Monday, January 24, 2011

Recycled Shoe Boxes (Engage a Mind…Save Creativity!)

OK, this is going to be a controversial but I think it’s high time that teachers start learning to develop their art curriculum. We need to ask ourselves, how good can children feel about themselves when all the projects in the classrooms walls are identical? Imagine a teacher holding up a model of a project that they are going to make and a child thinking to himself “Mine will never look like that, how I can glue those ears in place? Mine always look uneven; will the other children laugh at my art work?” The art activity (a craft to me) has not yet begun and now the child feels inadequate. Their individual creativity has been compromised and we helped lower a sense of self worth! Such crafts produce results “pleasing to adults” rather than the child. Unfortunately, this is seen in some of our current early childhood classrooms and homes.


Let’s all try is to awaken a child’s creative potential through the use of recyclable and re purposed “open ended” materials. Shoe boxes and three golf balls brought so much laughter and learning in our classroom yesterday and today. The children could not get enough of the fun activity that I went through all my closets looking for shoe boxes. As we were having lunch today the children asked me to write a letter to their parents asking for “BIG shoe boxes”.

The letter reads as follows:

Dear Mommy and Dada,

Please look all around the house for big shoe boxes. Dada’s have bigger feet than mommy’s. We will need them for Casa Maria. We LOVE golf ball painting and Ms. Maria run out of boxes. We will need them when we go to school. Pretty please?


  1. Beautiful! I love the glittery, shiny paint! We are going to have an "art show" at school soon and these would be perfect! I'm bookmarking this idea! :) Thanks for being an eco-junkie!

  2. You are welcome. I plan to post an update on our shoe box wall tomorrow.Imagine a big wall of shiny , glittery art.

  3. I love your "statement of purpose" at the beginning of this post! You have such a wonderful gift to share with early childhood folks!


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