In Elementary, Middle School

We often look to artists for inspiration when we dream up our projects for the kids.  When our teacher Hannah showed me her friend  Selwyn Sherrill’s graphic design portfolio one day, we were immediately smitten with her whimsical little “artist dolls” and the creative packaging she designed to go along with them and we knew we had a fun summer camp project in the making!

This project was pure individual creativity from start to finish!  The students were instructed to first imagine an odd little creature and write a biography about it, including key pieces of information such as its name, age, where it lives, what it eats, what it likes to do for fun and what it hates (if anything).  Some kids could barely write, but their stories were so imaginative and elaborate!  We loved that this project incorporated a creative literary element!

Translation: “His name is Tommy. He likes to play fetch. He does not like dogs…”

Next they had to draw their creature on paper, making sure to incorporate elements from its bio.

They made the creatures out of papier mache plaster wrap (around a ball of paper wrapped in aluminum foil so they could shape it), and we really forced them to keep referring back to their original design and use the materials provided in a way that made it look like the creature they designed on paper. Before they plastered these, we put them in the box to make sure they would fit in their “home” when they were all finished.  We also taped wire & string on the balls before plastering them so they would be firmly attached when dry.

The Flying Baby!  Poof!/  um, ok.


Lastly, they made the creature’s “home” with – what else?! – a little 4×4 box.  { Its amazing how many projects you can dream up involving 4×4 kraft boxes when you accidentally order 3000 of them!  Refer to 80% of the other projects on our blog!!  }  Honestly, any box will do – just use a box that you would otherwise toss out!  Its home had to reflect unique characteristics of its personality and a way for visitors to be able to identify who lives there (thus the idea to draw a picture of the creature on the outside of the box).  We loved the “warning notices” the kids posted on the outside of their houses!

It took three days to complete, but the kids loved every single minute of this project and the finished creatures were so adorable we didn’t want to say goodbye to them!

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Showing 6 comments
  • Reply

    this is a great project. i want to do this with fabric monsters. thanks for the inspiration.

  • Reply

    This is such a fantastic project for kids. I love how each child creates every aspect of his/her creature. The boxes are the perfect little home, too.

  • Reply

    Love this idea! Definitely one we’re going to have to try this summer…

  • Reply

    Wow! These are just fabulous. I’ve never worked with papier mache plaster wrap. Going to have to look into that. I just love this project!

  • Reply

    I miei complimenti
    un’idea simpatica e geniale.

  • Km

    So amazingly incredible!!!!!!!

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