I set a creative challenge for my children, it was to create a character( or creature) that could stand up without any assistance. My children selected all of the materials they thought might be useful for this challenge – lots of recycled materials as well as craft supplies. When it comes to art, it is all about the process, not the product. The process for this challenge meant obstacles had to be overcome, solutions needed to be found, mistakes were made, perseverance was required as well as a good dose of patience in order to complete this challenge. I really enjoyed seeing my older two children experiment with different ideas to try and turn their vision for their creations into a reality. Their willingness to not give up meant that in the end we had some special pieces that taught us really valuable lessons, such as learning through trial and error.
I was happy to provide more materials for this challenge than we normally use. I wanted my children to experiment with different resources to inspire their creative thinking (many of these pieces were in our recycling box. I removed them from the box and set them out so it was easier to see what was available).
Photo below: the materials included – wool, paper cups, mini plastic cups, pipe cleaners, bottle tops, little goblets from our $2 shop, matchboxes, feathers, beads, sponges, corks, ornament caps, party favour boxes, foil stickers, straws and cardboard lids.
we also had flowers, felt pieces and buttons available.
The first part of this task involved choosing the materials. This required careful consideration – something that could be supported by the legs of the person or character.
Miss Seven chose the pieces she wanted to use to create a girl. The first item Miss Seven chose was the legs (two plastic goblets) for her girl (which she named Sally). Then the body (party favour box) was chosen – it needed to be lightweight. Initially, Miss Seven attempted to glue the goblets to the party favour box. She quickly realised this was not going to work . So we discussed other options. How could we get the goblet legs to stick to the body? My husband suggested cutting a slit into the party favour box and then pushing the bottom of the goblets through the slit. Then we talked about the fact that we would need something in place to secure the goblets so that the box did not slide down. In the end, we found a solution (after some trial and error) – wrapping a pipe cleaner around each of the goblets to hold the party favour box to the top of each leg and preventing the spotty box from sliding down.
For the head Miss Seven chose a container which she covered (on the outside) in yellow felt. This was glued onto the party favour box. Miss Seven has recently learned to plait (on my Cabbage patch doll I had when I was about her age). So Miss Seven was very keen to incorporate plaited hair into her creation. Miss Seven went back to our craft cupboard to see if there was anything else she could plait with and asked if she could plait different coloured craft fuzz. Well, there was only one way to find out! Turns out it worked out really well. The final touch was to add a flower to the girl’s hair.
Master Five was keen to make a robot from the outset and he made up his mind early on in the piece that a sponge was going to be used for the body. Master Five quickly found out that glue was not the best solution for securing the sponge to any of the other pieces. So together we brainstormed other possibilities. In the end he decided he needed some kind of hook to secure his pieces together. The only thing I could think of was a paper clip. So I straightened out a few paper clips and they did the job. Daddy helped Master Five put one end of a paper clip into each cork (the legs of the robot) and the other end into the sponge (the body). A straightened out paper clip was also used to fix the matchbox head to the sponge. The next problem was that the robot did not balance with the cork legs, so a solution needed to be found. Master Five tried a few options (for example, adding another cork and placing each cork on a matchbox). In the end he hit upon an idea that worked when he placed each cork on a little plastic container.
A free standing robot:
Miss Seven and I also made a little bird from a cardbaord tube (which was the body) and some corks (for the legs). By now we knew the straightened out paper clip trick to hold the corks together.
Miss Three was very clever and also made a robot (with the exception of the face which she asked her older sister to complete). Miss Three chose to use a sponge for the head and a party favour box for the body. The three buttons that are so neatly lined up at the bottom were not originally placed there. Miss Three had those randomly “stuck” to the body of her robot, but the body was lathered with so much glue that they slid down into their new position.
Our wonderful collection of 3D creations: