In the Program Room today we are celebrating Frank Lloyd Wright’s Birthday with a Building with Froebel Blocks activity and a Geometric Stained Glass art experience. If you’re unable to visit the museum, see our tips for play below and the activity included to involve your little one in the celebration at home!
Looking at Art with your Child:
Look at images of Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings and the decorative elements of his buildings with your child. Discuss the shapes, lines, and colors that you observe together. Encourage curiosity by asking open-ended questions i.e. What do you see? What do you like or dislike about the buildings? Who do you think lives inside each of the buildings?
Activity 1: Froebel Blocks
Froebel Blocks refer to gifts used in the Froebel system of kindergarten introduced at the 1876 World’s Fair. Blocks were sold and Frank Lloyd Wright’s mom actually brought these exact blocks home for him. Wright later cites these blocks as one of his first influences that sparked his interest in architecture and building. It is never too early to be thinking about what your child would like to be when they grow up!
If you don’t have Froebel Blocks at home you can use any blocks you have around the house to become a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired builder! Talk to your child about what the word architect means in terms they can grasp and understand. For example, an architect is someone who decides how they want a building to look and plan out the structure using drawings. Invite your child to pretend to be an architect with you by building with blocks.
Encourage your child to use the blocks to represent things from their daily life. For example, one block can represent your house while the other block may represent the tree outside your driveway. Create a story to go along with your building. Continue to encourage associations and stories that expand your child’s vocabulary and imagination at the same time!
Activity 2: Make your own Geometric Stained Glass
• Wax Paper
• Tissue Paper
• Watered Down Glue
• Mix ½ cup water with ¼ cup glue with paintbrush
• Cut a sheet of wax paper to the size you would like- We use 5x7 sheets but you can make your stained glass as large as you would like- allow your child to make the choice of what size paper they would like to use
• Cut shapes out of the tissue paper. Explore concepts of color, shape and size with your child as they cut the shapes out. Try cutting out basic geometric shapes: circles, squares, rectangles. By allowing your child to experiment with using scissors (with your supervision) they are practicing their manual dexterity and exercising their fine motor skills necessary for future competency in completing independent tasks.
• Use the watered down glue to “paint” the tissue paper pieces onto the wax paper
• Let your artwork dry and when it is ready to hang in your window use a hole puncher to punch a hole in the top of your “stained glass” and attach a string for hanging. Find the sunniest room in your house to show off your work of art!
Please feel free to share your artwork with us by posting a photo on our comments thread below. We look forward to seeing what you have created together as a family!