In-door Fun: Brick Factory
It is a challenge to entertain kids at home when social-distancing during this COVID19 event. How do you keep them occupied for a good stretch of time? This made me think about my favorite hobby projects when I was a kid. And one of them was manufacturing your own bricks, and then build with them.
Your home-made bricks are more fun than LEGO, and bring out the little industrialist inside of you. You get to plan your production runs through-out the day, and have all the anticipation about what you will do when you have enough bricks. It's a week of playful work, and cheap to do.
All you need is some Gypsum (plaster powder) and a silicone mould. I used this mould which is targeted to bakers as a tool to make desserts. I recommend using a mould that creates blocks where the dimensions have a ratio of 1:2:4 for easy construction. I used this particular plaster.
Mix the plaster with water. Start with water and keep adding gypsum powder, spoon by spoon, while stirring. Once you get a thick yogurt-like viscosity, it is time to pour it in the mould.
STEP 2Let it harden in 2 or 3 hours or so.
STEP 3Start designing and stacking. I recommend gluing them, and if you use thick cardboard between the layers, you get a simulation of a cement layer.
The one regret I have, is that I had not stained the mix with a red ink. I think red-brownish bricks would have looked better than white ones. If I redo this project, I would add the ink.
With the structures built, the kids now look forward to adding furniture to their designs. So in short, good fun, for young and old. Why not give it a try? And if you do, drop a a few lines in the comments!