Junk Modelling

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By In The Playroom

Recently on Playfest we had a session on Junk Modelling. It’s not something we do all the time but the children always really enjoy it and it gave me a push to let them do it a bit more often.

We were joined by the lovely Maggy Woodly from Red Ted Art, who came to share some of her ideas with us and give us some inspiration. A week or so before that I won her new book on twitter, which I was very happy about and as you can see so was my little boy!junk modelling


I have to say, none of our projects turn out looking as good as they do in the book! I’m just telling myself it’s more about the “process” and the kids enjoyment, rather than the finished results. We will keep trying!

Here’s some pics of my boys in action, creating some “masterpieces” out of our junk packaging!


Here we have a space themed rattle/shaker made by my 4 year old out of a giant lolipop packet, filled with some pulses, decorated with paint and sparkles, and fixed together with decorative star tape – tada!!


This is our rocket. It’s made out of an old chocolate milk container, covered in tissue paper and foil and painted. This is still up on the shelf in their playroom, 4yr old is very proud of it!


I think this one was a boat 🙂

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More junk modelling play, with the younger 2 they were just really exploring the materials rather than having a project in mind.

Here’s some ideas of materials you can put aside to use

  • Any form of cardboard, cereal boxes, packaging, shoe boxes. Really big boxes can be used to make giant models which can be played in
  • Any form of tubes – kitchen rolls, toilet rolls
  • Bubble wrap
  • Foil sweet wrappers, or tin foil
  • Plastic bottles, drinks bottles, fairy liquid etc
  • Egg Cartons
  • Bottle tops
  • Tubs from butter or yoghurts
  • Bits of felt

Junk play is good for hand eye coordination, fine motor skills – using skills like cutting with scissors, gluing and painting – and of course for developing the imagination. Their creations have the potential to become anything they wish! I love seeing the sense of pride and achievement in what they have made.

What could you make?

The list goes on and on!

If you are interested in tools for junk modelling on a bigger or more advanced scale, have a look at my Makedo post here

You may also be interested in Loose Parts Play

Pin the ideas to come back to?



What are your child’s favourite ideas for Junk Modelling? Let me know in the comments!

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Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.

29 thoughts on “Junk Modelling”

    • I am rubbish at art myself so me taking over is not necessarily an improvement!! lol. I like making it with them, enjoy it but my stuff doesn’t come out looking “wow” like some people’s do. Some of the ones on pinterest are amazing!

  1. Some really great ideas here! It’s amazing how much stuff you throw away – or recycle of course 😉 – that you could use for sensory development. Going to try some of these with my twins – we have a giant lollypop container too, so might have to copy that one! x

  2. This all looks great! I’ve just joined play fest on google + but still have no idea how it all works – I haven’t had a chance to look yet! But it looks like you all had a lot of fun :). Thank you for linking to PoCoLo xx

  3. This looks great – my kids LOVE junk modelling at school, but not been brave enough to try yet at home, but this looks so much fun I might just try it now! (From Parenting Pin it Party – KiddyCharts)


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