Summer Jar: Cardboard Stool
The biggest failure from the Summer Jar was making a cardboard stool from Foldschool.com. Or, I guess it depends on how you look at it. The final result was a failure, but the process had some good points.
This ended up being a project that didn’t have much to do with the kids. The idea was that I would whip out this stool, and they could decorate it, but it turns out that assembling a cardboard stool is actually fairly complicated. It pushed me way out of my comfort zone, trying to look at these paper templates and figure out how it all was going to have anything to do with a stool (I wasted a bit of time being very confused before I realized I was supposed to print out the template twice).
There was a lot of thought, a lot of cutting, and a lot more thought. I taped the templates to the wrong side of the cardboard, and had to do some finessing to fold it away from the template, rather than toward it, so that the words on the cardboard would be on the inside. This, plus a general lack of precision, led to the final stool being very wobbly and not particularly usable.
I think this would be a fantastic project to unleash on a teenager. There’s a lot of step-by-step thought and it requires some spatial reasoning and thinking outside the box (har). They could work super hard building and decorating their own bedside table out of recycled materials.
It was really hard for me not to coerce Dave into doing the whole thing, but once I was into it, I really felt like I needed to see the thing through. I’m glad I did. Maybe it didn’t work, but I think if I ever did one again, it would look 100% better. Not that I’m going to do this again, unless I had some additional labor. I could have really used another adult to work the box cutter with me when I was cutting out all the shapes.
But in the end, we put ours right back into the recycling.