Posted in Monday Club

Robots and Rovers Workshop

Scooter 2000

Today we had a Robots and Rovers workshop at Monday Club.  This was a follow up workshop to last week’s visit to the Tin Toys and Tales exhibition at Liskeard Museum and is a part of the Club’s current Space theme.

We began our workshop looking through a slideshow of robots from television and film and we talked about the different styles of robots and their roles.  We talked about how some of the robots did household or maintenance tasks (e.g. Robbie, V.I.N.cent, Wall-E) and about how some of them acted as companions for humans.  We saw robots who were intended as weapons or to perform useful tasks but who developed personalities of their own (e.g. Johnny Five, Data).  We also saw robots who had come to Earth from Space and helped people here (e.g. Bumblebee, The Iron Giant).

Climbatron R.E.X.

After this we looked at some robots in use around the world today.  We talked about industrial robots designed to do simple repetitive tasks, and then watched short clips of Baxter, ASIMO, Nao, and Curiosity, and talked about their abilities and the jobs they do.

Moneybox robots

Finally, we looked at some robots that are available at clubs in Plymouth for kids and young people to learn to program and experiment with, including Sphero and Ozobot.  We talked about how these worked and watched some video of Ozobots that one of our members had programmed last week at one of the local clubs.

A selection of small robot toys

Next we played with a big lot of different robots and robot toys that one of our members brought in.  These were in all shapes and sizes, there were wind-up robots, electronic money boxes, big retro robots, and all sorts of toys.

Playing Mekorama

We watched a video from the Kids Invent Stuff YouTube channel which is running a competition at the moment for 5-11 year olds to invent a household robot.  Some of the kids in the group drew robots and ideas while others played Mekorama, a puzzle game where you have to guide a little robot round a level, and made levels of their own.

It was a fun workshop and hopefully some of the ideas will be entered into the competition!

For information about Monday Club’s current timetable please visit this post.


Posted in Monday Club

Monday Club Schedule Jan-April 2016

Here is our EHE Monday Club Schedule Jan-April 2017
All workshops will be related to a Space theme.

16th – Solar System workshop, Plymouth
23rd – Titanic Exhibition, Plymouth
30th – Science Experiment workshop, Plymouth

6th – Council House & Radiant Gallery Exhibitions, Plymouth
13th – Space Art workshop, Plymouth
20th – Tin Toys Exhibition & Heritage Trail, Liskeard
27th – Robots & Rovers workshop, Plymouth

6th – Art2Day Exhibition & Peninsula Gallery, Plymouth
13th – Constellations workshop, Plymouth
20th – (trip not decided yet!)
27th – Crafts & Cooking workshop, Plymouth

3rd – (trip not decided yet!)
10th – Magazine making workshop, Plymouth

We have left two spots for trips.  The group are still thinking about what we want to do for these.

If you are a home ed family and would like more info about any of our workshops or trips please email us or join us on Facebook.


Posted in Monday Club

Monday Club 2017 Update

Happy New Year!

It has been a while since our last update before the Christmas break.  We have made some changes for the New Year and they are detailed in this post:

1 – We will be meeting FORTNIGHTLY (rather than weekly) at our usual indoor venue, beginning next Monday (16th January).

2 – We have set an overall theme for our indoor workshops until Easter.  Our theme is SPACE!

3 – Each workshop will examine the theme topic in a different and fun way, coming from a range of science, technology, art, and other creative approaches.  We will be finalising our calendar next week and will post a brief schedule here.

4 – In our first workshop on the 16th we will be learning about our solar system and building a model of it together.

5 – On the alternate weeks when we are not meeting at our usual venue, we are planning a number of trips together.  Some of these will be in Plymouth and some will be to other parts of Devon and Cornwall.  We will be visiting exhibitions and museums and taking educational walks around other culturally and historically interesting places.

6 – To join us and learn more details about our plans please contact us via facebook or email.  Please confirm in your contact that you are a member of a home educating family.  Thank you!

You can read more about Monday Club here!

Posted in Monday Club

December Monday Club plans

Our last Monday Club workshop of 2016 is on the 12th December and then we will be breaking for Christmas!  In the break our organising committee, including any regular participants who would like to join, will meet to discuss our plans for 2017.

For our final workshop of the year we will be making festive treats – Orange Cinnamon Whirls and Stained Glass Window Biscuits.  Contact us for more details.

Posted in Monday Club

Relief Prints using Recycled Materials

Week two of printing.  This week we tried a simple Relief Print method.

To create the printing block we used thin sheets of extruded polystyrene foam. (Most people will know the brand styrofoam).

Over the last few months I had been collecting pre-made pizza bases.  The material used is ideal for this type of printing as it has a smooth surface that will take an even coat of paint, but is firm enough not bend or warp when being handled and also soft enough to be able to make a groove in the surface using a pencil or embossing tool.  Using a rotary cutter to keep the edges crisp, I trimmed them up into A6, A7 and two different sized squares to get the most out of the circles.

At the start of the session everyone designed their image on paper first.  The design was then either copied or traced onto the smooth side of the polystyrene. The next step was to create the groove using a pencil to press into the surface tracing the design.  (The groove is the part of the design that won’t print and leaves the paper surface showing and the relief is the part of the design that prints) The final step was to cover the polystyrene surface with a thin even coat of ready mixed paint in one or more colours and place onto a piece of paper pressing evenly to transfer the design.

These are some of the designs the group created:

w006b  w002c  w016b  w013  w009b  w014  w010  w012  w008  w007b  w007  w003  w005  w011b

Having completed our designs, we practiced stamping them on paper. Here are some of them:

w010b  w011  w011c  w002a   w007c  w007d  w006d  w001  w006e  w004w013cw014b  w015w017w003b  w006  w005b  w002b  w001bw006c

We then had a chance of printing our designs onto cards.

w009c  w007f  w006f  w016  w013b  w002d

Posted in Monday Club

Repeat Printing Patterns

This week we designed printing blocks that created repeat patterns.  This was so we could try a new printing technique and print our own wrapping papers.  Each person was given a MDF block, a square of paper, a square of carbon paper and a piece of stitcky backed funky foam all the same size, 3″ x 3″.  With instructions and a little bit of help everyone managed to create some lovely designs and were able to take home their own printing blocks and at least one sheet of their printed design.

We used remixed paint and printed onto Sugar Paper.  I think everyone did extremely well and I love all the designs.


pattern002 pattern003










If anyone was inspired by the pictures above, below is a copy of the instruction we used in the workshop.




Posted in Monday Club

November Monday Club Workshops

Our plans ahead for November Monday Club workshops are as follows:

7th November – Board and Tabletop Games. Our games days are a good opportunity for home ed families to play and chat together and playing games has lots of incidental educational benefits including learning to take turns, keep score, work out and understand game rules etc. Families are welcome to bring their own games to share or join in with what others have brought.

14th November – Printing Repeat Patterns workshop. This is the first of two workshops exploring printmaking. This week we will be designing printing blocks to create simple repeating patterns which can be used to make decorative papers. Participants will be able to take their blocks home to keep and use again.

21st November – Relief Printing workshop. This is the second of the printmaking workshops. This week we will be using relief printing to make Christmas cards which participants will be able to take home. The number of cards each person can make will depend on how many participants there are, but everyone should get to make at least one. Please feel free to bring your own blank cards if you would like to make more at the workshop.

28th November – Shrinkles workshop. We will be using Shrinkles material to design and make small charms which can be worn as jewellery or given as a gift. Each participant will be given one sheet of Shrinkles material at the workshop, with extra sheets available for a very small charge.

Monday Club is self organised and funded by local home educating families. Tea and coffee is available free of charge at our venue.

For more information please contact us by email or facebook.  Alternatively, come along to our home ed family social group which meets on Tuesday afternoons at Freedom Fields park and introduce yourselves 🙂

Posted in Monday Club

Experimental Painting Fireworks!


One very fun and freely expressive session was had and enjoyed by all
ages, including adults, I’m sure I saw an Octopus?!


This workshop focussed around creating great firework effect paintings, using many different tools,such as string, kitchen rolls with their ends cut into long strips which made a spread out swooshy pattern, (these made accidental weird creatures!) string, candles, straws for blowing and printing, cotton wool buds for printing and toothbrushes.


It was industrious.


Some of the children explored different ways to create unique and interesting paintings of fire, while others opted for some really lovely and creative paint explosions! The kids were given a couple of sheets of paint effect ideas, which they utilised and adapted. Lots of really nice paintings were taken home.


Posted in Monday Club

Monday Club October Timetable!

This week at Monday Club was the first of the month, so Games Day!  We chatted, played, got out the bricks and the air hockey, and did drawing.  Here is another image of last week’s activity, these were made by three of the young participants 🙂


We have had a bit of a reorganisation and have decided to become a public group again.  We are now open to all local home ed families, with a slight subs increase to £4 per family paying weekly (£3.50 per family paying the month in advance).  Some activities have additional charges to cover extra resources.

The timetable for the rest of October is:

10th – Air Dry Clay Intro workshop – make miniature food, creatures etc. 50p additional charge per participant.

17th – Air Dry Clay Skills Builder Workshop – try new techniques and be inspired by other participants work. 50p additional charge per participant.

24th – Closed for half term.

31st – Experimental painting and drawing techniques, make decorative pieces for Halloween/Autumn/Nov 5th.

Contact us by email or facebook for more info.