Are you ready for a project that kept my 4 year old engaged for over 45 minutes? I thought that might get your attention. Time to make Pipe Cleaner Sculptures!
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE PIPE CLEANER SCULPTURES
AREAS OF DEVELOPMENT ENHANCED MAKING PIPE CLEANER SCULPTURES
fine motor development
HOW TO MAKE PIPE CLEANER SCULPTURES
I love projects that are open-ended allowing each child to approach the materials with their own creativity and point of view. Because of the fine motor skills needed to make the sculptures this project is best for ages 2 and up. You will need pipe cleaners in a variety of colors and pieces of styrofoam at least one inch thick. I always save the styrofoam that comes in packages, but you can also purchase them from Amazon. Cut the styrofoam into rectangles about 6 inches long. Give each child a piece of styrofoam and a variety of pipe cleaners. Show the children how you can stick a pipe cleaner into the styrofoam. That’s it! Let them explore the materials on their own. It is fascinating to watch the different ways children will approach the exact same materials.
When speaking to children about their artwork focus on what you see. “I see red pipe cleaners sticking straight up and yellow ones on the side. Look how many pipe cleaners you used!” “Look at the way you used blue pipe cleaners to make curvy pieces. I can see you worked very hard to attach the pipe cleaners to the styrofoam.” Statements like these allow children the opportunity to speak about their own work. By simply saying to my son, Quinn, “Look at all those pipe cleaners sticking straight up!” he told me a story about how the pipe cleaners were wires that were attached to a broken television. If I had said “I like your porcupine” the conversation would not have occurred because I would have imposed my own point of view on Quinn rather than honoring his vision.
This is a wonderful project for a multi-age group as each child can approach the materials at his own level. Have fun with your little artists!