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July is a busy month for birthday parties here. We have been to 3 parties and celebrated one of our own. Too much birthday cake is never enough. Party blowers on the other hand….

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Last weekend the boys attended a pirate party. They raided our dress up box for the occasion and I took a pirate and a dinosaur pirate to the party (I have a particularly obstinate 4 year old).

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The sister of the pirate party host celebrated her birthday this weekend so last week we received an invitation to her princess party.
I knew dresses and tiaras wouldn’t wash with my boys so decided to scour the Internet for knights costumes that I could make.
At this point I have a confession to make.
I cannot sew.
I cannot sew well. I do own a sewing machine but it rarely sees the light of day and when I do use it I try to stick to straight lines and dodge broken sewing needles.

So my search of the Internet did not include anything remotely involving needles, thread or silver material.
Cardboard, sticky tape, staples and split pins is more my comfort zone.

So I was absolutely thrilled when I found this template from the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Last night I opened up the article and thanks to some foresight (I had saved some Lego boxes from the rubbish) I spent a couple of hours constructing 2 helmets, two breastplates , a broad sword and a dagger all the while trying to follow the plot of John Carter. Still not sure with that movie – part Star Wars, part Avatar, part Dune…all too long. Had some pretty snazzy helmets though.

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The result was very impressive. If I had more time I would have spray painted the finished helmets silver but the boys had great fun decorating their costumes this morning. They were so excited about their costumes they insisted on wearing them well before we needed to leave for the party.

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This activity was so simple and satisfying that I am contemplating attempting it with my Grade 3 class in a couple of weeks.This term I have introduced them to London and it will tie in beautifully with the potted history of the city that I am planning on teaching them.

I am looking forward to the opportunity of providing them with a fun and satisfying art activity which will help them to remember what they have been learning about another culture’s history and traditions.

Not sure I will be letting them joust though….

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