Stone Age Craft – How to make a Paper Axe


Today we have a slightly more educational post for you. New Scientist Live, the ground-breaking four-day festival of science is returning at London’s ExCeL Centre between 28th September – 1st October 2017.

The event will feature a range of fun and interactive stands that the whole family can enjoy. I got to speak with event organiser Mike Sherard, who told me all about the exciting exhibitions on offer, ranging from the Hug a Bug petting zoo to the Star Wars themed talk!

Inspired by the Stone Age Stories workshop, I also have a fantastic Stone Age Craft to share with you – How to make a Paper Mache Axe! The fun craft is a great way to get the kids interested in Science, and would complement any Stone Age based curriculum activity.

For more information on the event, take a look at the website here:

Make use of our special discount code, for 10% off show tickets across the four day event. Enter REDTED10 at check out.

Q&A with Mike Sherard about how Family Friendly the New Scientist Live Event is:

How important do you think it is to get kids involved in and excited by science?

In a word, crucial. Science has been around since the beginning of time (an extremely large BANG!), and will continue to influence us ad infinitum. So much of what we do, see hear etc is influenced by science. And, as importantly for our younger generation, there are hugely significant worldwide economic considerations and we really want our younger generations to be involved

What is the ideal age group to attend this event? And are there suitable exhibits for younger children too?

8-80! Sounds flippant, but science is for all. And the show does cater for all ages, and indeed, all levels of scientific understanding. From PHD to year 4 children.

Is one day enough to visit what looks like an amazing exhibition? There is so much to look at…

For sure, if you only have 1 day spare then the show will offer you a full day of entertainment. But the beauty of the event is that you could also happily fill 4 days with experiences, talks and exhibits

Tudor Treasures sounds like such an exciting blend of science and history. What period of history would you be most excited to visit if you could?

I really like where we are, as the speed of change is quite breathless. But if I were to go back in time, I would love to see Olde England under Henry VIII

There is a whole art class dedicated to the mole rat, what makes them so interesting for scientists?

According to our Content Director, the most amazing mammal in the world is the naked mole rat. Not only is it super long lived, it is the only mammal with a reproductive queen, like ants and bees. Also: it doesn’t get cancer. We have a live colony of these extraordinary beasts at the show.

If families are short on time, what should families absolutely “NOT MISS” at the event?

Goodness, what a question! There is so much to see, across so many different areas. I would recommend that visitors check the website and personalize their visit to suit their interests. But maybe the Planetarium, Science Village fete, Detective project, Star Wars, Bloodhound Car, Hug a Bug, Robot Zone, Loco-motion (VR experience)… We have professors and celebrities speaking too.

What is the best way to prep for your visit to get the most out of the day?

The website is the best as it offers all experiences and speakers, but also there will be a number of guides in New Scientist magazine that might help-or contact us direct and we’d be happy to help!

Stone Age Stories offers the chance to make your own stone tool. How are your flintknapping skills? What will you be making at the workshop?

My skills, to the best of my knowledge, are non-existent. I have not tried yet so am looking forward to this having a go this year.

Which speaker are you most excited about having at the event?

Crikey! There are 130 to choose from and all are excellent! There are a number of obvious choices here-the three astronauts are a real feature (Tim Peake, Helen Sharman and Al Worden span over 50 decades of space travel and are all on stage at the same time). Another highlight will be Michelle Dougherty talking about the Cassini project-the probe hits Saturn on September 15th so there will be a huge number of fresh photos to show at our event.

If your younger self were attending this event, what would you be most excited to see?

We have a live link with the International Space Station on Friday afternoon. It’s a real honour to have been selected as the venue for this. That excites! But also, I would like to do all the above plus go on the Gliding simulator, have my DNA tested, get a 3D selfie, build a drone and sit in the BT Sports studio.

I hope Mike has indeed inspired you to find out more about the event, as well as attend. I think it sounds like a brilliant event to help fuel children’s enthusiasm for science. It is so very versatile, that EVERYONE will find something that will interest them.

The Stone Age inspired craft

MATERIALS For your Stone Age Axe inspired craft you will need

  • Newspaper
  • Masking tape
  • Paper Mache paste (home made or shop bought).
  • Paint
  • Scissors
  • Household Twine/string

How to make a Stone Age Axe KS2 School Project

Take 4 large sheets of newspaper and scrunch them up along the longer length to make your long wooden handle shape. Secure with masking tape in a few places and then paper mache thin strips of newspaper along the length. You need 3-4 layers. Leave to dry over night.

Scrunch 3-4 sheets of newspaper into balls and tape together with masking tape to make a rough stone axe head shape. Take strips of newspaper dipped in paper mache paste and wrap them around the scrunched newspaper. Use the wet stripes to help shape your axe head. Again you will need 3-4 layers. Leave to dry over night.

Using very sharp scissors cut down the middle of one end of your axe handle (you may need an adult to help you with this). Cut it long enough for your axe head to slot down in-between AND have some axe handle sticking up above.

Take some more strips and wrap them around the cut parts of the handle.

Slot the paper mache axe head in place. Squeeze the two pieces of handle together and secure in place by wrapping some more paper ache strips around it. You may need to add some more newspaper stripes just underneath the axe head to hide and cut marks and neaten the handle. Leave to dry completely.

When dry you can paint your axe and add house hold twine to finish it off.

Small branches from the garden are great for propping up the axe whilst it dries and can make it easier to paint all the way around the handle.

Find out more about the New Scientist Live Event on their website.

The event is at Excel London from 28th September 2017 – 1st October 2017.

The festival of ideas will feature five immersive zones: Cosmos, Earth, Humans, Technology, and Engineering.

There will be speakers ranging from Time Peake to Margaret Atwood and a range of whacky and informative interactive exhibitions for all the family to enjoy.

Ticket prices range from £26 for a standard adult day ticket to £78 for a four-day pass, with concessions and group tickets available. Full ticket price information here.

And don’t forget our exclusive discount code offering 10% off show tickets across the four-day event. Enter REDTED10 at check out.