Encouraging creative kids by making crafts with egg cartons

We eat a lot of eggs at our house so always have a few in our recycle bin so when Rachelle at Tinkerlab challenged us to get our creative juices flowing and create something out of an egg carton, we jumped at the challenge.  "The purpose of the challenge is to help children learn to trust their own ideas, build creative confidence, and envision new purposes for common objects".  So I took this challenge and tried to have the kids direct their own learning/idea. They created a dinosaur and a parrot. Using a Reggio approach to the activity I documented our craft below.

encourage kids to be creative and make egg carton crafts dinosaur and parrot

To begin the activity, I brought out 2 egg cartons, some paint, tape, glue, foam shapes, stickers, paper, and some feathers and set them in front of the kiddos. I asked them: "What do you think we could make"
J: "I don't know, what do we do?"
Me: "What would you like to make?"
J: " A dinosaur, ROOAAARRR!"
Me: "Ok, sure you can do that, here is your stuff, go ahead and make it"
J: "But how?"
Me:"Well where is his head?",(J points), "Where is his teeth?" (J opens it up, and points)"Where is his eyes?"
J: "I don't know, he needs eyes"
Me:"Ok, so can you make some eyes?"
J: "Yeah!"
So J cut out some eyes and then painted and added foam shapes to make his dinosaur!

Paint an egg carton to make a dinosaur

So once J got started I asked C "What do you want to make?"
C: "I want to make a parrot"
Me: "Ok go ahead"
And then off she went.  She started cutting and announced what each part was as she cut it out.  "This is the eyes", "This is his nose", etc. She laid it all out on the table.  And then I asked her " So how are we going to put this together?"
C:"I need paper"
Me:"ok here is some paper, how are you going to put it together?"
She tries to stand up the paper but it wouldn't stand up, she tries to bend the paper but soon starts to get frustrated.  So I suggested that we turn the paper into a tube and see if that works.  She likes that and continues on.
C: "I can do it, mom" (her favorite phrase right now!)
She then continues on and cuts "feathers" from paper and then glues them on, adds some real feathers and then pretty much finishes the rest independently (she needed a little help taping the eyes on so they would stick)

egg carton craft add glue and paint to make a parrot

C:"Look mom, it's like blue bird"
Me:"Oh, it's like the bird in RIO"
C:"Yeah it's RIO" (We've been watching the movie RIO, it's one of their favorites right now.)

egg carton craft make a dinosaur

make a craft with egg cartons make a parrot

And there you have it a parrot and a dinosaur (which both have tails, lol).  I'm so glad I let them guide the activity, as it was much more meaningful to them then if I would have come to them with a preconceived outcome and process.  They both saw the egg carton differently.  J saw it as a whole object (a dinosaur) that was missing parts, and C saw the egg carton solely as parts or pieces that she could deconstruct to make something with.  By allowing them to create their own plan for their craft I allowed them to trust and build confidence in their own ideas instead of just learning how to follow directions.  Man, they are getting so creative!!

Kids craft make a dinosaur and a parrot from an egg carton
Here the dinosaur is trying to eat the parrot...yikes!

So are you up for the challenge??  What can YOU make with egg cartons?
Link up below.

Craft for kids make a parrot and a dinosaur out of egg cartons

Tinkerlab egg carton challenge

Other participating bloggers:
Inspiration Laboratories,Kitchen Counter Chronicles,Living At The Whiteheads Zoo,Make, Do & Friend,Mama Mia's heart2heart,
Messy Kids,NurtureStore,PlayDrMom,Rainy Day Mum,Red Ted Art,Sun Hats & Wellie Boots,Teach Preschool,The Chocolate Muffin Tree ,The Educators' Spin On It ,The Golden Gleam,The Imagination Tree,Toddler Approved,Reading Confetti,Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers,The Outlaw Mom Blog, HappyLittleMesses, RainbowsWithinReach,Mommy Labs,Child Central Station,Green Owl Art,
Reusecrafts,Experimenting-Mom,Duck Duck Octopus,PaintCutPaste,Train Up a Child,Growing A Jeweled Rose ,Coffee Cups and Crayons,Ready. Set. Read!,Scribble Doodle and Draw,Carrots Are Orange,JDaniel4's Mom, Quirky Momma,A Mom With A Lesson Plan,Good Long Road,Two2Read

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