A few weeks ago in my Spring Break art camp, I created this giant recycled egg carton village by gluing almost 50 egg cartons into a huge box. My art students loved this process art collaboration because there were no rules (other than don’t splatter paint on people) and they could really use their imaginations to develop this colorful landscape.
Open ended, group art projects are such a fantastic way to get a multi-age classroom working together. And when the scale is so big, it adds another level of excitement and energy!
Supplies needed for Giant Egg Carton Village:
~ Egg cartons (I used between 45 and 50)
~ Giant box (ours was from an IKEA sofa)
~ Elmer’s glue
~ Tempera paints
~ Small materials to glue inside (I forgot to take a photo of this table, so here’s what I used: pom-poms, cut up straws, craft sticks, melty beads, crumpled paper balls, bottle tops, pasta, mini cupcake liners)
How to make a giant recycled egg carton village:
1. Glue the egg cartons into the box. I used regular Elmer’s glue and let it dry overnight. I had to trim some of the egg cartons to make them fit at the end.
2. Mix your paint colors, adding a little white to the colors to make them more opaque.
3. Spread the paint jars around the table. You can also do this on the floor or outside. I pushed two tables together which is why it’s so big.
4. Let them paint!
5. When you feel as if they are getting tired of painting (there are a LOT of mountains and valleys), then bring out the collage materials and the glue.
Once they started to glue little things into their village, it took on a life of its own. They started to refer to it as a “circus” or “volcano valley”. Once their imaginations took off, they could have worked on this for days.
These types of open-ended projects – where they are using skills they already have and just basically playing with the materials – are the best for kind for stretching their imaginations and sharing ideas. Sometimes they walk away and take a break, but then get pulled back in by a word they hear or an excited art student’s creative discovery.
I could have watched them work for days!
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