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Easy Chihuly Inspired Sculptures for Kids

Easy Chihuly Inspired Sculptures for Kids

My oldest was so intrigued by all the sculptures we saw on our recent trip to Indianapolis, especially the large glass sculpture in the middle of the Children's Museum.  The sculpture, created by Dale Chihuly and entitled "Fireworks of Glass," is 43 feet tall rising up 3 stories in the museum.

In the basement of the museum, you can see the ceiling of glass underneath it. It is a spectacular sight!

There is also a little play area where you create your own masterpiece using plastic pieces made to resemble the shapes in the glass sculpture.  This was a great way for kids to safely get a hands on sculpture experience.

Making our own Chihuly Inspired Art

Once we got home, I wanted to come up with something on a much smaller scale that would be similar to those large pieces. Something that would continue to spark the girls interest.

Initially, I was looking for light brite pegs to use as glass pieces but couldn't find any around here. Do they even make them anymore? I used to love my Light Brite, but I haven't seen them around since having my own kids.

During my search, I did find something I thought would work much better anyhow.....Silly Straws!

The clear, colored plastic in unique shapes would resemble the actual glass pieces much better. I also bought some bright colored Play-Doh to match the straws too.

I bought a few packages and went home to do some cutting.  Using my Dog Nail Clippers I cut each straw into 4 or 5 pieces. I suppose you could use some heavy duty scissors, but since they are curved, the nail clippers didn't smush the straws

I did save a couple for the girls to use, but really, who wants to clean these things ever! They are the worst!

After they were dressed for the day I broke out the play-doh and silly straw pieces. There really wasn't anything to explain; it is apparently a natural thought to shove the plastic straw pieces into the play-doh. Who knew?

Over and over again they built their little glass sculptures. Everytime, it was a completely new sculpture.

How we benefitted from our hands-on Chihuly art

  • Appreciation of glass sculpture (a given)
  • Colors- by making sculptures all one color (matching the straws with the play-doh)
  • Fine motor control (muscles strengthened by manipulating play-doh and inserting the straws)
  • Kept them busy! A big one when you also have a baby to deal with!

So there are our Chihuly Inspired "Glass" Sculptures. Aren't they pretty! We are thinking of making them permanent by using the oven bake clay, baking it without the straws in it (just the holes), and then adding the straws.

Supplies we used for our Chihuly Inspired Sculptures


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