Creative Ideas, Inspiration & Competition Entries

This page showcases some of the extraordinary entries for our VE75 Day competition and other creative activities. These can be done at home as a family or support topic work in school.

Use #FrontRoomFieldTrips to link to creative activities from Cornish Museums.

VE Day Competition Gallery

We had so many amazing competition entries to celebrate VE Day. Here are just a few!

Creative Challenges

Fancy some inspiration for activities at home or school?

Make an Outfit for a teddy bear
Make an outfit for a teddy bear

Why not have a go at some of these creative challenges, inspired by Dig for Victory, VE Day and Make Do & Mend?

Make an outfit for a toy

Bake a Union Jack Cake

Grown yer’ own Radishes

‘Re-grow’ a lettuce from scraps!

Learn how to grow some spuds without a garden

Create some nature art

Make a wearable plane from a cardboard box

Cultivate a crazy cress head!

Make an Outfit for a teddy bear

Make a miniature Union Jack outfit for a toy

This challenge is from Lara, who won the 11+ category of our VE Day competition.

What You’ll Need: old leggings, scissors, needle and thread, piece of paper, pins, red and white felt.

How to make:

  1. Firstly, cut a pair of leggings at the end of the leg because you will need the cuff for the waistband to stop the trousers falling down.
  2. Cut along the legs up to the top of their legs. Turn them inside out. Then, using a needle and thread do a running stitch up the legs making sure to go over it again and going right up to the crotch. Then turn it the right way in again.
  3. Cut another piece of material from the leg of the leggings and cut armholes.
  4. Use a sheet of paper to cut out a union flag template.  This will make it easier to cut out the felt afterwards. You will need to cut out a slightly larger white and a slightly smaller red so the white is visible underneath.
  5. Use pins to hold down the cross whilst you gently stitch on the cross. This bit is very fiddly and difficult so be careful.
  6. You now have a Union Jack outfit for a toy!
  7. You can make lots of small clothes and animals from old material like worn out socks and small leggings.
Union Jack Sponge Cake

Amelia’s Union Jack Sponge Cake

This recipe for a delicious Sponge cake is from Amelia, age 10.

Ingredients

Sponge cake:

8oz butter or margarine

8oz caster sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons of baking powder

8oz self-raising flour

Decoration:

Double cream

3 tablespoons of icing sugar (optional)

Strawberries (sliced), raspberries & blueberries

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 180ºC.
  • Grease and line a square-shaped tin with greaseproof paper.
  • Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder. Mix well.
  • Turn the mixture into your greased tin. Smooth the top.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. To check that your cake is cooked, insert a skewer and it should come out clean.
  • Turn your cake out of the tin and let it cool.
  • Use an electric mixer to whisk up the cream. Add the icing sugar (if you would like to sweeten it up!) and mix again.
  • Cover the top of your cake with the cream.
  • Create a cross using your strawberries.
  • Make a diagonal cross using raspberries.
  • Create triangles using blueberries, making sure to leave white spaces like a  Union Jack.

    Making the sponge cake
    Making the sponge cake
Growing yer own!

Grow Yer' Radishes!

In the Second World War those on the Home Front grew Victory Gardens to help with food shortages and support the war effort. Growing vegetables as a family can be just as rewarding today and you don't need a huge space to grow them in.

Radishes are one of the easiest and fastest growing vegetables that you can grow. The first sprouts appear in just a few days and they will be ready in less than a month. Radishes grow through summer and autumn and are ideal for container and windowsill planting. Children will love pulling these crunchy red vegetables up from the ground too!

What you’ll need:

  • Gardening gloves
  • Radish seeds
  • Trowel
  • Compost if growing in a container

What you do:

  1. Radishes can be sown straight where they are going to grow, so make sure that the soil is weed free. You could also plant them in a container instead.
  2. Make some holes in the soil which are 10mm deep. The rows should be spaced about 15cm apart although spacing can depend on the type of radish. Check the seed packet to confirm.
  3. If the soil is dry, water before sowing and allow the hole to drain. Sprinkle the seed in thinly along the holes about 2cm apart and cover up with soil. If the plants are crowded when they are growing then thin them out.
  4. Keep your radishes well watered.
  5. Harvest your radishes as you need them and add to salads.

    How to Grow Radishes
    Radishes

 

Grow yer Own Lettuce

Growing lettuce indoors

Unlike today when we can buy most fruit and vegetables throughout the year, during the war years there were definite seasons when these were available.

This indoor grown lettuce uses food scraps just as people would have done during the Second World War and is fast growing.

What you’ll need:

  • Lettuce stalk (reused from a meal). Cos lettuce is especially fast growing.
  • Deep dish
  • Water
  • Sunlight

Instructions:

  • Cleanly chop the stalk of the lettuce with a knife so that around 3 centimetres of its height remains.
  • Put 1.5 – 2 centimetres of water in a dish.
  • Place the stalk end of the lettuce into the dish of water so that it’s standing upright and not floating.
  • Put the dish in a sunny place like a window sill.
  • Talk about the changes you notice as the lettuce grows. As a family you could predict it’s growth and make comparisons. 
  • Change the water every few days to keep the dish clean.
  • After around 15 days you will have grown enough for a small salad or for a sandwich!

    Grow a lettuce from scraps!
    Grow a lettuce from scraps!
Dig For Victory Poster

Dig for Victory family challenge

Grow Yer Own Potatoes!

Potatoes were a favourite crop in Victory Gardens during the war years. Potato Pete was a character who was created to encourage children to eat more vegetables during the Second World War. He and Doctor Carrot, appeared in most recipes as they could be easily grown. They even had their own songs! The Ministry of Food included potatoes in milk pudding, scone and sandwich spread recipes amongst many others.

Growing potatoes in a bag or container

What you’ll need:

  • Compost
  • Seed potatoes (potatoes that are growing sprouts at home are fine)
  • Egg carton
  • A heavy duty bag or container for growing. Possibilities include a rubbish or shopping bag (something like the type used for recycling in Cornwall are ideal), clean plastic tub or rubbish bin.

What to do:

  1. Chit your potatoes to get them started. This means putting the seed potatoes in an egg carton in a dry, cool, light spot. Chitting helps the potatoes sprout until they are ready for planting.
  2. Prepare your potato bags by cutting holes in the bottom of them. If you have chosen a container, then this will also need drainage holes for watering. Put your potato bag in a sunny spot where it will get around 8 hours of sunlight a day.
  3. Place the potatoes on a bed of 7 centimetres of soil with the sprouts facing up near the bottom of the bag. Depending on the size of your growing bag or container and to avoid overcrowding, plant around three plants. Evenly space these.
  4. Cover the potatoes with at least 6 centimetres of soil so they are not exposed to daylight. This will help the sprouts start growing. The plants will then come through the soil.
  5. Once the potato plant gets to around 15 centimetres above the ground, carefully add soil to the bag or container to cover it. Repeat all the way up to the top of the bag or container.
  6. To harvest, simply tip over your bag or container on its side and pick out your crop. Enjoy!
    Chit Potatoes
    Chit Potatoes
    Plant Out
    Plant Out

    Dig 'em up!
    Dig ’em up!
Children's Art Week

CONNECTING ACROSS GENERATIONS – PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

This intergenerational resource was created for Children’s Art Week (29 June – 19 July 2020) by artist Felicity Tattersall.

Learn about military mother Mrs Keveth from St Breward on Bodmin Moor and her connection to Queen Victoria while trying some free and collaborative drawing activities and exploring colour. Download the resource here: Past, Present and Future – Children’s Art Week

This activity has been supported by Engage.  Children’s Art Week is run by Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education and supported in 2020 by Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and Arts Council of Wales and The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust. 

make a wearable plane from a cardboard box

Make a wearable plane

This challenge is from Dylan, who won the 6 - 10 year category of our VE Day competition. Dylan wanted to share his plane so has written these instructions.

What you’ll need:

A large square box (one that you can fit in), another box similar in size (for the tail, wings and propeller), a small box for the nose of the plane, glue gun, paint (crayons, pencils or markers for smaller areas of decoration), ruler, pencil, scissors, a box cutter and a split pin.

How to make: 

  1. Cut a large square at the top and bottom of the large square box to make the box that you will fit in.
  2. Cut a medium sized hole where the tail of the plane will go. Cut a slit to fit the wings on each side.
  3. Using the side of the other box roll a length of cardboard in a loose cone shape to form the tail, leaving extra on the wider end as flaps to attach to the main body/cockpit.
  4. Cut four wing shapes all the same size and glue two together to form one strengthened wing for each side, leaving flaps again to secure to the body through the slits made. To secure the wings tightly, roll a length of cardboard to prop between the wing and main body of the plane and secure.
  5. Measure and cut tail wing shapes. Cut into the tail piece of cardboard and attach in place.
  6. For the front of the plane use the smallest box for the nose and secure to the cockpit.
  7. To make the propeller and engine casing, cut out a circle of cardboard smaller than the nose, then cut a strip of card to fit 90 degrees around the edge of the circle to make a 3D shape. 
  8. Cut out a propeller shape and attach to the front of the circle using a split pin. Next, attach to the front nose of the plane.
  9. Decorate using paints, crayons or markers. Happy flying!What you'll need: A large square box (one that you can fit in), another box similar in size (for the tail, wings and propeller), a small box for the nose of the plane, glue gun, paint (crayons, pencils or markers for smaller areas of decoration), ruler, pencil, scissors, a box cutter and a split pin. How to Make:  Cut a large square at the top and bottom of the large square box to make the box that you will fit in. Cut a medium sized hole where the tail of the plane will go. Cut a slit to fit the wings on each side. Using the side of the other box roll a length of cardboard in a loose cone shape to form the tail, leaving extra on the wider end as flaps to attach to the main body/cockpit. Cut four wing shapes all the same size and glue two together to form one strengthened wing for each side, leaving flaps again to secure to the body through the slits made. To secure the wings tightly, roll a length of cardboard to prop between the wing and main body of the plane and secure. Measure and cut tail wing shapes. Cut into the tail piece of cardboard and attach in place. For the front of the plane use the smallest box for the nose and secure to the cockpit. To make the propeller and engine casing, cut out a circle of cardboard smaller than the nose, then cut a strip of card to fit 90 degrees around the edge of the circle to make a 3D shape.  Cut out a propeller shape and attach to the front of the circle using a split pin. Next, attach to the front nose of the plane. Decorate using paints, crayons or markers. Happy flying!

Make a plane from a cardboard box: Step 1

Make a plane from a cardboard box: Step 3

 

Cress Head Creative Challenge

Cress head challenge

During the Second World War, Abram Games designed posters for the 'Dig for Victory' campaign. This encouraged people to grow their own food rather than relying on imports that took up vital shipping space.

Why not plant some quick growing cress with the family? Have your own Dig for Victory style competition to see who’s cress is ready to add to a sandwich or salad first!

What you’ll need to grow a cress head:

  • Cress seeds (you can buy these from a garden centre or supermarket)
  • Egg shells, plastic cup, empty yoghurt container or small pot (for growing your cress head depending on your preference)
  • Paints, markers, wiggly eyes and glue for decorating your cress head container
  • Kitchen roll
  • Cotton woolHow to make a Cresshead:
    1. Decorate an empty yoghurt pot, egg shell, jam jar or small pot using paints, markers or wiggly eyes. Paint or draw a face on whatever you choose to plant the cress in, so that when it grows, it looks like green hair.
    2. Put some wet some kitchen roll in the bottom of your cress head.
    3. Wet some cotton wool and place on top of the kitchen roll. Leave a 3 cm gap between the cotton wool and the top of the eggshell or pot.
    4. Even spread cress seeds onto the wet cotton wool and press them down gently with your finger.
    5. Put the cress head in a warm, light place, like the windowsill.
    6. Spray the seeds with a little water every day, to keep the cotton wool moist.
    7. Watch your cress grow, which should take 7 – 10 days. Once your cress has grown to about 10 cm high, chop it and add to a sandwich or salad. Enjoy!
      Egg Cress Head
      Egg Cress Head

      Minion Cress Head
      Minion Cress Head