Recycled Art: Teaching 2 and 3 Dimensional Art

As most of you know, we love recycled art. We are part of an on-going series featuring anything and everything recycled. This month our focus is on styrofoam. We created a DIY Activity Cube for Super B (9 months), we made a snow castle used for pretend play and storytelling, and we used styrofoam to learn about 2 and 3 dimensional art.

Creating Sculptures with StyrofoamThis recycled art project was so much fun. Both Legoman (8) and Bones (6) enjoyed stretching their imagination, problem solving, and creating new and unique art with their styrofoam.

Setting Up the Recycled Art Lesson

Recycled Art Teaching 2 dimensional sculpturesI kept the instructions and the set-up simple.

All you need is:

  • Styrofoam Pieces of Varying Sizes
  • Construction Paper
  • Glue

I presented the boys with baskets of random shaped styrofoam that we had collected. They were allowed to look at the materials but they were not allowed to start building. {Ahead of time, I cut out shapes that resembled the bases of the styrofoam pieces.}

Presenting a Recycled Art Challenge

Plan out a 3 dimensional art piece using only 2 dimensional pieces of paper.

You can look but not touch.

You have to place your shapes on your paper before testing your design.

You can rebuild your structure, but you have to go back to the 2 dimensional “drawing board” first.

Both boys struggled for a minute, then it was a challenge accepted. They moved their shapes around, compared them to the faces and bases of the styrofoam.

Building with StyrofoamThey both had successes and failures. What is important is the learning that took place.

Problem Solving

Spatial Reasoning

Comparing/Contrasting 3 Dimensional Shapes



The list goes on….

Once they were satisfied with their design they could glue their shapes on to their construction paper.

Learning Through Recycled Art

Now, I do not know if you know this about Legoman, but he LOVES anything that deals with robots. So, it was no surprise that he figured out a way to make a robot sculpture.

It took several attempts.
He had to plan out the shapes, test his blueprint, find the mistakes, and do the whole process over again.

I think the finished product was well worth the problem solving and trials.

Learning through Recycled ArtWhat do you think?

What skills do you see being developed in this lesson? I would love to know!

Follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestInstagram or subscribe by email. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.

Want more Recycled Art and Learning Projects?

DIY Activity CubeRecycled Love MobileCardboard City


Discover how to get siblings to get along even when all they do is annoy each other with the Sibling “Get Along” Poster Pack!

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