Six giant themed activities you HAVE to try!

Look what’s landed! It’s the Awesome Activities to complement AQUILA’s Giant issue, and they’re all MEGA – even the little ones. From building and gardening, to writing and taking photos, there’s something for every AQUILAnaut out there! Which one will you try first?

Make a Mini Living Garden

With spring in the air, this activity is perfect for AQUILAnauts who love nature and enjoy being creative. The idea is to make a super-small garden inside a container, using real plants and compost. Some AQUILAnauts may prefer to make a garden with some action happening. Have you ever been to a model village? Everything is made to scale but much, much smaller and you get to – stomp about like a giant, Ed? No, walk about carefully out of respect for the hard work that’s gone into creating such a place, obvs. How tiny could you make the elements in your model village/ mini garden? Will you create a beautiful space full of glorious green? We can’t wait to see your scaled-down masterpieces! Click here for the fun!

Miniature houses and a rail track in a model village in Beaconsfiled UK, with people visiting
Bekonscot Model Village, Warwick Road, Beaconsfield by Jo Turner, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum Fiction

Giants abound in mythology and fiction – and it’s hardly surprising! There’s SO much to wonder about when it comes to giants: how big are they? Why are they so big? Are they human? Are they good? Evil? Are they a big and friendly giant? Like a certain BFG? Ed. Exactly. Or are they a bit, um, mean and unnecessarily violent, like Grendel in the epic poem, Beowulf? You can even get giant animals in stories – Clifford the Big Red Dog is exactly that – big and red! What a combo. Wordworm’s activity this month involves researching a fairy tale or folk story involving a giant – and reimagining the story from the giant’s perspective. How does the world look through their eyes, and from their enormous height? Are they sick of being the bad guys? We can’t wait to read your stories; get scribbling, here. 

Build a Newspaper Tower

Remember when you were younger and you’d make a tower out of Duplo/LEGO? That was pretty easy, right? Now, how about making one out of newspaper? Yes, light and flimsy newspaper. Oh, and with few additional materials to help you AND on a strict time limit? Not so easy now, huh?! Well, no, you’ve made that quite tricky actually. Mean! Ed. This is your chance to play at being a structural engineer. It will take a lot of thought to make the most successful tower. Real engineers must think about all kinds of variables when designing towers and skyscrapers. Wind is a huge consideration – how can you ensure stability against a hurricane (or in this case, a hairdryer)? Get thinking, over here. 

Walk a Tall Building

Speaking of tall buildings – it can be hard to appreciate quite how big they really are. Take the Eiffel Tower in Paris, for example. This enormous structure is 330 m tall – can you guess how many steps there are from top to bottom? 704! How about the Empire State Building in New York City? It’s
380 m tall and has 1,860 steps! Shanghai Tower in China is a whopping 632 m tall and – you guessed it – the number of steps is large – 3,157! The biggest tower in the world, however, is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It’s so humungous it has been classified as MEGATALL. Standing tall (understatement of the century, ed) at 830 m, it takes 58.45 seconds to reach the top by elevator! For this activity you’ll need an accompanying adult and plenty of open space – you’re going to walk the building’s height! 

Aheilner, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Create an Optical Illusion

Optical illusions are SO FUN – and if you really think about it, they’re kind of bonkers (so right up an AQUILAnaut’s street then, ed). The very idea that our own brains can be tricked into thinking they’re seeing something that they’re not? That’s bizarre! At present, there are three recognised primary types of optical illusions: literal illusions, cognitive illusions, and physiological illusions. A literal illusion is when two images are composed to appear to look like a single image – you will see one image at first, and then the second part will become apparent. Have you ever seen those images that seem to move? They can be highly colourful and made of pattern, or involve one black and white spiral that seems to move towards the middle of the page. By staring at the central dot in the middle, the movement will stop. That’s a physiological illusion. These occur when your brain is overstimulated by the high and low contrast elements. ‘Cognitive illusion’ is a term for several different types of illusions. Ultimately, these happen when our perception of something is altered because of ideas in our subconscious. This activity will involve you creating one of these! Become a photograph trickster, here!

Dennis Sylvester Hurd, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Supersize Me!

Let’s see how big-headed you are! This activity involves a helper shining a torch at your head and having another helper trace your profile onto paper. Why? To make a giant evil headshot of yourself, of course! Oh of course, makes sense, ed. This is a great opportunity to turn yourself into a giant, and if you’re honest with yourself, you have probably wondered what a supersized you looks like. Will you be a kind, gentle giant? Or will you be giving off scary ‘gonna-eat-ya’ vibes? We can’t wait to find out! Get drawing, here.

If this selection of Awesome Activities seems like supersized fun to you, then why not subscribe to AQUILA today!

Words: Jennifer Newton-Brown