Last week, children were introduced to “Beautiful Junk,” which are recycled materials that we can reuse and repurpose in the Studio and in PK classrooms. Families are invited to drop off bags of materials in the bins outside of the Studio that we can sort throughout the year!
We began by reading Not A Box by Antoinette Portis. This book is great, as it’s all about a rabbit that uses a cardboard box and his imagination to create a race car, a pirate ship and a robot costume.
Following the read aloud, I brought a large shoebox to the table and children made predictions about what they thought was inside. As I began to reveal the items, children instantly made connections to the book and were overflowing with ideas of what the materials could be used for. We talked about what they were (can, blackberry box, cork, water bottle top) and about what material they were made from (metal, cardboard, plastic). This will make sorting and labeling the bins much easier!
Kaitlyn: I can see through the tube. I can’t see through the top.
Ali: Why does the metal pan make that loud noise?
Marcus: We like this Beautiful Junk, but we don’t eat it because junk is trash.
Elijah: Maybe Beautiful Junk is junk that’s pink or purple or green, because those are beautiful colors.
Dayana: This blanket (fabric) is cute. It has little ducks on it.
Kendul: I’ve seen that top before. It goes on the top of chocolate milk at McDonalds.
Isaac: Junk is a piece of trash, but Beautiful Junk looks nice.
Africa Grace: You can use Beautiful Junk in an art project.
Kaylee: Junk is garbage.
Mina: That top looks like it’s from tupperware!
Avery: Egg cartons open and close like a monster mouth with teeth.
Elizabeth: Beautiful Junk is materials that you use to build beautiful things. Can I touch that material so I know what it’s made from?
Naila: Junk is stuff that you can give away or you could use it to make something new.
Mason: Bottle tops look like tiny hats. This is a tiny person. He’s saying, “Hi, my name is Toppy!”
Drew: Junk means you have to clean it up. You have to keep it beautiful so we can build with it.
Aaron: We can be like the bunny in the book. He play with a box.
Sammy: So, junk is dirty. Then you clean it, and put it together and make beautiful things with it.
Luca: It’s junk that gets cleaned and painted really good.
Alden: It’s when junk is messed up, but Beautiful Junk is when you turn it into something nice, like a car.
Scotland: Beautiful Junk is like a present. These (corks) look like they come from a tree.
Uhura: Junk is a kind of trash. Beautiful Junk is maybe, rainbow colored?
Nazeer: You don’t eat trash, but food comes in things that then become trash. You can make things with it, like a train or a dinosaur. We’re being just like that bunny!
Adele: That material is called plastic.
Jax: I can see through this!
Asa: Junk is yucky stuff. So Beautiful Junk is… sparkly!
Nora: Is wood junk?
Amie: When I look through this, I can see that everything is orange in here.
Joelle: Junk is like sugar. You can eat it, but then you have to brush your teeth.
Cesar: That (cork) goes in the top of the bottle and then you put a map in so you know how to find the treasure.
After children were familiar with the materials, I invited them to openly explore and build with them in the sensory table. Friends collaborated and enjoyed creating new objects together.
Frances: Let’s pretend these (corks) are eggs. The pretend eggs are very fragile. I got them from the store to make pudding pie! First, we need to open the eggs. Then, we mix it. I think we can use the straws to drink the pudding pie!
Elijah: I could use the materials to make a message in a bottle. Or I could use them to make a Happy Meal. Or maybe I could make a robot with all these caps?
Declan: I’m pretending that I broke my arm. The toilet tube is my cast. I look like a half robot, half tiger because the tubes make my arms look striped.
Isaac: It’s time for me to make you my specialty! First, you get an egg carton. Then, you fill it up with soda caps. That’s the ice cream. You have to mash them up. Now, put them in the oven for 20 minutes. Open it up, see if it’s good and ready. Nope, it’s not ready yet. Some is still frozen! Ok, now it’s ready. Let me taste it for poison. Yum… no poison!
Santi: I’m helping Isaac cook the ice cream. I’m mixing it. I’m mixing this orange ice cream.
Daniela: I’m making a pie cake. The orange tray is the oven because it looks like fire and ovens are hot from fire.
Drew: You could make a necklace with these tubes. I’m making something. It’s beautiful. I am making a butterfly and I’m pretending this is his home. He can fly over here (fabric) for a good rest. Those little parts (corks) are his caterpillar friends.
Mateo: I need to make some tacos. These materials look like a taco cooker machine.
Stephanie: I’m making a butterfly with Beautiful Junk and it will be beautiful.