Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reusing Art: Putting out the fire!

I love to do little projects with my son and I love to be creative. I don't love how wasteful doing crafty projects can become. Is it terrible that I wince every time I do a project with a group of kids and know that when they get home that art might get displayed for a bit and then will eventually be thrown in the trash (or hopefully the recycling bin)?

My goal over the past year or so is to reuse before I recycle. One of my favorite things to reuse is googly eyes. I love em and can't stand it when people throw them away! You'll see me plucking the googly eyes off every piece of artwork in our house before it hits the trash. Masterpieces can easily be cut up into small shapes and little scraps instead of being thrown in the recycling bin- perfect for collages, homemade memory games, paper mosaic projects, etc. What are some other ways that you reuse crafty projects or materials? What do you do with the projects that come from school or that you create at home? I always snap a photo before I dismantle them :)    

Today's project was an example of one of our attempts to reuse art. First, we gathered the oldest pieces of art from our gallery. Then my little guy explained that he wanted to do a fire truck project.

I drew a fire truck on the back of a favorite piece of art (Fire truck inspiration here). I drew it backwards so that when I turned the project around, it was the way I wanted it to be.

Next, I cut it out.

While we revisited this previous art experience and talked about how fun it was to do can painting, I cut small shapes out of our skyscrapers.

While I cut, he named off the different shapes that he knew... and then once I finished cutting each "surprise" shape, he told me what shape it was and we talked about how many sides it had. We did hexagons, octagons, pentagons, triangles, diamonds, circles, rectangles, and squares. Btw, my stop sign from yesterday's paint chip bus is totally an octagon... not a hexagon. Doh!  

Once we were done cutting shapes, we pulled out a large piece of paper that we used to do car painting earlier today and my little guy drew a line for a road. Then he started gluing the shapes and fire truck on the road.

Next, we added some more felt floor protector wheels. They are so cool to touch and feel... so I love using them!

We also added a popsicle stick/toothpick ladder. These were not reused... though I'm not opposed to re-using popsicle sticks (as long as they are washed!!).

The little dude was pretty pleased with his creation and needed to add fire with his pencil (I'm loving this new look he is sporting :))... and then he covered the pencil lines with red and orange paint.

This ended up being a masterpiece created by masterpieces!

And you know what is the best part? This one little piece of artwork is a representation of several shared experiences that he and I had together. This was a great language experience as well. Each component can be used to jog my little guy's memory and help him remember a moment we had together, a skill he learned, or a new word he was exposed to that day. Once his memory is jogged... we can talk- A LOT!

Sometimes I totally think a craft is a craft and it was just something to do that was fun and cute... but I love it when a project becomes a bonding experience where my little guy and I can work together and learn from one another and strengthen our relationship.

Who knew a little firetruck project could do all of that? :)

1 comment:

  1. Another option is to mail it away - see if your church has a list of people who are housebound, or call a nursing home. I suppose the recipients might throw it away, but at least they'll know someone's thinking of them.


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