What’s the idea?
Celebrate Summer Solstice and create a fun and interactive history lesson for the kids, by making your own Stonehenge model.
What’s the story?
The Summer Solstice is fast approaching and now is the perfect opportunity to discover more about the mystery and wonder that is Stonehenge.
This year’s celebration at Stonehenge itself is no longer going ahead, but you can bring the history of one of the world’s most famous structures into your home.
It’s an educational and fun activity for children of all ages (and most likely for adults too!).
If you enjoy crafting, check out our other pages where you could make your own pet rock!
People should do this because…?
Inspiring a love of learning history can be a little tricky with kids – especially during the summer!
However, the story behind Stonehenge, and the opportunity to roll up your sleeves and get creative, is an opportunity to fuse a valuable lesson and an afternoon craft session in one.
This activity can be adapted for any age – from preschoolers up to teens (and adults!).
You can simply substitute materials (try using real stones for smaller kids, or polymer clay for a more permanent structure), or introduce an element of difficulty (see if those teens can make a model scale!).
You can then set your model up to see if you can replicate the sunlight hitting your Stonehenge, just like the real one!
How do you do it?
To make your own Stonehenge model, start by prepping your space.
It might be a good idea to lay down old newspaper or a cloth to protect your table or bench.
- Print out or keep your images of Stonehenge on hand, to use as a reference for your model-making.
- Prepare your salt dough (recipe below) and preheat oven to 120°C (250°F).
- Knead and mould the salt dough into stone shapes similar to those found in Stonehenge.
- Use toothpicks inserted into vertical stones to help horizontal stones stay on top. It is also a good idea to flatten the bottom of stones that need to stand upright before baking them.
- Once stones are ready, lay them on a prepared baking tray, and bake in preheated oven for approximately 2 hours, or until the salt dough stones are dry and hard.
- While the stones are baking, cut away one side of cardboard box, leaving three walls intact, creating a diorama setup. Use paints to create a background of grass and sky inside the box, ready for your Stonehenge model.
- Once the salt dough stones are baked and cooled, arrange the stones within your diorama box, to mimic the layout of the real Stonehenge.
- When you are happy with the placement of stones, use PVA glue on the bottom of the stones, to help secure them to the box. Allow to dry before moving.
Stuff you will need
You will need:
- Salt dough (recipe below)
- Cardboard box
- PVA glue
To make the salt dough:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of salt
- 1 cup of cold water
Mix flour and salt together in a bowl. Slowly mix in the water until the dough is smooth and pliable.