- cereal boxes (a large variety)
- masking tape
1. I had the kids trace around their own shoes to get the size of the shoe large enough to actually work with. The front of the box (the colorful side) will be the design on the sole of the shoe, so I have kids plan this out so they like what they get. I’m sure you already know this, but kids think it’s funny to take off their shoes at school.
Sometimes, they REALLY don’t want to do this, so I just let them work with someone to get their shoe traced while it’s still on…but I take my own shoes off to be silly with them, and they usually play along a bit better.
2. Then, the kids cut out the bottom portion of the box that they just traced for both feet.
3. Those first two steps are pretty fast (once the kids agree to remove their shoes). However, it’s nice to give the kids some time for this next step.
They will use the scraps from their box or share them with their friends and design their shoes. Since my example was more of a sandal, that is what most kids wanted to make. However, encourage them to think of their own ideas and to have some fun designing. Allow time for kids to process and think, some kids can jump right in with ideas, and other kids take time.
Sometimes kids who need time feel worried when they don’t come up with an idea right away, and they’ll just copy someone so as not to look silly sitting there. Let kids work through the “design” phase with trial and error–try to be very hands-off here. Let them see what works and what doesn’t. They can use tape and glue to attach parts of the shoe. Sometimes it is helpful to use tape while designing and then go back with glue and put it all together.
Okay–I have to warn you–the kids WILL want to try these shoes on. This was something I wasn’t expecting (I’m not sure why I wasn’t expecting this…of COURSE, they would want to actually wear them!).
This is one of those projects where the “process” of problem-solving and designing is more important than the final result. The kids are not making REAL shoes that have to stand up to the tests of actual shoes. They are just designing and, therefore, can dream up whatever their imagination will allow. It’s important that kids get to create in these ways without fear of being “wrong” and with time to allow problem-solving to happen.
Other fun recycling-related projects:
If you are interested in any of my art integration resources, you can find them for classroom teachers, art teachers, and parents HERE. I hope your kids have fun, and, of course, I always love seeing you on social media and reading your comments!