In Part Two of the workshop, Sculpture Tools and Imaginary Worlds, the children were each given two abstract wooden people, a box with doors and lots of collage materials. I worked with a few children at a time to help them create furniture, gardens, windows and embellishments for their people. The children were encouraged to use their imaginations and to improvise. Once they completed work on their houses, the teachers helped each child to write a simple story. The children's creation were included in a preschool art event for families at Caroline Elementary School. Sculpture Tools and Imaginary Worlds was funded by a Red & Gold grant from the Ithaca Public Education Initiative.
Preschool Art Project
In the spring of 2015 in collaboration with the PreK classroom teachers at Caroline Elementary School, I received a Red & Gold grant from the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI) to teach the workshop, Sculpture Tools and Imaginary Worlds. Part One of the workshop focused on sculpture tools. I brought in my toolbox, demonstrated how some basic hand tools work, created a series of photographs of the tools and then worked with each child to show them how to use clamps, socket wrenches, wingnuts and tape measures.
Treasure boxes can be made from almost any kind of box, such as shoe boxes, tea boxes or anything with a lid. The three dimensional quality of a box gives kids a great surface for experimenting with collage. A child might be inspired to collect treasures to keep in it once it is done. This collection can consist of all kinds of things that a child might find interesting--pebbles, bottle caps, stamps, trinkets, beads, just to name a few.
There is no such thing as a right or wrong way to make a valentine. Making valentines is a great way to let someone know you care about them. They are also a fun way to explore color, shape, texture and material. Lots of things can be used to make valentines: wrapping paper, construction paper, ribbons, doilies, scrap paper, tissue paper and anything else that you think might work.
This variation of making ice ornaments uses snow as a casting mold. Casting ice ornaments in snow introduces young children to some of the basic principles that are used in casting sculpture. Casting is a process used by artists who work with materials such as glass, cement, ceramics and metal. For this method of making ice ornaments, the mold is created by carving out a shape in the snow and lining the shape with either aluminum foil or a plastic bag. Lining the shape is necessary to prevent the water from soaking into the snow. Kids can experiment with the shape, size and depth of the snow mold.
Making ice ornaments is a perfect snow day activity to do with young children. Made from common household materials, they are fun, easy, and inexpensive. They can be made with almost any container that can hold water including recycled plastic, milk jugs, bags, balloons, cups, bowls, ice cube trays, and more. Ice ornaments are a great opportunity for young kids to learn about color, light, mass, volume and the way water turns into ice. Experiment and enjoy!