I am not sure I ever thought the day would come when I’d hand one of my kids a hot glue gun and sit back and take pictures but it did and look at the results! Inspired by Kandinsky’s Squares with Concentric Circles, this recycled project of Kandinsky Circles was a big hit with my 6-year-old who took the responsibility of using a hot glue gun very seriously.
One of my goals with my son right now is for him to take his time with school work and having a project that forces him to slow down and pay attention is a great way to practice this without nagging. Our glue gun is not a low-temperature one. You can purchase low-temperature glue guns so your younger kids can do this project safely and under supervision. We made sure my daughter was napping so that she wouldn’t want to “help” us. This was a big kid only project at our house.
- Gather your materials. You will need a hot glue gun and extra glue sticks, jar lids and bottle tops in various colors and sizes, and a card board box lid (ours is a gift box from Christmas that lost it’s mate to an overzealous gift opener). We also used a plastic plate and cutting board.
- Start by warming up your glue gun. Then having your child practice squeezing out the glue, holding the gun properly and avoiding the hot glue. He was so careful.
- Lay out your first set of circles. He decided on 2 rows of 3.
- Flip over and add the glue. Be careful not to touch the glue through the lid even through the lid it can get hot!
- Keep gluing adding layers and layers of lids. I think this project really made him feel special and grown up. He knew his sister could NOT do this and that really made him feel proud and encouraged him to take special care choosing which lids would look the best. I just like watching him take his time creating.
- I thought we were done but he wanted to add a big glob of glue on each stack. This actually took a great deal of control and worked on his hand eye coordination skills. There is always layers of learning in a project hiding under the fun.
- Let dry and display. Ours has proudly been above our TV for days.
You don’t have to live within walking distance of one of the world’s best museums to expose your kids to art. You just need a few great books. These picture books about art are a wonderful place to start. Check out our post about art books for kids here.
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Hesse are beautiful. I did a variety of Kandinsky inspired art with my students, using construction paper, pastels and paint. This will bring a wonderful three dimensional extension to that. When I use hot glue with kids I have them keep a small bowl of hot water at hand so that if they get glue on their fingers they can plunge them into the cold water right away. Thank you for sharing this idea.
I’ve never been brave enough to use a hot glue gun with my students but after reading this I may try it. I’ve done Kandinsky circles in class, but not three-dimensional but I’m inspired now.
Love it and love that you let your son use “grown up” tools. A lot of parents wouldn’t try it (me not being one of them). Kids are so capable, something parents tend to forget. And the finished product is cool.
Rebekah @ The Golden Gleam says
I love this idea! Great way to incorporate math into art. Now, I need to start start saving my bottle/jar caps.
What a great idea to encourage his growing independence! AND totally a recycling (and recyclable) project-love it! Right on mom.
Jennifer Fischer says
I absolutely love this activity! It is so wonderful. I cannot wait until my oldest is old enough (he is 3.5) to safely do this. We love using lids and milk caps for all sorts of things and this is brilliant!