Octopus Sculpture Activity

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Updated on Oct 8, 2012

This creative art project lets kids explore the wonder of sea creatures while putting their ingenuity and problem solving skills to use. Put together an imaginative found object sculpture in the shape of a cheerful octopus. You may be tempted to go out and buy materials for this activity, but don't: the element of chance is a crucial part of this project, and it's what makes each sculpture one of a kind. Get the kids together and go on a scavenger hunt around the house for objects and materials you can recycle and reuse to create a entirely unique, made-by-you octopus.

What You Need:

  • Found objects from around the house such as empty milk jugs, soda bottles, cereal boxes, paper towel tubes or fabric scraps (look for objects you could use to make an octopus)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Tempera paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Glitter (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Lay all of the found obejcts out on your work surface and talk to your child about how to fit them together to create an octopus. You may need to cut some of the objects to make them work. For a head, you could use an empty milk jug with the bottom cut off. For tentacles, your could use paper towel or toilet paper tubes taped together, old socks filled with newspaper, or long scraps of fabric. Encourage him to think creatively and try to find imaginative uses for the objects he has.
  2. Once he figures out how to create his octopus, help him assemble it using glue and tape. Remember that this is a creative, free-form activity; your octopus' appearance and construction depends on the objects you have at hand.
  3. Now that the octopus is constructed, help him paint it using the tempera paint. Encourage him to paint eyes and patterns on the octopus's skin.
  4. Set aside to dry.

Your octopus is complete! Display on a shelf or table for the whole family to enjoy.

Erica Loop has a MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

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