This is yet another kids art activity that I have to thank MaryAnn Kohl for. It not only comes from her book, Scribble Art (my fave of her 20 something books), but she also gave me the materials for it when I met her last year at an early childhood education conference (they were leftovers from a session she was giving).
Here's how we made the wire sculptures:
We started with our bag of materials (thanks, MaryAnn!):
- pipe cleaners (regular wire would work, too, of course)
- Foam blocks (I think she said these were cut from cheap foam insulation bought at the hardware store)
We stuck the pipe cleaners in our foam block (the base of our sculptures), bending some, curling some, and adding beads and buttons to others.
I showed Maia how to coil a pipe cleaner around her finger for a curlicue, sculptural effect.
And Daphne? Daphne LOVED this project! I hate to admit this, but I still underestimate her sometimes and find myself thinking of her as the tagalong for a big kid art project.
I've GOT to stop doing that. Clearly. Yes, she's a toddler (2 1/2 next week), and yes, she's at a different developmental stage than Maia (now 6 1/2), but she can get as much or more out of many of these art activities as her older sister.
Daphne concentrated so very carefully while pushing the pipe cleaners into the foam and she even strung beads and buttons onto the pipe cleaners. (She also concentrated carefully while unstringing each bead and button, and ultimately pulling each pipe cleaner back out of the foam…)
Once Daphne had fully deconstructed her own wire sculpture, she sat and watched Maia, providing commentary and encouragement. "That's beautiful, Maia."
Here Maia is inserting buttons into a foam block (after first making slits with a butter knife) as wheels for one of her trains.
And here's one of the finished wire sculptures—a train.
My default art activity is two dimensional, whether drawing, painting, collage, or suncatcher. I need to remember how much fun we have with these three dimensional art projects!
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