reapplying materials over their existing work. If a
child wants a portion to be saved, then you should
protect and respect that portion as much as possible.
One idea could be covering the area to be saved
Children love to create, especially when there
are materials on hand, readily available for them
to use. Have a box of recycled items, such as paper
towel tubes, small boxes (the size of pudding or gra-
nola bars), and egg cartons, handy for whenever a
quick project is needed. A roll of masking tape can
be kept right in the box for quick access as well.
A box sculpture
The most wonderful thing about doing a group
box sculpture is that it is a child-led community-
building activity. It gives children the opportunity
to make decisions about how to paint and design
the project. A group box sculpture is also a good
opportunity to help children develop their under
standing of what it means to work together: to
creatively and cohesively decide on how to work
together and how to gain a mutual understanding.
It’s possible that your group box sculpture will start
off in one direction and end up as something totally
different—which is half the fun!
creative and authentic art 59
Example One: House Sculpture
When doing a theme unit about families, we decided
to make a classroom house. The project started with
one big box, several smaller boxes, and paper towel
tubes. The project took several days. On day one, we
built the structure. We started with several colors of
masking tape and glue. The children went straight
for the tape and began taping right onto the boxes.
They then began connecting the boxes, which was
a good starting point to get the children involved
as a group and to make the structure stable. As it
got bigger and more elaborate, an adult stood by,
ready to help as needed. It was amazing to hear
the children’s language while observing them and
to watch their plans unfold throughout the entire
process. That evening, I retaped any loose parts and
added glue for strength, knowing the next stage of
building was approaching.
Day two consisted of painting. We offered the
children a variety of paints, brushes, and rollers
and allowed them to paint as they desired. On day
three, we offered the children the tape again and
Cray-Pas. By now, of course, they had taken com-
plete ownership of the project. Some children had
their own ideas about what to add, and others just
plain enjoyed adding their parts while exploring
the materials. One child discovered while coloring
the sides of the box that the walls needed “wall
paper” and asked for paper. What a great idea! I
gave her paper, and she colored it and then taped
it to the side of the house sculpture.
Then, for another two days the house sculp-
ture and the remaining materials were available
for those still interested to continue working on it.
Finally, I cut out photos of each child and placed
them on the outside of the house sculpture, com-
pleting our classroom community! Documentation
panels were created with the children’s language
and their photos taken during the house-sculpture-
making process, and these were hung over the
house sculpture for the families to enjoy. It was a
great beginning project!