Friday, September 10, 2010

Creative Thinking Inspires Children's Engineering Abilities

The simplest materials often stimulate the most creative thinking! This summer Line Sculptures filled DCM's Studio for an entire week with colorful abstract designs, representational pictures and inspirational feats of engineering. "Inspirational" materials included paper strips of varying widths, scissors, glue sticks and small rectangular papers on which to work. A few hints on how to shape paper with accordion folds, spiral, curls and pop-up designs were all that excited visitors needed to get going.*

Children of all ages and abilities bring their unique level of skills and vision when basic materials are provided for open-ended activities. The smaller bases offered for our Line Sculptures encouraged preschoolers, who like to work flat, build up into the third dimension. Older children created engineering playgrounds, buildings and gardens, figuring out how to put wider strips at the bottom to support decorative elements on top. Designs and creativity are boundless when you keep it simple!

*One tip: Strips of wrapping paper bring fun sparks of pattern to designs.

This week's post is written by Marcia Z. MacRae, Interdisciplinary Arts Specialist for DuPage Children's Museum.

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