Helicopter model (1)

Helicopter model (2)

Helicopter model (3)

Ingredients: A4 piece of coloured card; glue; scraps cut from magazines etc – for decoration; 2 cocktail sticks; 9 largish beads; 1 small tack-type nail; and some blue-tack (er, white-tack in fact).

Tools: pencil, scissors, 10p piece, hammer, some folded newspaper and a chopping board, wirecutters or the like.

  1. BODY: Draw a helicopter body in one corner of the card. Hint – it looks a bit like a chubby cartoon whale with a squared off tail. Cut out the helicopter shape and draw round it on the card so you can cut out a second helicopter shape. Set your child to gluing on scraps from magazines or whatever onto each piece, making sure that the decoration goes on different sides of each piece (i.e. so when they are laid out they are a mirror image of one another). While she is busy, you will be making the tailpiece, wheels and blades.
  2. TAILPIECE: Cut out a square of card about as wide as the helicopter tail is high. Glue a picture on it and then fold it immediately in half – it is easier while the glue is wet! – sticking the halves together to make a rectangle-shaped tailpiece. Set aside to dry a bit (while you work on the other bits). Then round off the corners with your scissors and, half way along its length, cut a slit that goes half way across the width of the tailpiece.
  3. WHEELS: Cut out 8 10p-sized circles of card. Stick them all together in pairs so that you have 4 doubled up wheels. Set aside to dry – while you keep working on other bits! Then take your chopping board and put the folded newspaper on top. Use this as a surface so that you can gently hammer the nail through the centre of each wheel to make a hole. Use a cocktail stick to enlarge the hole a bit. It will need to slide easily on the cocktail stick.
  4. BLADES: Cut out 2 long rectangles about 2cm wide and say 15 cm long. It doesn’t matter exactly as long as both bits are the same size. Fold each piece lengthwise, sticking the halves together, so that you have 2 long blades. Then place the blades in a cross formation and glue them together at the centre. Set aside to dry off a bit (don’t stop working!) then make a hole in the centre where they cross – in the same way as you made holes in the wheels, but don’t enlarge this one.
  5. FINISH BODY: At some point during this process your child will have finished decorating the helicopter body. As soon as the glue is dry enough that you can handle the pieces, help your child to glue the two pieces together, plain sides in. If your child has thoughtfully left bits sticking up and out at all angles this is good because you can fold them over and stick them onto the other side, to help bind the pieces together. Make sure you leave a place at the top where you are going to insert a nail to hold on the blades. Each piece needs to be left to dry properly before you start assembling the helicopter, so it’s time for a drinks break!
    Helicopter model (tail detail)

    1. When all the pieces are ready, the first step is to make two axle holes near the bottom of the body, one at the front and one at the back. They should be near enough the edge that the wheels will be clear of the bottom of the helicopter but far enough away that it is unlikely to break. You also need to cut a slit in the tail, fairly low down, about half the width of the tailpiece.
    2. Thread a cocktail stick through one axle hole. On one side, thread on a bead, a wheel, another bead and then cut off the end with wirecutters. A blob of blue-tack finishes this side and then you do the same on the other side. Repeat for the second set of wheels.
    3. Marry up the slits in the tailpiece and the tail and put the tailpiece on.
    4. Insert the nail into the hole in the centre of the blades, thread a bead onto the nail, put some glue on the end of the nail and then insert this between the two pieces of card, at the top of the helicopter. Squeeze the two pieces together so the glue will stick.
  7. ALL DONE: Ta-da!