My two kiddos have been working for two weeks on their projects for our Homeschool Co-op Science/Geography/Arts Fair. Although I admit to doing all of the hot gluing, the kids learned about their birds, their habitats, and nests, gathered all of the materials, and did all of the work themselves. I gave ideas here and there and provided necessities, but each day they worked on an aspect of their projects and finished them yesterday. They were proud of their work and I was proud of how hard they worked.
It's hard to see what amount of work really went into their dioramas at just a glance. They had to learn each bird's habitat and recreate it. Then they had to learn how each type of bird makes their nest, locate the materials (in the freezing cold weather), and make the nests. Eli's is actually grasses and weeds held together completely by mud, lined with string, pieces of cloth, and more grass. Brynne's included very specific layers that cardinals use, including a bed of leaves and pieces of bark. They learned what each bird's eggs look like and made them out of play dough. Then they appropriately colored their birds.
Today was the big day. They proudly displayed their bird habitat dioramas.
Parents, grandparents, etc., voted on the projects that were divided by subject and grade level. Eli and Brynne were in the same age category, which was Grades 3-5. I considered putting Brynne in the K-2 grade level, since she is only seven, but since her and Eli do all third grade work, I kept her with Eli in the 3-5 grade level. And, as typically happens with us, one of them won something and the other didn't. Brynne won "Most Creative" in her age category. Both kids received a participation certificate.
I was very proud of both of them for working hard and participating in something new.