Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is a favorite holiday story for the young and old alike! Help your child create long-lasting Christmas memories with this charming sculpture activity. Your young learner will work with wire, learn about line and form, and mold with clay as he models this life like reindeer sculpture.
This reindeer wire sculpture will not only help your child learn about artistic concepts and processes, but will also develop valuable skills such as problem solving, creative thinking, and spatial awareness. Try this activity as it is, or translate it into a more abstract art project.
What You Do:
- Discuss the concept of sculpture with your child. This conversation should include ideas such as space, form, and line. It may be very helpful to view a real life sculpture. Try visiting a museum, or look for a public sculpture to view. Remind your child that a sculpture is not flat, and can be viewed from all angles (back, front, etc.).
- Cut at least one long piece of wire, making sure that the wire is not too long for your child to work with. Remind your child to be careful when handling the wire because of its sharp edges. If you are concerned that your child may poke or cut himself on the ends of the wire, try wrapping some masking tape and clay around the edges.
- Have your child begin bending the wire; he will start by creating an armature to support the sculpture. Introduce this word to him, explaining that it refers to the framework around which a sculpture is built, similar to a person’s skeleton.
- Encourage your child to move the wire into shapes, such as a circle for the head. This can be done by bending the wire in half, and then bending the wire under the small circle to form a neck.
- Your child can also sculpt the front legs, and the body. You may need to cut a second piece of wire to create the reindeer's back legs.
- After the entire armature has been created, your child should begin layering clay on top. Encourage him to cover all of the visible wire.
- Invite him to add on extra details and painted features, such as ears, eyes, a tail, and a bright red nose!
- Have your child place the reindeer on the wooden base with all four legs down, or in any desired action pose. The reindeer will not be able to stand on its own. Ask your child to use clay at the bottom of the legs to secure the reindeer.
- If your child wishes to add further decoration, invite him to paint the base his favorite holiday color.
This Rudolph wire sculpture makes a great holiday adornment in your family's living room or as a centerpiece on the dining room table.
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.