I cleaned out our art cupboard on Saturday night (I know… I am such a party animal!) and I found a huge tangled mess of pipe cleaners shoved in a box. There were too many and they were too good to even consider throwing them out, but I had no idea what we could do with a mangled heap of pipe cleaners… so I did what any other person would do, I shoved them back in the box, and chucked it on the top shelf.
Yesterday afternoon we picked up a package from the post office. It wasn’t an exciting package, unless you think new water pumps are cool, but it came with lots of styrofoam packaging in different sized pieces. Again I thought it was too good to throw away, but I had no idea what to do with it, so I was shoving it up on the top shelf when I saw the box of pipe cleaners and I had an idea…
Lets make 3D foam and pipe cleaner sculptures!
What We Used:
- styrofoam chunks in various shapes and sizes.
- pipe cleaners
Later on I thought of some other things I wished we had included – packing peanuts, markers or paint would have been fun too.
I love an activity that only involves me dumping a whole lot of supplies in the middle of the table and then the kids do the rest.
This activity was great for the variety of ages we have too.
Noah, who is three, made abstract pieces and worked his fine motor skills poking pipe cleaners into foam and threading them with beads, buttons and sequins.
Morgan, who is six, was busy working out how to engineer his sculpture so that the pipe cleaner would support a roof and walls.
Zoe and Izzy, who are ten, both made people and then built various structures around them. Later, Izzy created letters and words too.
We had lots of fun with these ‘left over’ materials. It’s amazing to see what my kids can create with just a few bits and pieces!
We still have some pipe cleaners left… what would you do with them?
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Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
This looks like a great activity on many levels, and lots of fun, but what I am really interested in is what do you do with all their creations once the making is over?
Ah that is a really good question!
Considering a bang on about children’s art being all about the ‘process not the product’ I try to remind myself of that when it comes to deal with their creations!
On this occasion I let them choose one each to keep, and the rest we pulled apart so we could use the items another day. Right now the ones they have chosen to keep are on shelves in their bedrooms, but they only have limited shelf space so eventually they will have to choose whether they want to keep them, or recycle them.
Yes, I was having the ‘process not the product’ talk with myself and my girls today. We all have a lot if trouble letting go…
My kids are much better at it than I am! LOL
Maybe I need to write a whole blog post on this topic… there are other things you can do so you don’t have to let go completely. Take a photo of it is an easy one!
Christie - Childhood 101 says
Love this idea, you clever mama!
Love this idea. We always have a box of beads and pipe cleaners on the go as they are great for threading. Also pipe cleaners and straws and Sellotape provide ours of fun for my three.