Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Shape Stabiles

What is a stabile??  Well, it's very much like a mobile, except that it doesn't hang from the ceiling, it stands by itself.   I had no idea of this until I read THIS post over at TeachKidsArt.  I loved this idea, and knew I could make it work for the different abilities of my two kids. 

The idea is this:  Cut some shapes out of coloured paper (they need to be folded double so you can stick the pipe cleaner in the middle), stick the pipe cleaner into the middle and then stick the pipe cleaner in some syrofoam or florists foam to create a sculpture.

I elected to use white paper and have the kids colour it, instead of using coloured paper.  I wanted to add a step that the little guy would be able to do.  With him I cut out the shape, he named it, and then he coloured it (woohoo, an impromptu lesson on shapes).  My big girl was able to do the cutting & colouring unassisted, and was able to be more creative with what shapes she made. 

My little guy loved the gluing - but we had a hard time getting only to stick what he was supposed to be sticking, lol.  It was good practice though, and he enjoyed it.

After the the pipe cleaners were glued to the paper shapes we had some pretty "flowers" which were carefully arranged in the styrofoam (which I had cut & put in an old apple sauce tub).  Again, the little one needed more help (mostly with getting it to balance), but my big girl used her imagination to twist & twirl the pipe cleaners to make the arrangement pretty and balanced.

And then we had some beautiful stabile sculptures, the little guy insisted they were "pretty flowers" and kept smelling them - very sweet

Once we were done with the creation I talked to the kids a bit about Alexander Calder, the creator of the mobile & stabile.  We looked up some of his other creations, and watched a clip of possibly his most famous work Le Cirque Calder on Youtube.  We love learning about Art & Artists, so this was a nice addition to our list of artists we've been inspired by.

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