Art and sculpture projects for children
"Children are born with a sense of wonder – their eyes alert to the world’s beauty and their bodies longing to explore and move," says Dr Sandra Duncan, a teacher with over 45 years of experience in early care and education, in her foreword to Wonder Art Workshop by Sally Haughey.
"It is unfortunate, with the passage of time, that children’s eyes turn dim, their bodies become still – and their inquisitive minds grow quiet. Rather than directing their attention to the colourful butterfly floating across the azure sky, young children’s attention is more focused on one-dimensional objects appearing on the television or computer screen. Rather than experiencing the feeling of mud or manipulating clay in a hundred different ways, they are experiencing plastic molded and single-use toys with no visual or kinesthetic textures. Instead of being mesmerised by how paint flows and drips on the paper, they are memorising the letters of the alphabet.
"It is time to bring back wonder into young children’s hearts and lives – to put aside the worksheets, the plastic toys, and the paper plate art project where the teddy bears with googly eyes all look exactly the same.
"It’s time to abandon traditional classroom arts and crafts projects that are more interested in a tangible output or replicated end product, which in most instances means every child’s work looks pretty much the same as everyone else’s."
Help your child develop their artistic skills with these hands-on, play-based sculpture activities, which start with art but lead into creative investigations of other subjects, including science and literacy. The author's wonder-based approach reflects and synthesises several child-centered educational movements, including Montessori.
Make a CD spaceship
Mix art, design and children's desire to understand the universe around them and help them put together their ideal spacecraft.
Make a loose parts sculpture
What natural materials will your child choose to turn their clay into a sculptural object? Will they recreate a forest, a sea-scape or a rocky landscape?
Make a tube sculpture
Tube sculptures are an art form that children can change, adapt, improve and deconstruct as they wish (and you're likely to have plenty of kitchen and loo roll tubes available to keep them stocked with materials!).
More art and sculpture ideas for children
If you've enjoyed this extract from Wonder Art Workshop by Sally Haughey (£16.99, Quarry Books), invest in the book for another 22 activities that let your child take the lead in developing their own sense of intrinsic motivation to imagine, experiment, and discover.