders, and take steady, even steps. Keep
your head held high and your arms under control. When you reach the end of the
room, stop and turn around a few times – this gives the audience time to see the
clothes you're wearing. Then head back to the doorway and leave. You'll need to
practice – it's harder than it sounds!
It may help you to listen to some music while you walk, as it will be on
during the show itself. Choose a CD of current pop music, or simply put the radio
on and use the music to help you concentrate.
You'll be walking like a supermodel in no time!
Set The Stage
It's time to create your CATWALK!
Professional fashion shows have their catwalks raised up so that everyone
can see the designer's work – but yours will be a lot easier to make.
Temporarily move any furniture in your long room or hall out of the way. Now,
mark your catwalk area out with long lengths of string. Space them around a metre
and a half apart if you can.
Line up chairs along the sides of your catwalk for your audience to sit. Make
sure they have plenty of legroom so that they drop trip up the models!
Outside the room you'll need some where to hang your clothes, and a space
for the models to change.
On With The Show!
Time for THE SHOW! Don't worry if nerves are setting in – that's natural! Seat
your audience in their chairs, and start the music. Now, take it in turns to
wear your creations down the catwalk. If there are only a few of you modelling, you
might have to walk up and down the catwalk twice to give the next model time to
The audience may applaud when they see what you have done with your old
clothes, and may even take photographs. Smile as you walk – but keep moving!
As you leave the room, the next model should be in their way in. Quickly
change into your next outfit – it doesn't have to be a complete change, you might just
swap your t-shirt or hat – and wait until it's your turn again.
Don't panic if anything goes wrong, just keep the music going, and smile. The
audience will never know the difference.
Next stop – Paris!
Explore the universe without leaving home as you discover stars, planets, and
maybe more...
The Sky At Night
STARS are huge balls of burning gas and, although there are billions of
them, there are some that you can easily recognise from here on Earth.
Some groups of stars form shapes called CONSTELLATIONS, and they're
the best ones to look for. Different constellations are visible at different times of the
year, so you need to know which you can see on a clear night right now.
Search online for websites that show you what the stars and constellations
are called. If you have a laptop, you could take it outside and use these sites as a
direct reference to what's up in the sky!
Draw a star chart showing the constellations you spot on the next clear night.
Of course, stars aren't the only things in the night sky, there are PLANETS,
The Earth is one of eight planets that revolves around the sun in a group
called the SOLAR SYSTEM – and you can make a model of it to hang from your
bedroom ceiling. (Note: when I originally wrote this book, PLUTO was still
considered to be a planet, so there were nine!)
The first thing you need to make is the SUN. Do this by blowing up a large
balloon and covering it in layers of papier mâché. Make your mix by adding two
glasses of water to one glass of flour in a bowl. Then tear off strips of newspaper,
dip them in the mix, and lay them over the balloon. Allow the balloon to dry, then
add three more layers. Paint your Sun yellow, and hang it in the centre of your
ceiling with a length of cotton.
Now you can make your planets in the same way, and hang them around your
sun as though they are travelling in their ORBITS (big circles). They won't be exactly
to scale, but you'll get an idea of their size if you make them like this:
Mercury – 4cm across. Paint it an orange colour.
Venus – 6cm across. Yellow.
Earth – 6cm across. Green and blue!
Mars – 4cm across. Bright red.
Jupiter – 16cm across. Brown and yellow blobs.
Saturn – 14cm across. Brown with a yellow ring around it.
Uranus – 10cm across. A blue/green colour.
Neptune – 10cm across. A blue planet.
And, if you want to add it...
Pluto – 2cm across. Grey in colour.
Your solar system should cover your entire ceiling – and you could cut stars
from foil to stick in between the planets!
Walking On The Moon!
The very first man to walk on the MOON was Neil Armstrong in 1969.
He soon discovered that the GRAVITY on the Moon isn't as strong as on the
Earth. This means that there isn't as much pressure holding you on the ground, and
that simple things like walking and running are hard to do!
See if you can mimic what it is like to walk on the Moon. Take long, slow
steps – almost as though you're moving in a slow motion replay!
You could even make a space suit to do it in by wearing a white shirt and
trousers, and painting a cereal box white to tie onto your back with string. Make a
flag to stick in the ground, too – and claim the Moon in your name!
Alien Attack!
Some people believe that the Earth is not the only planet with life. They think
that ALIENS live somewhere out in space!
Despite what action films like to show, if aliens exist, they are almost certainly
not planning to take over our world! However, many people have seen strange
shapes in the sky, called UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects). Could they be aliens
visiting Earth?
If an alien did come to earth, what would it look like? Would it have arms and
legs? A large or small head? What colour would it be?
Get together with your friends and, without showing each other, draw how you
imagine an alien to look and colour it in. When you've finished, swap papers and see
how they compare.
Wouldn't it be weird if they all looked the same?
Out In The Field
Every now and again, strange shapes appear in fields of wheat and corn,
called CROP CIRCLES. Some people think they are nothing but a trick, but others
believe they are marks left by visiting aliens! Search online to see what some of the
most famous crop circles look like.
Whoever makes them, crop circles are created by flattening down the
crops, leaving a shape behind – and you can make one of your own!
To start, you'll need a field, and your crop will be cress! Take the lid of an old
shoe box, and cover the area inside the lid with kitchen film. Over this, lie a layer of
cotton wool, and dampen it with water. Sprinkle a packet of cress seeds over the
cotton wool, and place the lid on a bright window sill. Keep the wool damp and,
soon, you'll have a 'field' of cress.
Using glasses, bottle tops, and anything else you can find, make a
symmetrical pattern by flattening areas of the cress.
Entertain your family and friends as you take to the stage as a funny stand-up
Funny Ha-Ha!
Are you the type of person that is always telling JOKES? Do you always see
the FUNNY side to a situation? Then try your hand at being a COMEDIAN, and
make others laugh, too!
The first thing you need to be a successful comedian isn't a collection of jokes
– it's CONFIDENCE. You can learn the funniest jokes in the world, but if you can't
tell them clearly and confidently, no-one will laugh.
Practice telling the jokes that you know to your friends, and also to yourself. If
you have a microphone that plugs into a music player at home, practice talking into
that. You'll be amazed how much difference it makes hearing your voice amplified.
Keep the microphone steady in front of your mouth as you talk, and try recording
your voice and listening to it back to see if you can make improvements.
Now it's time to build an ACT.
Joker In The Pack!
The first rule here is WRITE ALL YOUR JOKES DOWN! You may be able to
remember dozens of jokes, but if you start writing every joke you hear down, you'll
have a great resource of material to refer to in the future.
Where do you get jokes? Well, start by writing down all the ones that you
already know, then keep adding them as you hear them from your friends. You can
buy or borrow joke books, and pick the best of those. You can also search online for
kids jokes - or make up some of your own!
Get In On The Act
When you have a good collection of jokes, it's time to put them together into a
ROUTINE. This means you have enough jokes to tell for three minutes.
Use lots of different types of jokes. Tell a long joke, then a short joke; a joke
about people, then a joke about a place.
If you have a joke about a teacher, you could change it so that it's about one
of your own teachers – but be careful not to offend anyone. Though you're only
joking, it's easy to hurt people's feelings.
Remember not to tell any rude jokes! They may be funny in the playground,
but your teacher won't appreciate them!
When you have enough jokes to fill your routine, it's time to practice.
Making Perfect
When I say practice, I mean PRACTICE! You now have to go over your act
again and again until you can almost say it in your sleep!
Start rehearsing by reading your jokes from your notebook then, when you
can remember them all, try practicing without the book in front of you – this is quite a
hard jump to make, so be prepared to spend a little time on it.
A good way to practice is in front of a MIRROR. That way, you can see if you
look natural or not, and whether your hands have something to do (another good
reason to hold a microphone!)
You could also record your act and play it back to listen for any bits where
you stumble over your words, or leave gaps.
Now, practice some more!
Stand Up And Be Counted
The big day, your first PERFORMANCE!
Ask your teacher if you can perform in front of the class, or at the school
assembly – they'll be thrilled that you've been working on your routine (unless some
of the jokes are about them!) Or, you could plug your microphone in at a friend's
party to tell some birthday jokes.
DON'T WORRY IF NO-ONE LAUGHS! Every comedian goes through this (I
have, many times!), it doesn't mean that you're not funny – it just means that the
jokes aren't suitable for the occasion. Go back to your notebook, and pick some
more for next time.
As your confidence grows, try expanding your act to 10 minutes. You could
even add some of the techniques listed below...
Other Stuff
Why not try performing in a DOUBLE ACT? This means you have another
person on stage with you and, normally, one of you is trying to be serious while the
other is being silly. Watch recordings of famous double acts to see how they work
together. My favourites are MORECAMBE & WISE.
COMEDY SKETCHES. You don't have to tell jokes as a double act – you can
perform comedy sketches where the humour is very physical. Watch the films of
LAUREL & HARDY to see how well this can be done.
IMPRESSIONS. Can you sound like a famous person? If you can, work a
few impressions into your act, where you pretend to be a celebrity or two.
Impressions are quite hard to do, as you have to sound exactly like the person
you're copying. Try recording yourself doing the voice, and playing it back to one of
your friends to see if they can guess who it is supposed to be. Remember to pick
easily recognisable people – not everyone will know what your postman sounds like!
Remember – keep practicing!
Pirates! is an updated version of an old game called BATTLESHIPS. You and
your friends will become wicked pirate captains, aiming to sink each other’s fleet of
Pieces Of Eight!
Everyone taking part in the game will need to dress as a PIRATE. Wear a
brightly coloured shirt with a belt around it, and tuck your trousers into a long pair
of socks. You can make buckles from card and cover them with tin foil to stick to
your shoes.
Each pirate will need an eye patch. Cut out a piece of black card, and attach
a length of string to either side so that you can place the patch one of your eyes, and
tie it behind your head.
Give yourself a scary pirate name, such as 'Captain Blood' or 'Redbeard The
Sail The Seven Seas
Every pirate needs a SHIP – and it's time to make yours! For each ship, you'll
need a large cardboard box.
Remove the top and bottom flaps from each box (keep them safe, you'll
need them), and then cut the box in half along opposite corners. You should be left
with two 'V' shaped halves of box. Tape the flaps that you removed to the ends of
each 'V', and bend them in slightly, so that the half boxes can stand on their sides,
and look like the front and back of a ship.
Next, paint the two halves brown to look like wood, and think of a name for
your ship to add to the front. When they're dry, stand them around three metres
apart to make the front and back (FOR and AFT) of your pirate galleon.
You're ready to set sail!
Raise The Flag
When pirates where about to attack, they raised a special flag, called a
JOLLY ROGER. The name Jolly Roger comes from the French phrase, 'Jolie
rouge', meaning 'pretty red'.
This was a black or red flag, often with pictures of skulls or bones on. The
sight of a Jolly Roger was often enough to make the crew of a ship give up without a
fight. A red pirate flag was scarier than a black one, as it meant that the captain
wasn't going to take any prisoners alive!
Each pirate had a different Jolly Roger so that he was easily recognised – a
sort of pirate club membership card!
To make your flag, you'll need a sheet of paper, and some black paint, or a
black marker pen. First of all, you'll need to decide what your flag will look like. Most
pirate flags had a skull on, some with crossed bones underneath, and some with
crossed CUTLASSES (a special pirate sword). A few of the flags even had pictures
of dancing skeletons!
Design and draw your flag on the sheet of paper, then colour the outside of
the picture black, leaving the white image in the centre. Now turn the paper over,
and repeat the picture on the other side.
When you've finished drawing your flag, use tape to attach it to the top of a
stick or bamboo cane.
Ship Ahoy!
You'll need to make a FLEET of pirate ships to battle with in the game. For
this each player will need nine paper plates, or circles cut from card (you could draw
around a plate, and cut the circle out).
On one side of each plate, draw a picture of your Jolly Roger, and on the
other side, blue waves to represent the sea. You could add a few shark fins rising
out of the water to make the ocean look even deadlier!
You'll also need a stock of CANNONBALLS! To make these, fill balloons with
water, and place them in a cardboard box with your Jolly Roger painted on the side.
Each player will need approximately 20 cannonballs (or more if you want the
game to last longer.)
Setting Up.
Now you have made all of the pieces, it's time to go outside and set
everything up for the game!
Each player stands the front and back of their pirate ship in a different part of
the garden (or you could play in the park – but remember to take everything home
with you again). Make sure that the ships are at least three metres away from each
In the middle of your galleon (another name for a large ship), lay out the
rest of your fleet by placing the paper plates on the ground.
You need to make two large ships by placing three plates in a row, two
smaller ships made up of two plates, and the last remaining plate is a tiny rowing
boat! If it's windy outside, place stones on top of the plates to stop them blowing
Push your Jolly Roger into the ground near the front of your ship, and
your pirate galleon is set to sail!
Time to play...
Let Battle Commence!
All players now dress in their pirate outfits, stand within their galleon, and
place their box of cannonballs nearby. Shout out a nasty sounding "Ha-Her!" to
show that you're ready for the BATTLE!
The aim of the game is to sink the other pirates' fleets before yours is hit. To
do this, players take it in turns to 'fire' cannonballs (throw them while shouting
"Boom!") into another pirate's galleon.
When a plate is hit with a cannonball, it must be turned over to reveal the sea
on the other side, meaning that part of the ship has been sunk. When each of the
paper plates making up a ship have been turned over, that vessel has been
If you managed to sink and destroy all of your opponent's fleet, you now have
to try and hit his Jolly Roger! A direct hit on the flag means that you have won the
The treasure is now yours!
Becoming a roving reporter by setting up a newspaper for your class
at school!
It's A Scoop!
The first thing you'll need are STORIES – and lots of them. Ask around the
school to find out what's going on. Good newspaper editors are very nosey!
Perhaps the football team is having a winning streak, or maybe there's a
school play coming up? If you manage to find an exclusive story that no-one else
knows about, it's called a SCOOP!
Find out as much information as you can about your stories. You can do this
by reading school notice boards, or asking your teacher – but the best way is by
arranging interviews. After all, who knows better about the subjects you'll be
covering than the people they involve?
You could ask a player from the football team how many goals he's scored
this season, or the director of the school play whether the cast are looking forward
to the opening night.
Arrange a time to meet for an interview (and don't be late), and have a list of
questions prepared in advance. There's nothing less likely to root out juicy
information than sitting with nothing to say!
Be sure to ask questions that require more than a 'yes' or 'no' answer, and
write the answers down in a notepad to use later.
If you have a lot of stories to cover, ask you friends to be reporters for the
newspaper. The more people you have out there, the more scoops you're likely to
Picture Perfect
To accompany your stories, you'll need PHOTOGRAPHS. Newspaper
photographs show important parts of the story that would be difficult to tell with
just words.
If you have a camera, use it to take pictures that relate to the story. A good
idea is to have both a reporter and a photographer at an interview, so one person
doesn't have to do everything themselves.
Make the pictures as exciting as possible. If you were writing a story about
the school football team, you could take photographs of the goalkeeper diving to
save the ball - or if you're covering the school play, capture a rehearsal in full swing.
Ask permission before you take someone's photograph, and remember to
thank them afterwards.
The Write Stuff!
Stories in newspapers are called ARTICLES, and it's time to write yours.
Good articles tell the facts of a story, and don't allow the writer's feelings on the
subject to show through.
If you have access to a computer, type your articles on it. Keep the
sentences simple, so that your readers can understand what the story is about as
quickly as possible.
Make sure that all the important facts are at the start of the article, in case you
need to cut the end out to make it fit into your finished newspaper.
Be very careful not to say anything bad about anyone. Apart from the fact that
it could hurt their feelings, in real newspapers, people often take editors to court for
writing things they claim are untrue. While you might not end up in court, it's wise to
avoid saying anything hurtful.
Press day is getting closer!
I'm Filling Up!
Newspapers don't just contain news stories. There are horoscopes, jokes,
reviews for TV shows, and much more. These are called FILLERS.
Write as many fillers as you can to put in your newspaper. You could make
up some hilarious horoscopes, such as 'Sagittarius: Today you will meet a man with
five legs - his trousers fit him like a glove!' Tell your readers what you thought of a
TV show this week, and write down a few jokes.
If you find it hard to think of fillers, you can copy them out of old newspapers.
The more fillers you give your readers, the more likely they will be to watch out for
your next edition. They're fun to read!
Putting It All Together
Now it's time to assemble your newspaper, ready for PRINTING. If you have
access to a PC, you can do it in a word processing program. If not, simply cut the
stories out, and stick them in place on a sheet of paper.
First of all, think of a name for your newspaper, and create a MASTHEAD.
Include the date and edition number too.
Below the masthead, insert your top story. Think of an eye-catching headline
to go above it that will grab your readers' attention, and make them want to know
more. Type or stick your story in place, and add one of the pictures that you took
If you include a quote from anyone (the actual words that they said), you have
to put it on a new line, and enclose it in quotation marks.
"Just like this," said Tommy.
When you've put all your articles in place, and filled in any spaces with your
fillers (that's how they got their name), you should end up with three or four pages.
You're ready to go to print!
Hot Off The Press!
PRINT or COPY your newspaper and hand it out to your friends and family.
While they're reading it, you can start finding stories for your next edition. You
may even find that people will contact you with ideas once they see how good
the finished product is – everyone loves to see their name in print!
Don't forget to RECYCLE any copies of your newspaper that people have
finished with. You could even ask your friends to bring old newspapers from home
to add to the recycling pile!
Everyone loves to sit down to their favourite meal – but did you know it's just
as much fun to cook one? Prepare this three course feast for your friends and family
– then they can wash the dishes for you!
If You Can't Stand The Heat...
Every chef has his or her own way of working, but one thing they all agree on
is that you need a clean, tidy KITCHEN in order to prepare a meal.
The first thing to do is wash all the work surfaces in warm, soapy water. This
will kill any germs, and make your food safer to eat.
Next, wash all the cooking utensils you will use, such as spoons and bowls.
Always ask an adult to wash any knives.
Finally, if you have an apron, put it on to protect your clothes. If you don't
have one, wear an old t-shirt over your clothes – then you can get as messy as you
In The Dragon's Lair!
The first stage of the meal is the STARTER, and for this, you'll be serving
your guests a DRAGON'S EYEBALL!
To start, you'll need half a grapefruit for each person. Ask an adult to slice the
fruit in half with a sharp knife for you, and lay each half face up on a small plate.
Next, you'll need a few sheets of rice paper – this is a type of thin wafer that
is perfectly safe to eat. Cut oval shapes from the rice paper and place one on each
grapefruit half as the whites of the dragon's eyes!
Finally, cut a few red glacé cherries in half, and place each one in the centre
of a sheet of rice paper. To make the eye look more authentic, dip a cocktail stick in
a bottle of red food colouring, and use it to draw blood red veins across the white rice
paper. Gruesome!
Place your eyeballs in the fridge to keep them cool until it's time to serve.
Dish Of The Day
For the MAIN COURSE, you'll be making a bowl of ATOMIC SPAGHETTI
AND MEATBALLS for your guests! The great news is – it's quick and very easy to
To start, cook enough spaghetti for everyone – you'll need around 100g for
each person. Ask an adult to boil some water in a pan (1 litre of water per 100g of
spaghetti). To make your spaghetti look atomic – add a few drops of blue food
colouring to the water as it comes to the boil. This will colour the spaghetti as it
cooks, and make it look as though it's glowing eerily! Add the spaghetti to the
coloured water, and let it boil for approximately 3 minutes.
Now you can make your ELECTRONS and NEUTRONS (parts of an atom if
you want to get scientific) out of meatballs! Simply empty a can of meatballs into a
non-metal bowl, cover with a plate, and cook on full power in a microwave for around
3-4 minutes. Simple!
When cooked, drain the water from the blue spaghetti, and put it onto a large
bowl. Arrange your meatballs on top and, for the centre of the atom (the
NUCLEUS), simply place the largest mushroom you can find in the middle!
Heat some pasta sauce to cover your atomic pasta, and serve to your
guests immediately!
Jelly Belly!
You can prepare your DESSERT earlier in the day, and keep it in the fridge
until the main course is over. You'll be making JELLY BABY JELLY!
To make the jelly, it's better to use jelly crystals than the type that comes in
solid blocks. Mix the crystals with boiling water in a large bowl or mould as specified
on the packet (again, always get an adult to help with this), and place it in the fridge
to set.
Keep an eye on the jelly and, before it hardens completely, push a handful of
jelly babies, one at a time, into the bowl. The jelly will set around them, trapping
them in the dessert!
Leave your jelly baby jelly to set completely, and serve as the final course of
your meal.
Colourful & Cool!
Of course, your guests will need something to drink with their meals – so try
this idea for ice-cold RAINBOW-ADE!
Fill an ice cube tray with water, and add a drop of food colouring to each of
the compartments. If you have more than one colour – make a few of each shade.
Put the tray in the freezer compartment of the fridge so that the cubes can set.
At your meal, simply fill glasses with lemonade, and add one of the ice
cubes to each drink. As the ice melts, it will slowly change the colour of the
lemonade, creating a whole rainbow of colours across the table!
Try putting two different coloured ice cubes into the same glass, and see what
At Your Service!
Your meal is cooked – time to SERVE!
If you've ever been asked to set the table at home – you know how boring
a job it can be, so why not liven things up by giving your table a colourful theme to
match your food?
Use a different colour paper napkin for each place setting, and you can make
rainbow table mats and coasters by cutting out squares of card, painting them, and
covering each square in a layer of kitchen film to protect them from spillages.
Why not use a different colour plate for each guest, and tie their
cutlery together with brightly coloured ribbon to finish the effect?
When your guests are seated, start by serving your dragon's eyeballs and
glasses of rainbow-ade. Next, let them enjoy your atomic spaghetti and meatballs,
and finish off with a serving of jelly baby jelly for each person.
Experience life in the wild with an overnight camping trip – indoors!
Loitering Within Tent...
To start your adventure, you'll need SHELTER. Time to make a two person
Stand two chairs a short distance apart with their seats facing away from
each other. Lie a broom on the backs of the chairs, and tie it in place with string.
Throw a bed sheet over the broom, and pull the sides apart to form a tent
shape. Hold the edges of the sheet in place with some heavy books or rocks.
Inside your tent, put two sleeping bags or quilts to keep you warm in the night.
You can also add a torch, and a store of sweets for a midnight snack!
Ready, Aim, Fire!
Every camp site needs a FIRE so that you can keep warm, and cook your
food. Because fire is dangerous (and you can't start one indoors!), you can make
your own fake fire!
Start by collecting as many twigs as you can find. You'll also need a some
pebbles, and a plastic bin liner.
Cut a circle from the bin liner, and lie it on the floor outside your tent. Now
arrange your pebbles all the way around the edge of the circle, and stick them in
place with glue.
Using the largest twigs, form a pyramid in the centre of the circle – you can
jam the bottom ends of the twigs against the pebbles to hold them in place. Keep
adding twigs until you can't see the bin liner through the pile.
To make the fire itself, cut flame shapes from yellow, orange and red crepe
paper, and stick them onto more twigs. You can push these into your fire so that it
looks like it is burning brightly!
To make the campfire look more authentic, tie two sticks together in a 'X'
shape with string, and rest another stick in between them over the top of the fire –
now you have a skewer to cook your freshly caught food on!
Food Glorious Food!
You'll need a good meal before you climb into your tent for the night. A great
campsite meal is jacket potatoes with crunchy beans!
Choose a good sized potato for each person, and cook them for around 10-15
minutes in a microwave oven. When they're done, put them into an oven on a
medium heat to crisp them up while you prepare the beans.
Get an adult to warm some beans in a saucepan, and transfer them to a
large bowl. Crush up a packet of ready salted crisps, and mix them in with the beans
– then sprinkle some cheese on top.
Using oven gloves, remove the potatoes from the oven, and wrap them in tin
foil to keep them warm. Then place them on the pebbles around your campfire to
make them look as though they have been cooking there!
Take your bowl of beans along with some plates and forks to your campsite,
choose a potato from the fire, unwrap the foil, and pour on the crunchy bean mix.
Spooky Stories!
It's traditional to tell GHOST STORIES around a campfire! Here's a ghoulish
game that will keep the tales funny as well as spooky!
Cut a sheet of paper into 10 pieces, and write a different word on each piece.
Then fold them up, and drop them into a bag.
When you've finished your meal, dim the lights, and gather around the
fire. The first player pulls a piece of paper out of the bag, and tells the first minute
of a spooky story using the word they've chosen.
So, if they picked 'snowman', the story could start, "Many years ago, during a
really cold winter, people in a village near here were terrified by a strange snowman
that came to life and chased them through the streets at night..."
After a minute, the next player pulls a word out of the bag, and continues the
story: "Just when Christina thought the snowman was going to catch her, the local
farmer swerved around the corner in his tractor, and ran the snowman down. But,
instead of stopping it, the snowman split into lots of little snowmen, and carried on
chasing her!"
Keep the story going until all the words are used up!
In The Shadows
Once the campfire has died down, it's time to go inside your tent for the night
– but the fun doesn't stop there!
Once you're in your sleeping bag, you can use your torch to make SHADOW
PUPPETS on the sheet above you!
Hold the torch in one hand, and aim the beam into air. With your other hand,
form a shape in front of the beam, and see if you can make the shadow that's cast
onto the sheet look like an animal.
Try making a fist, then sticking two of your fingers out to make a rabbit's head
with long ears – or hold the torch underneath your arm, link both thumbs together,
and flap your fingers like the wings of a bird!
When your friends can guess which animal it is you're making, pass the torch
on for them to try. Or why not use two torches, make two animals, and let them have
a conversation!
Hit The Tracks
The next morning, before you pack your campsite away, go outside and see
if you can find evidence of some of the ANIMALS that have been around during the
Look for things such as bird tracks in the mud, or perhaps you can find
footprints that have been made by an animal such as a hedgehog or fox.
Make drawings of any tracks that you discover, then search online to see
of you can find out which animals they belong to!
Join King Arthur at Camelot for adventure as you become one of his trusted
Knight Names
figures in British history. No-one is really certain whether they actually existed or
It was a great honour to be a Knight Of The Round Table. You were charged
with quests (special jobs), and had to travel the land keeping law and order in the
name of the King.
Now it's your chance to take your seat at the round table, and become a
brave knight yourself!
Some famous knights were Sir Lancelot, Sir Bedivere, and Sir Gawain. See if
you can create a name for your knight. It needs to sound brave, old fashioned and
mysterious. Maybe you could think of a version of your own name?
Fly The Flag
A knight was also known by his BANNER. Each knight had a different banner
that flew whenever they were on a quest.
Many of them had symbols on that gave clues as to the knight's character.
For example, Sir Lancelot's banner had three lions on it – meaning he was very
brave and fierce in battle. Sir Bedivere had a sword on his banner, as he was a
great swordsman.
Design a banner for your knight on a sheet of paper. Keep the symbols and
colours simple – the banner must be easy to recognise from far away.
When you've completed your design, tape several sheets of paper together,
and copy your design onto them. Colour your banner in, and hang it on your wall to
mark your kingdom!
Suits You, Sir...
Every knight had a SUIT OF ARMOUR to wear into battle. These were made
of metal and, although they protected the knight from injury, they were incredibly
heavy. Some knights even gave their horses suits of armour, too!
Your armour will be a lot lighter to wear, as it will be made from card and tin
Start by wrapping a sheet of thin card around your chest, and taping it in
place. Now cut lengths that will wrap around your arms and legs, and tape those in
Now, carefully remove the tape, and lay the pieces of card flat on the table.
Glue tin foil to the outside of the card, and leave them to dry.
To cover your hands and feet, simply wrap a pair of gloves and pair of
shoes in tin foil, and tape it in place.
For your armour helmet, cover a baseball cap in foil and wear it backwards.
You can make a visor for the helmet by cutting a slotted mask from card, sticking foil
to it, and tying it around your head with string.
Ask a friend to help you get into your armour. Real knights had servants
especially for this task!
Wield Your Weapon
King Arthur had a very special SWORD called EXCALIBUR, which was given
to him by the Lady Of The Lake. It was said to be the most beautiful and powerful
sword in the land.
To make your sword, cut a blade shape from a piece of stiff card, and cover
it in foil. It's best to measure the length of the blade against your leg – it should be
shorter than the distance between your hip and your ankle.
For the handle, cut two cross shapes from stiff card, and glue them together,
with the end of the blade in between. Round off the points of the cross, and paint the
handle gold.
Excalibur had jewels embedded in its handle, so why not stick sequins,
or coloured sweet wrappers to yours to create jewels of your own?
You now have your very own Excalibur!
On Horseback
Every night had a HORSE to ride into battle. Yours will be easy to make, and
won't leave any mess behind!
You'll need a cardboard box which you can step inside whilst wearing your
armour. Fold the top and bottom flaps inside the box, and tape them in place to
strengthen it.
Now, attach two lengths of string – one to either side – and hang the box over
your shoulders. You now have your horse!
Paint the horse brown, and stick a copy of your banner on either side, as real
knights did. You could even cut a horse's head shape from card to stick to the front,
and make a tail from wool for the back to complete your trusty steed!
Joust A Minute!
Another reason knights had horses was for JOUSTING TOURNAMENTS!
This was when competitors tried to knock each other off their horses as they rode
past to win great prizes – sometimes they got to marry the Princess!
Our jousting will be a lot safer (and you won't have to marry anyone at the
end, either!) You'll need a dry day, a bamboo cane, a few balloons, and a pin.
Stick the bamboo cane into the ground at the far end of the garden or park,
and tie an inflated balloon to the top of it with string. The balloon may blow around in
the wind, but that just makes the game more of a challenge.
Tape a pin to the end of your sword – being very careful not to hurt yourself,
or anyone else with it!
Now, all you have to do is dress in your armour, mount your horse, and take
turns in charging towards the balloon. As you ride past it, strike out with your sword,
and see if you can burst it. You only get one chance per joust!
The first person to burst the balloon wins the game. Then, blow up another
balloon, and play again!
Bravo, Sir Knight!
Dive into the deep for some fishy fun with this great underwater party theme!
Octopus's Garden!
The first thing you need to do is DECORATE your party!
Start by making SEAWEED streamers to hang around the room. Take a roll
of green crepe paper, and cut the bottom end into several uneven strips, leaving
around 5cm intact at the top of the roll. When you open out the crepe paper, you'll
find that you have a long streamer with dangling seaweed to stick to the wall!
You can also tape a sheet of blue tissue paper over the window to give the
room an underwater look – and make some cardboard fish to hang from the ceiling
with cotton.
You're ready to invite your friends into the deep!
Bubble Trouble!
If you were under the sea, you would notice lots of air BUBBLES making their
way to the surface. Make an easy BUBBLE MIXTURE to blow your own!
In a plastic tub, gently mix together 125ml of washing up liquid, 250ml of
water, and 2 teaspoons of sugar.
Transfer the bubble mix into empty yoghurt pots to hand out, and make
bubble blowers by twisting circle of wire, and taping them to the ends of lollipop
Simply dip the blower into the bubble mix, and gently blow. Soon, the room
will be filled with watery bubbles!
Fishy Food
If all that bubble blowing has made you hungry, why not prepare some
SEA-BASED SNACKS for your friends to enjoy?
Start by offering SHARK SANDWICHES – don't worry, they won't bite! Make
a plate of tuna sandwiches, and cut them into thin strips. Into the top of each strip,
push a triangular tortilla chip, so that it sticks up like a shark's fin! Place the
sandwiches on a plate, and let your guests dive in!
You could also heat up some FISH STICKS, which are available from your
local supermarket. Put them on a plate surrounded by water cress (to look like
seaweed), and your guests can help themselves. Why not have a deep sea dip,
too? Half fill a bowl with water, and float a smaller bowl filled with salsa dip inside.
Your guests will have to dip in without sinking the bowl!
Finally, quench their thirsts with some OCTOPUS ORANGE! The secret here
is that it's normal orange squash, but you can cut eight tentacles from orange crepe
paper, and stick them around the outside of the glasses to keep with the theme!
Neptune's Lair!
To complete the effect, you and your friends could make and dress in
underwater COSTUMES!
The master of the sea is KING NEPTUNE. To make his costume, cut some
sea shell shapes from card, and stick them to a t-shirt. Cut up a pair of old trousers
so that they are ragged at the bottom, and stick green crepe paper seaweed
around the belt.
Use more green crepe paper for seaweed hair, and make a cardboard crown,
decorated with pictures of fish. You could also make Neptune's trident – a large
three pronged fork – by cutting the shape from card and sticking it to the top of a
bamboo cane.
For MERMAIDS, start by wearing a swimming costume, and weaving green
crepe paper into your hair. To make the fishy tail, wrap a large piece of cloth around
your waist, and pin it together at the front. Now, step forward, and pin the rest of the
cloth together behind your legs (this way, you'll be able to walk around!)
Cover the cloth with fish scales cut from green paper, and make a
cardboard fin to pin to the end of the tail.
Battle Among The Stars
A fun game to play at your party is SHOOTING STARFISH!
Cut ten 5 pointed stars from card (about the same size as your hand), and
paint them orange. Now, remove the flaps from the top of a cardboard box, and
paint it to look like an old treasure chest that has sunk to the bottom of the sea.
When the game starts, each player has ten tries to throw a starfish into the
treasure chest from the other end of the room. You get 1 point for each starfish that
lands in the box.
The winner will be a real star!
Catch Of The Day!
Another easy to make party game is FISH FACE – a fishing game where
you really are part of the action!
Cut out ten fish shapes from card, and colour them in. Then, at the front of
each fish, stick a face cut from a photograph of yourself and your school friends (a
school of fish! Get it?).
Now, cut out five shark shapes, and stick faces on them of five of your
teachers! Slide a paper clip onto the back of each fish and shark.
Make a big fish tank by removing the flaps from the top of another
cardboard box, and painting water and fish around the outside. Drop your fish and
sharks inside the tank.
Finally, make a fishing rod by tying a length of string to end of a bamboo
cane, and attaching a magnet to the other end of the string (the back of an old fridge
magnet will do).
Players sit around the tank and take it in turns to close their eyes and lower
the magnet into the tank to catch a fish (the paper clips will stick to it). You win 1
point if you manage to catch a fish with the face of one of your friends, 5 points if you
catch yourself – but LOSE 5 points if you catch a teacher!
After you have had your go, throw the fish back, and pass the rod onto the
next player.
It'll really catch on!
You don't need loads of expensive equipment to explore the world of science
– you can conduct these exciting experiments in your own kitchen and get chemistry
Working In The Lab
In order to become a scientist, you first need your own LABORATORY.
The ideal place for your lab is the kitchen at home. There you'll have access
to equipment like plates and glasses, and the work surfaces will be waterproof, in
case you have any mishaps.
Clear enough space in the kitchen to store all your materials and conduct
your experiments – and don't forget to clean it all up again when you have finished!
In order to look like a scientist, you'll need to borrow an old white shirt from an
adult. Wear the shirt over your own clothes as a lab coat, and roll up the sleeves to
leave your hands free.
If you have an old pair of plastic sunglasses, carefully press the lenses out to
leave the empty frames. You'll look like a real science boffin in them!
Fun With Fat!
Your first experiments will look at the way FATS and OILS behave. For these
you will need some milk, vegetable oil, washing up liquid, and a few drops of food
Get a 50cl plastic water bottle, and make sure that it is completely dry inside.
Now fill it with vegetable oil.
Add a few drops of food colouring to the oil and watch what happens – the
colouring forms little blobs, and stays suspended in the oil.
Screw the lid on the bottle tightly, and tip it upside down. The food colouring
should swirl around inside the oil, like a home-made lava lamp!
Now, pour some milk onto a plate, taking care not to spill any over the sides.
Add a few drops of food colouring to the milk, and wait until it stops moving.
Squirt a tiny amount of washing up liquid into the centre of the milk and
prepare to be amazed! The food colouring suddenly rushes about, forming weird
and wonderful patterns! This is because the washing up liquid breaks down the fat
in the milk. Cool!
Arm Raising Experience
Do you think it's possible for your arm to RISE INTO THE AIR all on its own?
Try the following experiment and see for yourself!
Stand facing a wall, leaving a 6cm gap, and let your arms hang loosely by
your side. Now, move one arm forward, and press the back of your hand firmly
against the wall for 30 seconds. Don't lean against the wall, or release the pressure
on your hand.
After 30 seconds, take a step back, and let your hand hang back at your side.
Your arm will start to rise upwards all by itself!
This strange feeling will stop after a few seconds, and your muscles relax.
Try this biological baffler on your friends and watch their reaction!
Wonderful Water
Imagine being able to make water rise above the edge of the glass, and
not spill over the edge! Well, now you can!
Fill a drinking glass to the brim with water, taking care to keep the outside and
rim of the glass absolutely dry.
Place the glass on a flat surface, and carefully drop a handful of pennies,
one at a time, into the water. Every now and again, crouch down so that your eyes
are level with the top of the glass, and soon you should see that the surface of the
water has bulged above the rim of the glass!
See how many pennies you can drop in – and how high you can get the water
– before it finally splashes over.
Static Electricity
Every time you turn on a light switch or the TV, you're using electricity. But
did you know that you can also create your own electricity?
STATIC ELECTRICITY is the result of friction between two objects. If you
want to get geeky and tell your friends exactly what happens – it's due to the
transfer from one object to the other of tiny particles called electrons. However, you
don't need to know that to have fun!
Try rubbing an inflated balloon against a woollen or nylon jumper. Rub hard
for thirty seconds, then press the balloon against a wall – it sticks!
Now rub the balloon against your hair for thirty seconds, and slowly lift it off –
your hair stands up in the air!
Another way to explore static electricity is with a plastic comb.
Tear up several small pieces of paper, and drop them onto a work surface.
Now, run the comb through your hair around 50 times, then hold it just above the
paper. The small pieces should jump into the air, and attach themselves to the
Turn on the kitchen cold tap, and run a thin stream of water into the sink.
Comb your hair 50 times again, and hold the comb near to the water – the water
Now that's shocking!
Colour Changing Coins
Science can also help you change the colour of your POCKET MONEY! Take
a few copper 1p and 2p pieces, and lay them out on the worktop. The older and
dirtier the coins are the better.
Choose one of the 2p coins, and pour a little brown sauce onto it – the kind
you would normally put on chips! Use an old cloth or tea towel to rub the sauce into
the coin and, after a few seconds, it will start to shine!
Keep rubbing the coin with sauce until it sparkles!
Fold up a kitchen towel, lie it on a plate, and soak the towel in vinegar. Now,
place a few of the coins on the towel, and leave them there for 24 hours. You'll be
surprised at how the coins change colour!
The big game! Create a Safari Hunt for your friends as they try to find as
many African animals as they can!
Boredom Busters, I Presume...
Imagine taking part in an African SAFARI! Watching wild animals in their
natural environment – right in front of you!
With this project, you'll set up a SAFARI HUNT game for your friends. Will
they be able to follow the clues to find the animals? Only the best HUNTERS will
make it.
The first thing you will need to do is make 7 animal faces from card. The
faces need to be big enough to see, but also small enough to hide from your friends.
The game will only be fun if they really have to hunt! It's best to make the faces just
a little bigger than your hand.
Get a book of African animals from your local library, or search online for
some great animal pictures to copy.
You need to make 7 faces: 1 giraffe, 1 antelope, 1 zebra, 2 elephants, 1
lion, and 1 leopard.
When you have made your faces, keep them safe while you create Africa,
right in your own home!
Hot, Hot, Hot!
There are many different types of terrain in Africa, but for your Safari, we'll
recreate the hot SAVANNA. Here, the land is covered with tall grass – perfect for
your animals to hide in.
To make the grass, you'll need several rolls of green crepe paper. Carefully
cut strips into the top of the roll to about half way down then, when you open the
paper out, you'll have long strips of flowing grass to stick to the walls. Make several
of these, and put them up in every room of the house that you'll be using for your
hunt. The more grass that you put up, the harder it will be for the hunters to guess
which ones contain the animals.
Another feature of the African Savanna are twisted, dry trees. These provide
shade for animals in the heat of the sun – and you can make yours from card.
Cut out long, twisted branch shapes, and colour then brown. Then, stick them
in groups around the walls (you don't need to make an entire tree – a few branches
will give the right impression.)
You're now ready to create your hunt.
Haven't A Clue!
Each of your hunters will be given a CLUE SHEET to follow in order to help
them find the animals while on Safari. Each clue will give the players a hint as to
where they can locate an animal – then they just have to go and find it!
You'll need clues to 7 different locations around your house, such as:
This animal spends a lot of time at the watering hole (the kitchen sink!)
This is a very lazy animal (the bed!)
This animal likes to wash itself every day (the bathroom!)
When you have 7 clues, write them down on a sheet of paper for each of
your hunters – it's a good idea to put them in a different order for each person,
so that they won't all be searching for the same animal at the same time.
When you have finished the clues, ask someone who won't be taking part in the
hunt to follow them, and see if they can work out where each of the animals will be
hiding. This will tell you whether the clues are too easy or too hard, and give you
time to change them.
Hide & Seek
It's almost time for your Safari – but first, you have to HIDE your animals!
Following the clues you've just written, go to each of the places in turn, and
stick one of the animal faces somewhere nearby. You need to put them somewhere
they can be found, but hidden enough so that your hunters will need to look around
a little.
If the area has tall grass or tree branches, you could hide the animal in there –
but make sure enough is showing for it to be spotted!
When all your animals are safely hidden, you can invite your friends around to
set off on Safari!
Safari, So Good!
Ask your friends to dress in white and light brown colours to take part in the
hunt – that way, they'll BLEND IN with the hot Savanna.
Each player needs to make a pair of BINOCULARS for the hunt. They can do
this by glueing two cardboard tubes together, and painting them black.
They can also make a clipboard to hold their clue sheet on, and allow them to
write down the answers. Use a stiff sheet of card for each player, and hold their clue
sheets in place with paper clips. Each player will need a pencil, too.
The big game is about to begin!
And They're Off!
Time to start your SAFARI!
The rules are as follows:
Hunters must follow the clues and find each of the animals.
They are not allowed to touch the animals, just view them through their
Hunters should not tell each other where the animals are hidden.
Hunters must write down the name of the animal they have spotted beside each
Now comes the fun part! When the hunters have spotted all the animals, they
must use the first letter from each animal to make the name of another African
On this Safari – the letters are E, A, G, E, L, Z, L – which mix around to spell
When all the hunters have returned with the name of the secret animal, serve
them with some Safari snacks and cooling drinks – they have been out in the hot
sun, after all!
Create dreadful decorations, ghoulish games and creepy costumes for a
Halloween Party. Don't have nightmares...!
Decorate The Dungeon
Before your guests arrive, you'll need to DECORATE the room you'll be using
for the party. This will be your creepy dungeon!
Ask an adult to replace the main light bulb with a red or green one. This will
give the room an instant eerie glow, and get everyone in the Halloween mood as
soon as they arrive.
You can make beastly bats to hang from the ceiling by cutting bat wing
shapes from thin card, and clipping them into clothes pegs. Attach lengths of cotton
to the pegs, and use drawing pins to hang them above your guests' heads.
Create chains by cutting lots of 2cm x 15cm strips from kitchen foil. Make a
loop from the first piece of foil, and stick the ends together with tape. Then, when
you make the next loop, thread it through the first before taping it together. Keep
going, adding more and more loops, until you have a long chain to pin to the wall.
Finally, visit your local charity shop and buy some old net curtains. Rip holes
in them, and hang them over the windows to give the room a chilling, haunted house
Things That Go Bump In The Night!
As your party guests arrive, you can play a CD SCARY NOISES in the
background – it's great fun to make!
Start recording on a computer with some moans and groans. Add a few
screams to make everyone jump!
Tie a handful of cutlery together with string and jangle it near the microphone
to make the sound of chains being rattled. Record water dripping into a metal pan
for an authentic dungeon feel.
Make some ghostly footstep noises by banging a pair of shoes onto
a cardboard box – and if you have a squeaky door in your house, hold your
microphone close to the hinges as you slowly open and close it!
Finally, if you have a musical instrument, such as a guitar or piano, a
few eerie chords will finish off the recording perfectly. Even something as
simple as random notes blown on a harmonica can sound spooky!
Now you can burn a CD to play as your guests arrive.
Haven't A Thing To Wear
Of course, you and your friends will need some CREEPY COSTUMES to
wear for the party – so here are a few quick and easy ideas.
To make a VAMPIRE costume, wear black trousers and a white shirt, and use
a length of red or black ribbon as a bow tie around the collar. Cut open a black
plastic bin liner down one side, and loosely attach it around your neck with more
ribbon as a Vampire's cape.
Slick your hair back with gel, and use white face paint to give your skin an
unhealthy pale glow. Finally, paint some sharp teeth below your bottom lip to
complete the scary look!
If you want to be a WITCH, make your cape in the same way – but this time
wear all black underneath. Colour your skin with green face paint, and press a
couple of bits of breakfast cereal (such as Rice Crispies) against the paint before it
dries to look like warts.
Make a Witch's hat by rolling a sheet of black card into a cone shape, and
holding it place with tape. You can add stars cut from tin foil to make it look more
Ghoulish Grub!
You'll want to give your guests something to eat during the party, so why not
try these ideas for FIENDISH FOOD?
Start with BOILED EYEBALLS! Simply hard boil some eggs in a pan of water
(always get an adult to help) and, when they're cold, crack and remove the shells.
Paint a scary looking pupil onto each egg with food colouring, and put them
together in a bowl.
Next, your guests can enjoy DRACULA'S DIP! Plain tortilla chips have the
same shape as vampire's teeth. Empty a packet into a bowl, and stick some scary
looking paper fangs onto the front of the bowl to show what they are. You can
provide a red salsa for everyone to dip their teeth into.
Finally, present your guests with WORM SURPRISE! Fill bowls with a
chocolate flavour desert (such as Angel Delight), and add a few sweet worms, or
shorts lengths of liquorice to each serving. Yuk!
Heads Up!
Here's a great game to make for your Halloween Party – SKULL DUGGERY!
Make four skulls by covering balloons with several layers of papier
mâché, painting them white, then adding black eye and nose sockets, and some
grinning teeth!
While the skulls are drying, tape open the flaps to a large cardboard box, and
cover it in black crepe paper. Use wool to make a spider's web over the opening of
the box (you can carefully punch holes through the box to tie the ends in place).
Make sure that none of the skulls will fit through the gaps in the web.
The aim of the game is for players to stand with their backs to the box and
throw the skulls over their shoulders to see how many they can get to land in the
web. Remember to remove any breakable before you play!
On A Roll...
A simple but exciting game from the crypt – I WANT MY MUMMY!
Players find a partner, and each team is given a whole toilet roll. When the
game starts, each team has two minutes to transform one of their pair into a ghastly
Mummy by covering them in toilet paper! You can wrap it round your partner's arms
and legs, down their body, and over their head.
At the end of the game, the team with best looking Mummy wins!
Exercise your detection skills as you and a friend become spies for a day.
Someone's watching you!
Spy Vs Spy
Welcome to Boredom Busters HQ. As a new SECRET AGENT, you will now
be given details of your TRAINING MISSION!
You and a friend will spy on each other for 24 hours. You must watch each
other's every move, and make detailed notes in a TOP SECRET REPORT.
You will each be given gadgets and special skills to help you on your mission.
They must not fall into the wrong hands.
The first thing you need to do is make a file for your report by stapling
together two pieces of card, and writing TOP SECRET across the front in large, red
Good luck, agents. This chapter will self-destruct in 30 seconds...
Groovy Gadgets
In order to spy on your friend for a day, you'll need some SPY GADGETS to
help you!
The first of these is a WALLET to keep your notes safe. You can make this
with an EXERCISE BOOK and some glue.
If possible, use a book that looks like one of your school books. Write your
name, and a subject on the front, and copy a few pages from one of your real books
to make it look authentic.
Here comes the sneaky part! Glue to two centre pages of the exercise book
together around three of the edges – leaving the top open. When the glue is dry,
you can hide notes on the other agent's movements inside.
Your other gadget also requires a book, and will be used to store materials for
your mission.
Go to a charity shop and buy a thick paperback book. Open the book to page
20, and draw a rectangle, a few centimetres in from the sides. Now, carefully cut this
rectangle out of the 10 pages that follow, then repeat the process for the 10 pages
below, and the 10 pages below that. Keep going until you have hollowed out the
book up to 20 pages before the end.
Close the book, and it should look like a normal paperback, but it's really a
secret storage space!
Inside it place the following items:
A matchbox containing talcum powder.
A few lengths of cotton.
A pencil.
A small mirror.
Sticky tape.
Mission Possible!
Now that you have your gadgets, you're ready to start your MISSION!
You and your friend should meet in a pre-arranged place, such as the school
playground, and agree upon a secret CODE WORD. From that moment, you must
go about your normal day, but must watch each other's every move for the next 24
If your friend has lunch, find out what they had, and write it down. If they
listen to a CD, try to discover what it was. If they catch the bus, which route did it
take? Write everything down, and transfer it to your file when you are alone.
The idea is that you must not let anyone else around you know what is
going on. The mission is just between the two secret agents. Once the mission has
started, you cannot discuss it with the other agent, until you swap files the following
Here are a few hints on how to proceed...
Disguise & Detection
A good way to watch the other agent is wear a DISGUISE so that they
don't even know that you're there!
Perhaps you could borrow a coat from a friend or relative that the other agent
wouldn't recognise (make an excuse why you need it – you can't discuss the
mission, remember?) Wear a hat and sunglasses, or perhaps obscure your face
with a scarf. Try not to be too obvious with your disguise – nothing stands out more
than someone who is trying too hard to hide!
You could also use subtle INTERROGATION methods to discover where the
other agent was at a particular time. Instead of simply asking where they are, you
could pull a pound coin out of your pocket and say that you borrowed this earlier,
and need to return it. Your friends will probably say where and when they last saw
your opponent. Remember to write it down for your file.
How many other ways can you think of to get information?
Book Work!
Time to open your secret store, and use some of the GADGETS hidden
inside your book!
If you can get access to your opposing spy's room, sprinkle a tiny amount of
talcum powder on the floor outside their door. If there is a footprint in the talc when
you return, you'll know they left the room while you've been away.
Find out which kitchen cupboards have been opened by trapping small
lengths of cotton in the doors. When the door is opened, the cotton will fall away
unnoticed, telling you where your opposing agent was looking.
Use sticky tape to attach the small mirror to the end of your pencil. You can
lie on your stomach outside a room, and hold your mirror just inside the door to see
what is going on inside. Keep your movements slow and silent at all times.
Think of some other uses for household objects, and keep them inside your
book during the mission!
Mission Accomplished!
After 24 hours, meet with your opposing agent at your secret meeting place to
SWAP FILES. Remember to use the pre-arranged code word before you hand over
any material.
You should find a detailed breakdown of what you did during the previous
day inside each other's reports.
Congratulations agents, your training mission is now complete. You should
now compare notes on how you went about spying on each other – and prepare
yourselves for another mission.
That is all.
Invite your friends to join you in under the big top for your very own circus!
Big Top Bonanza
The CIRCUS is in town! But, before anyone can perform, you need to put up
the BIG TOP – the name circus people give to their colourful tent.
To make your big top, you'll need six rolls of crepe paper, some drawing pins,
and help from an adult.
Unroll the crepe paper, and ask an adult to pin one end of each roll to the centre
of the ceiling, and the other end of each roll out towards the walls of the room
– so that the lengths of crepe paper form a star shape. Don't pull the crepe paper
tight – it should droop in the middle, and look like the roof of a circus tent!
On the floor below, use string to mark out a large circle – this is the circus ring
where you various acts will perform.
Horsing Around
Circuses often start with an appearance by trained HORSES. Riders perform
stunts, including jumping on and off the horses, and even riding while standing up!
To have horses in your circus, simply cut the shape of a horse's head from
a piece of card, and paint it white. When the paint is dry, stick lengths of string or
white wool to the head to make the horse's mane.
Attach the head to a stick, wear a white t-shirt, and you are now a circus
horse! Practice running around the big top, and stamping your 'hoofs' on the ground
like a horse.
To complete the effect, tie two lengths of ribbon to the back of your belt, and
one of your friends can be your 'rider'! They should follow you around the ring,
shaking the ribbon reins.
Lions And Tigers And Bears, Oh My!
Modern day circuses don't use animal acts, but you can fill yours with
beats, by rehearsing a LION TAMING routine!
Get two of your friends to dress in yellow or orange t-shirts, and draw
whiskers on their faces with an eyebrow pencil. They can practice crawling around
the big top on all fours, stopping occasionally to roar menacingly at the crowd!
The lion tamer himself should wear a red shirt or jacket. Lion tamers
traditionally use a whip to keep the lions at a distance. To keep things safe, your
tamer should mime the cracking of a whip.
To perform the act, place two cushions in the middle of the circus ring. Play
some exciting music as the lions begin to prowl around the edges. Enter the lion
tamer, cracking his imaginary whip, and moving the lions around the ring in one
direction, and then the other.
The act ends when the two lions climb on to their cushions, and raise their
front legs into the air with a roar!
Walk The Line
One of the most exciting acts is the TIGHTROPE WALKER. They walk
across a thin wire, suspended high above the ground, with nothing to stop them from
falling! When you walk the tightrope, you'll be much safer – as you'll only be
pretending to be up in the air!
Tightrope walkers use poles to help them balance as they walk the high-wire
(another name for a tightrope). You can make one by painting a broom handle in
bright colours.
Now, lay a length of ribbon on the floor from one side of your circus ring to the
other. Step onto the wire, using the pole to balance. Putting one foot in front of the
other, slowly cross the tightrope, gazing down at the floor far below!
To make things more dramatic, you could wobble, and pretend to almost fall
when you are half way across to make the audience scream!
When you reach the other side, turn and take a bow!
Send In The Clowns
This is the part you've been waiting for – the CLOWNS!
Everyone in your circus can be a clown for the big finale – they just need a
costume, some make-up, and a funny routine.
To make a clown costume, wear a colourful t-shirt, or borrow a baggy shirt
from an adult. You can sew patches of material onto a pair of old trousers (or stick
squares of coloured paper on with tape), and cover your shoes with crepe paper
to make them look bigger and sillier.
For clown make-up, use face paints to create a unique design. Some clowns
have white faces, while others use lots of colours. Don't forget to paint your nose
Now it's time to work out a routine – the sillier the better. Perhaps you could
be clown policemen, chasing a robber and tripping each other over? Or maybe
you're putting out a fire, throwing buckets filled with bits of paper over everyone?
Play some silly music to help you along – and practice as much as you can. The
more you rehearse, the funnier it will be!
Give each clown a silly name – when I used to appear as a clown, I was
Roll Up! Roll Up!
It's SHOWTIME! Invite your friends and family to take their seats at the ring
side. Play some circus style music as they enter your big top.
One of you will need to be the RINGMASTER, and introduce the acts. They
should wear a red shirt or jacket, and a top hat, which you can make from two pieces
of black card. Simply make a tube with one piece, cut a ring from another, and stick
them together!
The ringmaster introduces the first act – the horses!
As the horses leave the ring, follow with your other acts – the lion tamer,
tightrope walker and finally, the clowns! At end of the show, the audience will be
cheering for more!
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