Temporary Art

Temporary Art

Location: indoor or outdoor

Materials: found materials (sticks, leaves, rocks, flowers, etc.)

Not all art needs to last forever. Take Andy Goldsworthy's natural art-- many of his pieces are just temporary (an ice sculpture that melts once the sun rises, a line of wool that eventually blows away, a stone tower that gets knocked over by a rising tide).

If you've noticed your children love collecting natural materials, this is the perfect creative project for them to return to again and again and again.

You can start out by introducing Andy Goldsworthy as an artist. There are many great clips from the movie Rivers and Tides available on YouTube. Show your children a few minutes as an introduction to the idea of using natural materials to create temporary art.

Then, when you're outside invite your children to create their own art projects. These art projects can change as the seasons change. And because they are meant to be temporary, you can take a picture to capture the final product and then leave it outside.

Sample Andy Goldsworthy Video Clips:

Mixed-Age Guide:

Infants may:

  • enjoy observing the bigger kids work on the project
  • enjoy exploring the natural materials the older children collect

Toddlers may:

  • only be interested in gathering materials, rather than assembling them into "art"
  • want to take their collections with them and require support to leave the materials outside

Preschoolers may:

  • have specific ideas about the materials they want to use
  • tell you many details about what they are creating
  • want to save their art project

What We're Learning

  • hand-eye coordination
  • finger and hand manipulation
  • sorting and categorization
  • self-expression and creativity