Kaleidoscope designs" in markers and colored pencils.
Sculptures that don't use glue or adhesives.....but notches that fit into
other. These can probably be large (kid-height)..paint them first crazy
designs and then notch and assemble.
Never tried it but I think it will work.
Sure it will work. And can be done at any age with various size ranges and
materials---from recycled playing cards to matboard to fomecore scraps to
Most of my middle school students enjoyed designing "playground equipment"
with these. (unfortunately never managed to convince anyone that some of
these these would have been worth actually making in useable size.....) and
the little ones had a ball with "re-making" my samples plus the ones I
rescued from the wastebasket, inevitably. We used them as extra time
The most interesting shapes came from starting with an assortment of not
quite square rectangles and then allowing them to modify the shapes and add
new complementary shapes. Rounding all corners to a greater or lesser
radius also made for interesting effects. We had an assortment of scraps of
fome core (used mat board scraps another time)--both from an accomodating
You do need to be careful about sizing the notches so the pieces will fit
snugly. I usually recommended no more than three notches per piece (for
strength) but this would vary with size and material. Making the notches a
variety of depths and in different positions on the rectangles made for more
interesting joining angles. Challenge them to discover and make note of
what effect these differences have--and to predict the results.
I tried to emphasize the three dimensionality of this project by insisting
that it had to look good from all directions--and upside down--but they
could choose the aspect they preferred to have it evaluated from.
They can be painted before or after, but after makes for a more coordinated
result as a rule. Hint: they may want to very lightly number corresponding
notches--or they may never get it back the same way if they disassemble
them for easier painting.
While still unpainted these made great drawing studies for light and shadow
and some rather tentative attempts at what was often a very unconventional
perspective. Even some of the older Jr Hi kids got involved.
Some of these rested on desks; others were hung from the ceiling. Several
combined theirs. Still others later swapped pieces and made new
Must admit, I had just as much fun making these as they did...