Dolls and Dwellings Art Project
Build on block play with dolls children make themselves!
- Grades: PreK–K
- Toilet paper tubes
- Magazines and catalogs
- Fabric scraps and tissue paper
- Construction paper
- Pencils and markers
- Yarn, pipe cleaners, feathers, sequins, buttons, foil scraps, fake fur pieces, and so on
Children will make their own dolls to foster imaginative play, explore day-to-day experiences, and expand block play.
During meeting time, explain that children will be making dolls to use in the block-building area. Ask everyone to think about the types of dolls they want to create. Some children may want to recreate their families; others may want to make community workers, friends, or characters from favorite stories. Record children's comments on chart paper. Add to the list as children develop their ideas.
Step 1: Provide children with a variety of art materials. Use the toilet paper tubes as the base for the dolls' bodies. Remind everyone to think about the backs of their dolls as well as the fronts as they cut out body shapes from the construction paper and glue them onto the tubes. Pencils and markers can be used to draw faces or clothing designs. Some children may prefer to cut out faces, bodies, and clothes from magazines or catalogs. Feathers, sequins, fake-fur pieces, and foil and fabric scraps are wonderful materials that encourage children to expand their design concepts.
Step 2: Designate a space where materials for the project are kept, and allow children the opportunity to work independently over time.
Step 3: Invite those who would like to share their finished dolls during meeting time. Encourage children to ask one another questions about the dolls.
Step 4: Suggest that children work alone or in small groups to design homes for their dolls. Then, together, set up a work schedule that allows a few children a day to work in the block area. When a child or a group of children has completed their building, offer them the opportunity to share it with the others. Take a photograph of each child or group with their building and dolls to document the project. Ask children to dictate a few sentences describing the photo.
Ask the children to write or dictate a story about their dolls and buildings. Invite those who would like to share their stories. Photocopy the stories and photographs to create a class book or exhibit the stories and photographs for parents and friends to view.