Ages: 6-8, 9-12
Skills: Physical, Thinking
What you'll need:
Building box sculptures is a useful group activity because it engages not only physical skills but social skills as well. Kids use physical skills to build and paint the sculpture. They use social skills in negotiating what the sculpture will be and acting cooperatively to build it.
Assist with gathering or preparing materials to build the sculpture: mixing paint, cutting paper, finding yarn and so on.
What to do:
Divide the children into small groups. Then, one group at a time, gather the children around a box. Lead a discussion about the possibilities of what the box might become. Accept all answers: a wedding cake, a castle, a skyscraper, a haunted house -- whatever the children come up with. Use chart paper and a marker to make a list of all the items suggested; make a simple representational drawing beside each one.
Then ask the children to decide what the box will become and to let you know how they plan to make it. Encourage the children to work together to decide what the box sculpture will be and to devise a plan to make it. Remind them that the more they work as a team, the better the outcome of the sculpture will be.
If you're doing this activity at a birthday party, you may want to make it a contest. Give children an allotted time frame to build their sculpture. When their time is up, have an objective adult (a friend or neighbor) be the judge. The judge may pick a winner and then award the other sculptures with honors such as, "most colorful" "most creative," or "most humorous."