In the half term holidays, we were really lucky to go to a pop-up model workshop held by the children’s author and illustrator Paul Stickland. We read his famous book, Dinosaur Roar with the girls when they were doing a dinosaur topic in Reception. We then followed him construct a huge dinosaur head on Google+ and since then I have hoped to take the girls to one of his workshops.
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We spent a happy couple of hours in Gosport Library making pop-up creatures. It was wonderful to be taught how to make something new by someone so enthusiastic and inspiring. First we looked at some pop-up books. The girls loved them, particularly theBouncy Boxes Pop-Up Book, which you had to open very carefully in case the boxes popped all over the room as if by magic.

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After that, we had a quick tutorial for how to make a pop-up creature. I loved the fact that it didn’t matter if you made a mistake as you could make whatever you wanted using the same semi-circle shape. Children often focus on whether theirs looks like the teacher’s model, but with this workshop the more different the better. It really encouraged you to use your imagination and not to feel bothered if things didn’t end up how you were expecting.
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It was pretty amazing what the children made with just a few pieces of coloured card and some sticky tape.

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The girls all enjoyed this activity. The twins made theirs into little sparkly bags – not quite the brief but it didn’t matter at all.

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Molly enjoyed herself so much she made three different creatures. We pretty much had to drag her away. I think she is planning a career as a paper engineer. Actually after the workshop – so am I.

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I loved listening to the children planning what they were doing and explaining how they had made something.

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The best thing about the workshop, for me, was that the grown ups got to have a go too. Why let the children have all the fun! This is a technique I’m definitely going to use in my class. It was so easy and creative and didn’t need any expensive materials or equipment.

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If you get the chance then make sure you take your children to a Paul Stickland workshop. He also runs workshops for schools, this would just be amazing and would tie in with so many curriculum topics. We left feeling really inspired. he took the time to sit with everyone there and enthuse about what they were produced. The children (and adults) went away feeling like real artists who had made something worthwhile. What better thing can you say about a teacher? pop upAt the end of the workshop, our table was covered with brightly coloured pieces of card. This photo just shows what a wonderful, creative, fun and inspiring time we had.

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