In case you didn't know, May is National Heritage Month. We love this year's theme, dubbed as "Pamilya Para Sa Pamana." After all, where better to start the preservation of our country's history and cultural heritage but with the family.
The National Commission for Culture and The Arts (NCCA) gets props for coming up with a unique way to tap into the kids' creativity and help them learn about their heritage along the way. The project is the NCCA's Paper Craft Series, an easy crafting activity you can do with your kid. All you need to do is print out the patterns, and then cut, fold, and glue them together to create your own mini-replica of three known symbols of the Filipino's history and culture.
First is the Rizal Monument, our national hero's statue in Luneta which stands as a reminder of our strength as a nation. (Download the pattern here.)
Second is the Manila Metropolitan Theater, Filipino talent in the arts and is currently undergoing restoration to continue to be a symbol the Pinoy's talent in the arts. (Download the pattern here.)
And third is the Banaue Rice Terraces, a 2,000-year-old UNESCO World Heritage site--proof of the Filipinos' ingenuity. (Download the pattern here.)
I wanted to try the paper craft with my 11-year-old son to see the level of difficulty. He chose chose to do the Banaue Rice Terraces. Mind you, the only part I played in this was to print and cut out the pieces.
Here's the final output. Not bad, if you ask me.
The projected outcome (left) from NCCA's official Instagram vs. an 11-year-old's actual finished project
Here are some tips based on our experience: 1 Choose thick paper. If the paper is too thin, the project will not hold up. But paper too thick would make it hard to fold the paper properly. 2 Be careful which lines you cut and fold. It would have been easier if the lines that need to be folded are broken lines versus solid lines that need to be cut. 3 While doing the project, share some facts about the sites. At my son's age, he had already been studying about Filipino history, so instead of just lecturing him about it, I asked if he remembers his lessons. I also try to inject some trivia about it, like how I was able to visit the rice terraces when I was in grade school. (I also promised that I would take him there one day.) I have faith that he'd remember these tidbits of information because of this hands-on project. 4 Don't forget to have fun! Focus on the activity and not the finished project. Sure, we may have ripped a few parts (there's always glue), and his folds may be a bit crooked (even if I asked him to use a plastic card to keep them straight). He even put his own touch to it by placing the kubo on a different spot. Though to be fair, he did figure out on his own that he should have put it on top, so it would be on stones and not on a rice paddy--he didn’t want move it because it’s glued already. The point is he finished the project, he had fun, and he learned a few things while he was at it.
When I asked my son if he wanted to do another project, he asked for a pass, and that's okay. I figured, we'll do the other two on other days leading up to the schoolyear. The NCCA promised to release more paper craft projects in the future, so we're looking forward to making more of these. Yes, we--he likened it to K-zone's Foldabots, so he's game.