What is an invitation?
Invitations are arts and crafts, engineering, or science set-ups that invite young children to flex their minds while encouraging independent thinking through open-ended exploration.
Once the materials are set up, the child can play with and manipulate the materials in whatever way he or she desires. Hands-off, parents. Unless it's unsafe, let them play. To put it simply, set up a limited number of interesting materials, and see what your child comes up with. This should be fun and easy for you as a parent!
7 BUILDING IDEAS FOR SUMMER ART & PLAY
#1 Marshmallows and Toothpicks
Build three dimensional structures using mini marshmallows and toothpicks. Add some larger marshmallows into the mix for variety. It’s been done with grapes and toothpicks too, but grapes are more expensive than marshmallows!
We consider collage to be a building activity because of all the layering that can take place. The set-up is easy. Anything that can be cut and glued. Along with glue and scissors. Set out a select number of INTERESTING items: construction paper, scrapbook paper, tissue paper, wrapping paper, aluminum foil, magazines, newspaper, fabric scraps, ribbons, etc.
Also, select a BASE for your collage. We like to use something sturdy, like cardboard or foam core.
#5 Recycled Boats
Don't throw that stuff away! Cereal boxes, two liter bottles, kleenex boxes (pictured here)...they all make GREAT construction materials! One of our favorite things to build are boats that we can float in the creek (or in the bathtub).
#7 Natural Clay
Natural clay is an incredible building material because it becomes warm and slippery in your hands the more you work with it. Add water to join pieces or if it begins to dry out. You can let your clay dry if you want to keep what you make, or simply seal it up tightly for use another time.
Content inspired by the artists and art created in our studio.
Orange Easel began as a small art studio in my basement and continues to grow and serve our community. Read more about our story here.