“Beautiful Junk means trash.  But… I like it…”

Before break, 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.

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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 led to sorting and labeling materials, which now makes it easier for friends to find specific materials that they need for projects.

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Jax: Let’s build with straws that bend!

Maya: It’s junk that’s beautiful.  Like old plastic cans that you can color to make beautiful.

Leba: That material looks like what you make waffles with.

Uhura: It’s junk that’s beautiful.  Maybe someone washed it.  Like a can that gets washed can be really shiny.

Kyrie: That material looks like a trash can.

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Jahir: If you rub those toilet tubes together it sounds like a frog.

 Frances: This is like a net for catching a fish.  I know I’m going to catch a BIG fish in this net.  Lots of fish, like big fish and tiny fish and little baby sharks. 

King: Is it… just trash?

Sallie Chappell: Could I use Beautiful Junk to make a cupcake?

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Hope: This material is smooth and soft.

Jacob: Skunks like junk!

Connor: That junk just looks like garbage.

Geo: Beautiful Junk means trash.  But… I like it.

Ethan: This thing feels soft.  Like a scarf.

Jayden: What can this be used for?  Is it a flag?  Like for “Capture The Flag?”

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Nora: I saw a plastic bottle top on the playground and that’s Beautiful Junk.

Mina: We can use this stuff to build planets.  Like Saturn.

Adele: Beautiful Junk is junk that looks good.  Like buttons.

Asa: Junk is garbage, but Beautiful Junk you can use again.  Like, this is a bag for garlic but now I can use it as a net.

Hailey: Ew… junk like… stinks!

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Feel free to drop off any interesting materials that you find around your house for us to create something new with!

“Beautiful Junk is the most beautiful things in the world!”

This week in the Studio, friends began working with recycled materials, also known as Beautiful Junk!  Many people in the CCPCS community have been donating materials to the Studio over the past few weeks and we were very excited to sort, build and create with these open ended objects.  Thanks to everyone that has donated to us… and please continue to drop off materials in the bins in front of the Studio!  Within the next couple weeks, the bins will be clearly labeled so families will know where specific materials go 🙂

What is Beautiful Junk?

Daniel: Instead of throwing it in the trash, you keep it and think it’s beautiful so you turn it into something new.

Jose: Junk means like a junk yard.  Like trash.  Beautiful means like it looks nice.  It’s beautiful trash.

Noah: It’s for you to get stuff to build like a human, or a mouse, or a house.

Mae: Junk is something that’s empty that you can use.  You can make things with it but don’t break it.

Florentina: Beautiful Junk is the most beautiful things in the world.

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Mouhammadou: I like this Beautiful Junk.  It’s not stinky.

Roman: This is stuff for you to do your projects with.

Kofi: Beautiful Junk is things that people didn’t want to use that we can use for materials.  They put them in the box.

Abdoul: It’s recycled.  Then we can use it again.  They’re good.

Rayyan: Junk is like ew.

Once we talked about exactly what Beautiful Junk was, it was time to get to work!  Friends collaged and sculpted with the materials, while others were interested in sorting similar materials together.

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Luke: I found more bottle caps.  I’ll put them with the ones Daniel found.

Garumma: I’m making something.  It’s a tractor that’s driving a tiger.  The tiger needs a blanket.  Cardboard is a paper from paper towels.  It’s hard to cut.  It’s not hard to cut fabric.  I’m going back to my project now.

Marley: These are so soft.  Soft like a soft part.

Jose: If you snore so loud, you can put those (corks) in your ears.

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Adrian: This is for closing things like bread.

Zuri: This is like a collection.

Abdoulaye: One time I used Beautiful Junk to make a skateboard.  I used tops for wheels.  I used an egg carton for the board.

Alberto: If you see things that are the same you can put them together.  It’s like if you need some spare parts for your project, you can find them together.

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Josie: Perfect, I found just what I was looking for.

Maia: That (yarn) looks like rope for a cowboy!

Maceo: I know I used Beautiful Junk to make a plane, and then I broke it and made it into a barn.

Andres: Did the eggs hatch?  Where the eggs?

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“The Helicopters” by Angel

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“The Great Wall of China” by Alberto

Finally, we had a very special guest join us in the Studio today!  My dad came by and spent the morning making sculptures with us!  Friends were so excited to meet him and to learn that he was also an art teacher, just like me 🙂

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Beautiful Junk sorting has begun!

Over the last few weeks, many families have donated Beautiful Junk to the bins outside of the Pre-K Art Studio!  Children have been working with the found materials both in the Studio and in their classrooms.  Since materials are constantly moving throughout them, the Beautiful Junk bins have become disorganized.  It seemed that to know what we needed for projects, we first needed to know what types of materials we had available to us.  During Art Groups this week, children have been and will continue to explore found materials such as fabric, cans, bottle tops, stamps and boxes that we now have the opportunity to work with.  Next week, bins will be labeled based on the children’s categories to make materials easier to find.  Here are some highlights from Day 1 of Beautiful Junk sorting!

“It’s junk but it’s still being used by kids.”  -Jasper

“It’s beautiful… other people may not like it because it’s junk.  We can use paper and make designs with it!  Or build!”  -Neche

“How did this break?  I think we can still use it… it’s not trash.”  -Samantha

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Mariah and Wallace comparing bottle tops based on size, shape and color.

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Jasper working on a collage incorporating transparencies, paint chips and plastic ants.  He stated that he was making a celebration cave for the ants!

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While sorting, Neche began filling plastic containers with corks, plastic eggs and bottle tops.  She taped the top shut and then compared the different sounds with Chris.  “It sounds like metal with a little plastic… like music!”

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In one of the Beautiful Junk bins, AJ and Samantha found a stack of envelopes and date stamps.  They began by pretending to work in a library and checked books out to their friends.  After all the books were checked out, they pretended to be mailman and delivered letters to their friends.

Samantha: These are important things for me.  Letters and envelopes.  They have important news.

AJ: We have to stamp all the letters so they get to the right people.

Samantha: I’ll write, you stamp.

AJ: We are mailmen.  Here’s your letter.  We are delivering the mail… stamped and all!  We can wrap them with ribbon to deliver.