Building with children

Currently I teach children to build their own huts on the local school ground.




This is a well known and traditional summer activity for icelandic children and I am glad to be part of this now. It is amazing to see them yelding their hammers and saws! I bought pattet timber for them because I wanted them to have nice and suitable raw material. Because the planks are only 17 mm thick, they can use relatively small nails and cutting them is not too tedious either.

In the first place I bought one pallet of 760 planks and 1000 nails. Well, the nails were gone after one hour and the planks after one week. Of course many nails didn't make it into the timber, but because they are not too large, only 35 mm long, that is not too much of a problem.

I am amazed to see how quickly they learn and how much stamina they have. We have been blessed with quite good weather but on Wednesday it was just miserable. I didn't expect any to come because of the rain, but they did come! Some or them not even appropriately dressed. Most of the children worked relentless for almost two hours, soaking wet and smiling!

This reminded me of a scene I saw in January when I sat in our car in the School parking lot, waiting for Thora to drive me to the airport, and a few children left school for home. The weather was not nice, I would not use the word blizzard, but there was quite some wind and snow as well. But those children walked as if it was a sunny day in May! So, so wonder they would not make a fuss about a few raindrops in almost no wind and more than 10 degrees warmth...

In recent years there have been issues with paint stains on fine clothes. So I tried to find an alternative paint which is washable. But then of course rain would wash the paint off the huts! The idea came from a youngster who is assisting me: Why don't they use simple school poster colours and we just paint the houses with transparent varnish aftyerwards?? Clever idea. Now since poster colours are relatively expensive in the required volume, I foulnd a way to make it last better. Diluting with water would be one, but then the paint would become too thin. So, I bouled water with some potato starch and now I have a transparent liquid of a similar consistency as the paint. The change in colour is minimal and of course it does not cover as well as before, but since the wood in the huts is quite light, that won't be a problem. 

So, next week they will do some more tweaks to their houses and then it will be painting fun time.

I will upload pictures of the finished properties once they are ready.   

Last modified onSaturday, 15 July 2017 10:40
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