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Around The Arts

January 18, 2014

Let creativity flow with unstructured art projects

(Continued)

Looking around the house, particularly at this moment, there are so many reusable materials. So, I grabbed a box, which recently housed a present, wrapped it in some craft paper and filled it with abstract materials. I threw in everything from scraps of used wrapping paper and bows, to an oats canister and other recyclables, and even some broken items that can be given a new life. Add in some glitter, glue, scissors and other basic supplies, and my daughter now has a “free-form” arts box.

Though we’ve only officially had the box for a few days, it’s been a real hit with her. She loves to dig through the box and tell me the different ways she can use the supplies inside. I really love the byproducts of her hard work. And, without a set of rules, you really never know what you’re going to get. I love the floor plan of our home, which she made out of paper scraps and ribbons; it shows me how she sees her world. 

I’ve found myself pushing her Lego building sets to the back of her closet and moving her giant box of generic, no-specific-project Legos to the front; keeping art kit contents in zip bags, but recycling their glossy covers (which, in addition to removing the visual of an ideal end product, is also space saving — BONUS!); and leaving the box of “free-form” art supplies in the middle of the playroom.

In the end, I’d rather have her working with her hands and mind rather than watching television or playing video games — whether it’s with a structured kit or random supplies. So, bring on the glitter glue and sticker mosaics. I can’t think of a better way to spend free time … and the long-term benefits can’t be beat!

June Dzialo is the marketing director for The Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown. Column ideas and questions may be sent to aroundthearts@gmail.com. For more Around the Arts columns, visit www.thedailystar.com/aroundthearts.

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