Help! My Son Has To Make A Brick For School!

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Old 10-24-2008, 01:51 PM
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Help Sign Help! My son has to make a brick for school!

Yes, a brick and they can't use cement, plaster or tile grout. They are learning about Mesopotamia and they have to do this and take it to school on Halloween.

I've googled and watched lots of videos on youtube and none of them look easy.

Anyone got any ideas????

I'm sick of these projects! I understand they are trying to immerse them in the culture/period of time they are studying, but they are really MOM projects since we have to get the stuff and carefully supervise.

Thanks for your help (and listening to me complain),
Mary
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:16 PM

RE: Help! My son has to make a brick for school!

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How about getting one of those styrofoam blocks and then spray some adhesive on it and put some brick colored sand on it.
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:31 PM

RE: Help! My son has to make a brick for school!

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I don't know if this will help but it's made of foam. My brother had a fake foam brick that he used to throw at the TV during football games!

Fake Brick - Things for children to make at the Family Portal.
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:42 PM

RE: Help! My son has to make a brick for school!

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The sponge one is a good idea. The list says you can use dirt, soil, sand, grass, weeds, straw, clay, flour or cereal with water. I thought about making it out of rice krispies and caro syrup, but it has to stand up to some tests. It has to be flipped over without breaking and crumbling. I has to have books placed on it and withstand that and it has to be placed in a bucket of water.

School projects. Agh!

Mary
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:49 PM

RE: Help! My son has to make a brick for school!

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I'll ask my mom how she made biscuits when we were young and get back to you. Could easily pass for a brick. :-)
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:59 PM

RE: Help! My son has to make a brick for school!

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Thank You

Thanks for the laugh!

Mary
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:02 PM

RE: Help! My son has to make a brick for school!

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Hum...perhaps a brick made of sand mixed with glue?
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:05 PM

RE: Help! My son has to make a brick for school!

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Here's the recipe for "Mock Rocks". We make them at school as part of our Rocks & Minerals unit. You can leave out the gravel & oyster shells.....they're just in there to simulate minerals found in rocks. They can get REALLY hard,especially if you dry them out in the oven! I'd make ASAP though. They get harder the longer they sit.

Ingredients:
250 ml (1 cup) white flour
125 ml (1/2 cup) salt
10 ml (2 tsp) alum
125 ml (1/2 cup) water
5 drops red food coloring
5 drops blue food coloring
3 drops yellow food coloring
250 ml (1 cup) coarse sand
125 ml (1/2 cup) gravel - 2 different colors
30 ml (1/8 cup) oyster shell pieces

Equipment:
Bowl or large zip lock bag
Stirring spoon
Measuring utensils
Tray
Paper towels
Makes 18 * 5 cm mock rocks

To Make the Mock Rocks:

1. Mix the flour, salt, and alum together in the bowl or zip lock bag.

2. Measure the water and add food coloring to it.

3. Add the water to the flour mixture. Knead the mixture until it is uniform in color and texture and no longer sticks to the side of the bag or bowl. (Add a little more water if the dough is too crumbly.)

4. Add the sand and the gravel to the mixture and knead until it is well mixed.

5. Divide the mixture into 18 equal pieces about the size of a ping-pong ball. Place one of the rock balls into the palm of your hand, and with your thumb make a small hole in the center. Place 10-23 oyster shell pieces in the hole and mold the dough around them.

6. Work the ball of dough in your hands, smoothing its surface. Flatten the rock so that it is about 2 cm thick. (Thinner rocks will dry more quickly.)

7. Put the rocks on a tray lined with paper towels. Make sure the rocks do not touch each other. Place them in a warm area to dry. Turn them each day so they will dry thoroughly. It takes them about a week to dry, depending on the humidity. NOTE: Do not put rocks in microwave or oven. They will get too hard

8. Use the paper towel to clean the sand and gravel pieces from the utensils so that the solid materials do not go down the drain.

To Test the Mock Rocks:
Take one of the rocks apart 6 days after making them to be sure they are thoroughly dry and hard, but not so hard that they can't be broken in half by hand and taken apart with the nail (the geologist's pick).
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:16 PM

RE: Help! My son has to make a brick for school!

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You think I could make this stuff and put it in a check box to make a brick shape??

Mary
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:29 PM

RE: Help! My son has to make a brick for school!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyzrus View Post
You think I could make this stuff and put it in a check box to make a brick shape??

Mary
You shouldn't have to put it in anything. You can just mold it into any shape you want. After you make it, it has a play-doh like consistancy, so I'd just mold it into a brick shape. I'm afraid if you put it into a box you wouldn't be able to get the box off once it dries.
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:32 PM

RE: Help! My son has to make a brick for school!

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So maybe use the check box as a mold to shape and get it out and then have it dry!

Sounds like a good plan!

Thanks so much! This weekend I have to help with this, a book report and figure out a Halloween costume. You can tell I have boys who wait until the last minute! It's sooooo frustrating!

Mary
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:37 PM

RE: Help! My son has to make a brick for school!

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How about paper mache? Can you use paper? I see that you can use flour water and glue. Not sure if this is what you need, but it was the first thing that came to my mind (and pretty simple!)

Don't feel bad, my ds waits until the last minute too (and frankly, so does his mother )!
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:44 PM

RE: Help! My son has to make a brick for school!

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does it have to sink in the water...or just not dissolve?

If it can float, an option would be to buy the stuff from the hardware store that is normally used to squirt in cracks for insulation. The stuff expands slightly and turns hard as a rock. Although it is light as air really. I dont know what its called but that description should give the store helper person enough to go on . its in an aerosol can and comes with a straw attachment to help get it into the tight cracks.

You would have to spray it into a cardboard box or something that you could peel away because it sticks to everything...but if it had a layer of cardboard still on it, you could paint it a brick color.
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:57 PM

RE: Help! My son has to make a brick for school!

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What if you made a brick out of home made playdough..... Flour, water and salt..... Mold into shape and bake @ 200 degrees for a few hours until hard........
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:15 PM

RE: Help! My son has to make a brick for school!

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That's how we did it in school... because it's baked, it withstands more (especially in water)... it's super dense with the salt and all!
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:26 PM

RE: Help! My son has to make a brick for school!

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Update - we made one using the mock rocks recipe. It's hard, but it has some cracks in it and I don't know how it will hold up in the water. I really don't care. I'm all for projects, but once again I have to get too involved with this. DS could have cared less what we made it out of and he just wanted to get it done, so there you have it.

Thanks everyone for all your ideas!
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:42 PM

RE: Help! My son has to make a brick for school!

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i agree do teachers really think kids are doing these projects/?????????? my son has a science one that starts friday and last clear thru feb. i am not looking forward to that at all
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