Bags, bowls and boxes. Illustration: Bernhard Förth
While I was growing up, we always had a junk box. This was a huge, white cardboard box that had previously been used to house White Horse whisky. We kept it in the utility room next to the kitchen.
In the box, there was all sorts of packaging:
egg cartons, cereal boxes, yogurt pots and, of course, cardboard toilet
roll tubes. And whenever we felt the need to make a rocket or a dolls'
house or a car for the cat, the junk box would be plundered.
The haul would then be painted and decorated and stuck together, presented for praise and allowed to be displayed on the sideboard until it had gathered a thick layer of dust. And then it would quietly disappear.
So, of course, I also collected packaging for my children so that they could do arts and crafts. (It is a tragedy that there is no English verb for basteln!)
The after-school club
where my kids went also put out a call for any old rubbish
so that the children could make things. I sent my old plastic bottles,
empty tins, tubes, cartons and jars off with the children. I did this
religiously, glad that my rubbish would be recycled. Until, that is, I realized that I wasn't really getting rid of
my rubbish. I was accumulating even more rubbish.
Although I sent it all away to the after-school club, the children would bring it back — Albeit painted, decorated and with other people's rubbish stuck to it!
Do you hoard old packaging like I used to? But more importantly, do you know what the different types of packaging are called? Is
it a "pack of biscuits" or a "packet of biscuits"?
You can find out
what kind of food comes in which container on the beautifully
illustrated Vocabulary page in the June Spotlight. To give you a taste of what you can learn on that page, try our exercise on the next page.
I thought to tinker is English for basteln.
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