FOR TODDLERS 

 

Rocks  
What makes a good rock? Take a look at the rocks outside. Your small human may pick up a rock. They might carry one in each hand. They might sort the rocks into piles or in a line. To find a good rock, follow your small human’s cues (with an eye on safe exploring) and let them lead the way.  

Sticks
A stick is an important tool. A stick can help us balance while we walk. A stick can help us point. A stick can help us explore the ground. To find a good stick, follow your small human’s cues (with an eye on safe exploring) and let them lead the way.  

 

FOR CHILDREN OF ALL AGES / ADVENTUROUS ADULTS 

 

Nature Sculpture
Create sculptures from nature wherever you explore today.  Use leaves, pine needles, branches, rocks, flowers. Think about arrangement, balance, color, and texture. Leave your sculpture behind as a gift for someone else to discover. 

 

Tree Sculpture
Begin by observing trees through your window or while on a walk. Go online and research exotic trees from around the world. Make notes of your tree ideas in words, thoughts, doodles, or sketches. Now create a tree sculpture using materials found around your house and the outdoors. Explore color, size, and texture, and experiment! Your tree can be something you’ve seen in your neighborhood or in your dreams. Don’t be afraid to take it apart and put it back together several times until you’re satisfied. When you’re finished, take a photo and send it to a loved one! 

 

Sound Sculpture
Begin by closing your eyes and LISTENING. What do you hear? Are the noises human, mechanical, or from nature? Now create a sound sculpture with everyday bits from inside or outside your home. Search out washers, mystery keys, even pencils. Hunt down old shoelaces, ribbon, or skeins of yarn. What makes sounds from the recycling bin? From the boxes of seasonal decorations? Assemble your sculpture, thinking about what sounds the different elements make when they encounter each other. What sounds do they make if you touch them with your hand? Or with a stick? What if they a blown by a fan? Explore noises and sound textures. Experiment. Take a video of your finished sculpture and share with a loved one. 

 

Shadow Art
Begin by looking at the shadows around you. Are they created by the sun, moon, or electric light? Notice how shadows can stretch and shrink. Now create shadow art with everyday bits from inside or outside your home. What shadows can a cookie cooling rack cast? A branch outside? What happens when you shine a light on your favorite toy or lovie? What happens to light and shadows on your stairs? Can you interrupt that light by holding a wrapping paper roll or other long object in the light’s path? Experiment with creating unexpected shadows, moving shadows, and playful shadows! 

 

Pattern Art
Create an artwork of patterns with items from inside or outside your home by looking for patterns of color, texture, and shape. If working with color, pick 1, 2, or more colors and limit yourself to using just those colors. If working with texture, try alternating between hard, soft, rough, and/or smooth. Plan on paper or doodle inspirations. Bonus: create a pattern challenge for a friend. Share the ideas and the results via video chat and see how they interpret your idea. 

 

Patterns at Home 
Clothing, bedding, wallpaper, and architectural elements found in our homes are often covered with shapes, colors, and lines that form patterns. Partner with a family member or work on your own to see how many you can find in your house, paying close attention to how patterns are used both structurally and decoratively. Be inspired by what you discover and make a drawing of something found in a house, using repetition. 

 

Patterns in Nature 
Go for a nature walk and look for the patterns that populate the great outdoors. Insects, leaves, flowers, and seeds are all covered with patterning of different kinds, for both protective and decorative reasons. Record what you find in your nature journal or collect examples to make a pattern-based collage. 

 

Mirrors and Metals 
Play at home with mirrors and reflections, using the surfaces to bend and reflect light. Arrange two, three, four, or more mirrors and see how people and objects are reflected in them. What happens when you use aluminum foil or other metal objects instead of mirrors? How does light behave differently with dull versus shiny metals?  

 

Reflections in Nature 
Where else can you find reflections in your world? Spend a day searching for reflections all around you. Look in both natural and built environments.  

 

Drawing with String 
Brighten up a family space or bedroom this winter with your own Sheila Pepe-inspired string sculpture! Install hooks (3M Command hooks are easily removable) or use bed posts, curtain hooks, bannisters, etc. and some colorful string to create a drawing in space. Invite family members or people living in your house to contribute–and watch your sculpture grow over time! 
 
Votive Sculptures 
Connect to loved ones through sculpture and create “votives” using recycled household materials in honor of an important person or idea in your life. Find a quiet spot to display them and perhaps invite others to help create a collection. Learn more about your family by asking them to tell a story about their sculpture and who or what it honors. 

 

Moving Sculpture 
Build a wind-driven sculpture at home! Look for found objects from around the house, considering the weight, surface area, sound, and look of each item. Experiment with how objects move through air using a variety of tools, such as wind, fans, and gravity. Challenge yourself to see how many kinds of movement you can generate using different kinds of air! 

 

Paper Planes 
Paper airplanes are a creative way to combine air and design—try engineering different types and see how far they can travel. Have a competition with a friend online or work together with a family member to build a large one. How big can you go? Where can you launch it from?