05 Jun 2012 20 Comments
Who knew making a model Celtic roundhouse could be so easy?
As our year studying Ancient History draws to a close, we’ve returned – for the first time since we looked at Stonehenge – to the ancient peoples who lived in our part of the world: the Celts.
I like to use living books as much as possible, but I didn’t find many on the Celts suitable for younger children, so I decided to go hands-on instead.
At our library we found Step Into The Celtic World. I asked C which of the projects appealed to her and she chose the model Celtic Roundhouse. This tied in perfectly with my plan to visit a local Celtic Ancient Farm!
We only loosely followed the book instructions, partly because I’m not very good at following instructions (or even reading them – ahem), and partly because the dowel rods I ordered online took several weeks to arrive. (Big J later told me I could have picked some up at the local DIY store; I have much to learn about hands-on project supplies.)
What you need for your model Celtic roundhouse
- A long strip of card (for the walls of the house)
- Straw (the type that’s like hay, not the drinking-type)
- Plasticine (for the walls). I found this “animators’ plasticine alternative” very cheaply on Amazon.
- A large, thick piece of card for the roof
How to Construct the Roundhouse
1. Cover the long strip of cardboard (wall) with a thin layer of plasticine.
2. Press scraps of straw into the walls. (I forgot to get a photo of this.)
3. Stand the wall up in a circle shape, leaving a gap for the doorway. You might want to use tape or glue to attach it to a base to help it stand up. (My photo was taken before pressing the straw into the walls.)
4. Cut out a cardboard circle for the roof. Make it into a cone shape that overhangs the walls.
5. Now for the messy bit! Cover the roof with straw, using glue to stick it on. The picture in our book showed long neat strands of straw coming together in an orderly thatch. The only straw I could find was scrappy bits used for small animal bedding. But as I reminded C and J, the Celts used whatever materials were available locally to build their houses.
Our Celtic Roundhouse may not be the prettiest ever, but we were pretty pleased with it! We had so much fun working on it together, and it definitely enhanced our subsequent experience of visiting an Ancient Celtic Farm.
I’ve been wanting for a while to do more hands-on projects as part of our homeschool. They’re memorable and fun, and this is the age to do them (my kids are 7 and 8). My lack of practicality – combined with perfectionist tendencies – has held me back in the past, so I was very pleased that we got round to doing this project (and simplifying it to work for us).
If you want to make a more sophisticated model Celtic roundhouse, try this one.