Robots From Recyclables

Art from trash is always a big hit in the art room. Old boxes, broken toys, tape, and string are all materials that children are familiar with and may have created with at home. These robots are a “cross-pollination” (an integration) with a simple machine classroom lesson and art. This project also generates great discussions about what is art? (Is gluing together of pieces of trash?)

We begin this project by finding boxes that create a stable body shape and gluing them with hot glue (Mom helpers are the best).

Next, students find recycled materials such as juice lids, film canisters, and other junk to make arms and feet, and perhaps another box for the head.At this point, students paint the body, arms, legs, and heads with acrylic paint.

After the paint is dry, student get to dig through more boxes of junk looking for things to make eyes, mouths, hair, “control panels”, etc. These are also hot glued on with my help and parent help.

Last, details and patterns are added with more paint.
Remind students that these robots are sculptures and powered by their own imagination.
Supplies: Boxes, wood blocks, metal junk, packaging from Bionicles, wire, electric cords, any kind of junk and recyclables that would be appropriate. Acrylic paint, paint brushes, hot glue.
Vocabulary: sculpture, recyclable, balance, form, robot


Extend the fun by making Robot Masks!


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