For Reggio Emilia Wednesday (which we actually completed here yesterday on Tuesday), we have something that is really more of a craft versus an actual fine arts project...but since it was completely conceived by my sons to do this project, it actually falls somewhere in the middle.
They were not given any direct instructions of what their project should look like or how to weave the pipe cleaners back and forth.
They have done many Montessori style weaving projects as handwork in our home and for those sorts of works, the technique of actually weaving by going in and out in some sort of orderly fashion is important (process), in order to end up with an actual woven piece of cloth (product).
But for this, as is true with many Reggio Emilia projects, the main focus was on the process...namely, the process of using and experimenting with pipe cleaners on a new medium, the piece of bath mats. The boys were able to not only decide freely how they were going to integrate the bath mat pieces and the pipe cleaners but also as to the size and shape and orientation of the pipe cleaners and the bath mat pieces.
They were not given instructions insofar as "here is a work for you to try to replicate a particular animal"...
Instead, it was left totally open ended with them in the lead trying different techniques with the pipe cleaners as they saw fit.
There was not a control of error for this, as there normally would be if it was a Montessori work...they were just allowed to play and enjoy the freedom of doing whatever it was that they felt like making with the pipe cleaners...
Both ways of using pipe cleaners provide a child with the opportunity to develop skills...
Both ways offer a child a way to practice fine motor skills and practical life skills (handwork)...
But, keeping it open ended allowed them to work on visual-spatial skills, higher order thinking, creative expression, and metacognition.
When we started the day, both seemed to show an interest in the large quantity of pipe cleaners that we happened to have in our home...we have an ample supply of pipe cleaners, as the boys had recently picked out packs of them in the Target Dollar section recently...
We also happened to have some scraps from a bath tub mat that had big enough holes in it to poke the pipe cleaners through the holes.
Big Bro got the idea to make "a coral reef as well as a sea monster and sea monster hair"
They really enjoyed bending the pipe cleaners, trying out different configurations, and seeing how the pipe cleaners worked with the bath mat pieces.
All in all, they had a great time making their creations.
They have done more organized crafty projects using pipe cleaners, such as making actual pipe cleaner animals. We have purchased several of the Martha Stewart pipe cleaner animal kits in the past and used them to not only make pipe cleaner animals but also to be the base for wet felted animals, too...
The pipe cleaner kits from Martha Stewart make wonderful shelf work for our Montessori mornings, as the kits have a built in control of error in that you can only make something based on the pieces that you have and instructions are provided that a child can use to compare and contrast how they made their work versus how the kit suggests it to be made.
There are loads of neat pipe cleaner projects that might be of interest to your family if your child enjoys using pipe cleaners like my boys do here...
Here is a list of links to some great pipe cleaner projects:
Martha Stewart Pipe Cleaner Creatures
Squidoo Pipe Cleaner Crafts - Fun Activities for Kids
Pipe Cleaner Fun as Part of Playdough Playtime by Not Just Cute
Dr. Seuss Pipe Cleaner Fun by Wendy Piersall
Now, for Today's Whole Lotta Love Giveaway - Giveaway #2: Pipe Cleaner Fun Prize Pack
Giveaway ran from 1/19/11 thru 2/2/11. this giveaway has now ended and the winner has been contacted.
I was not asked by anyone to do a pipe cleaner giveaway. This is just something that I thought would be fun, as it is something that my boys have enjoyed doing so I thought that your family would like it too.
This giveaway has ended and comments for this post are now closed.