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Searched for: 1/20/2022 - Found: 7/30/2008 to 8/5/2008
Cautionary Tales For Children
Wonderful witty poems great for reading to your children. The stories and rhymes will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Research has shown how important YOU are to your children and how as a dad the things you do, and keep on doing, really count, whether you live with them, or you are a single dad and are only able see them once a month, once a week or more, what you do really matters. This site is dedicated to all dads but will be of special relevance to the single dad. Remember, you are half the reason your children exist and they need you whether you live with them or not. As their dad, you have what it takes to make their lives successful and fulfilling no matter how often you see them. This site is about all the positive things that we as parents have to offer our children.
Make a Robot Head
Make this robot head and teach your kids how to do papier mâché

papier mache Rodney Robot head

Papier mâché is fun and messy (probably why it is such great fun). Making a Papier mâché shape over a balloon is an old trick, but you can make something really good out of it if you tape some card to the balloon first to make a more useful shape. After all, there’s not much you can make over just a balloon that doesn’t look like just a Papier mâché balloon.
. . . For the Rodney Robot look-a-like head, all we used was a skirt of card, but you could stick all sorts of shapes to the balloon to get you started with the shape you want. If you want to be able to remove the card when the Papier mâché is dry, cover it with a layer of cling film before you start. If you don’t have a balloon then you can use a pudding basin. Basin or balloon, if your idea is to make something that can be worn, make sure you choose a former that’s a fair bit bigger than the head it has to fit over (measure it). I know this sounds like common sense, but planning at the beginning of model making is usually scant, and it’s only later when it’s all finished that you usually discover that the thing that looked plenty big enough, is actually an inch too small.
. . . If you want to make something like this to be fun for the little person wearing it (for a fancy dress party or a school play) then it has to be comfortable. Therefore you must also allow for some padding when working out the best size. Old socks or sponge foam washing up pads cut in half should be glue gun glued to the inside at strategic points. You don’t need to cover the whole of the inside, only the bits that are going to take the strain, i.e. at the crown, the sides and something for the forehead to press against. The eye holes don’t need to be where the eyes of the model are, because that might mean the model’s eyes aren’t in the right place. Make the model with this in mind, but cut the eye holes where they need to be so that the wearer can see out easily, if they are small then you won’t notice that they are in the wrong place.
. . . To make the Papier mâché, use PVA glue thinned about half and half with water and a mixture of toilet paper and newspaper in alternating layers. As you apply more layers the paper becomes very wet and sticky. When the paper is soaked through and you have covered the former with a nice thick layer of Papier mâché you can smooth off the top layers to get a good finish, using tissue, toilet paper or kitchen roll. PVA dries quite hard and the result takes paint well. We used household emulsion paint (latex paint, US) for our robot head, but even if you are going to spray the finished item, you will get a better finish if you paint it with an undercoat of emulsion first. Emulsion is water based and any acrylic paint can be used to colour it if you want to mix up a special colour. However, most house paints contain a lot of white as their base, so colouring a pale emulsion to get dense colour is not possible without really strong pigments. Small sample or match pots are a very cost effective way of colouring large models like this. Once you are finished, if the balloon hasn’t already gone down, pop it and remove the bits of rubber from inside the model.

rodney robot cross section papier mache head></span><br />
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why not upload a picture of your model to go here
We can't wait to see the pictures of what you’ve made. Kids love it when the things you made together are published, so go on upload a picture of what you made. It's easy, just go to your dadcando My Page and upload your pictures into this project and we'll put one of them right here in the project picture gallery.

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Advanced models
advanced model homemade ghost detector
Once you have made a few models and toys from junk with your kids, they’ll begin to think of things that they would like to make from scratch. My kids usually start with the phrase, ‘Dad - can we make something?’ Unless you follow a ready made project plan, working out what you are going to make is sometimes the hardest part of the project, and if you don’t know what you are making at the start, you invariably end up with an unrewarding mess at the end.

At the planning stage, you are governed by four things: The available materials, your tools, your and your kid's ability and the time you have. advanced making post-it note The good news is that there are making projects to fit any mix of abilities and facilities. Your materials will be a mixture of junk lying around the house, and the odd bit of some special stuff that you can buy very cheaply. The equipment that you need can almost be limited to a glue gun, some spray paint and a permanent maker. That just leaves your skill level, and to be frank, you don’t need much to make a nice model or toy with your kids that they will love.

When you have decided what you want to make, the first thing to do is get yourself some reference. Search the web and have a look at pictures of the real version of what your kids want to make. Print some off to guide you. home made Ratchet and Clank ray gun

This ray Gun was based on a weapon in one of my children’s favourite games console games, Ratchet and Clank.

Once you have your reference pictures, have a look at what materials you have. Old plastic bottles, boxes, and bits of card are the obvious ones, but get creative. Think of all the things you have in the attic, shed or garden. An old plastic football, a bit of garden hose, a toothbrush, or a piece of aluminium grille are all great starting points for a neat project.

The great thing about making something from a console game is that it gets the kids off the game and into some really imaginative play, running round the house or garden, while still feeding into the world of their game.

advanced making TARDIS door sign If you can, use the computer design and print out label and graphics that will enhance your model. Dadcando's TARDIS project is really finished off by printouts of the Police Phone Call Box sign, and the smaller door sign, and on this project, we have already drawn up and laid them out to make the job really easy.

But you might need something more than just junk, if you are going to make really realistic models. Foam Board is a superb model making material, which will enable you to make just about anything which has a box like shape. The TARDIS and K9 were both made almost entirely from Foam Board. For things that have curves, where no plastic packaging is suitable, you’ll have to resort to Polymorph, papier mache, or Plaster of Paris bandage.
advanced plaster of Paris bandage roll To use Plaster of Paris bandage, simply cut it into 300mm (1 foot) long sections off the roll and pull through a saucer of water. It’s very messy, but great fun and dries overnight to a hard finish. It’s great for scenery, very satisfying to use and easy to paint with water based paints when it is dry.

advanced LED usage To add the finishing touches to an advanced model, nothing works better than a bit of light. LEDs (light emitting diodes) are brilliant for this. They are low power, low current drain (meaning that they last a long time on the same battery), they can be very bright and are small, so they can be put almost anywhere in a model or homemade toy. You can find out more about LEDs in the Useful Stuff You Need section on

RHS Bottom
ShimShimFeatured Project ShimShim

MicroCards are miniature playing cards that can be printed out on one sheet of paper. Just cut them out and play on the go!

Standard Set
Fruit Set
Creepy Crawlies Set
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