What About 3-D Art?

REMINDER: Please do not share the following blog post or URL. This is a private blog with the intentions for you to share experiences and to receive further clarification and information related to the Environment Rating Scales.

The Environment Rating Scales mention three dimensional art in two items throughout the scales: display and art. Within theses items, the scales look for materials to encourage 3-D art creations and for 3-D art to be displayed in the classroom.

Three dimensional art has height, width, and depth. This type of artwork can be looked at from many different sides and angles. Three dimensional art gives children the opportunity to experiment with shapes and space and create art similar to how they see the world. “Children express and represent what they observe, think, imagine, and feel through three-dimensional art” (HighScope).

It’s more than pasting something on a piece of paper or painting a pre-made figurine. Materials for 3-D art encourage children to build up, and out. Examples include: clay, playdough, paper towel tubes, Styrofoam pieces, straws, craft sticks, and egg crates. Check out some examples of three dimensional art created by children.

3D_straws_bing 3D shells_bing 3D pipecleaners_bing 3D pipecleaners and foam_bing 3D clay and sticks_bing






Children often spend lots of time and put great effort into their 3D creations. How can their creations be displayed and prevent them from being damaged? Some programs may have a shelf or counter set aside just for this purpose. Other programs, the teacher may need to tap into her imagination and resources. It’s not like we can laminate 3-dimentions pieces and place them on the wall or back of shelves. Besides the top of shelves or countertops, some programs have used windowsills or ledges. If possible, some projects could be hung from the ceiling. One program was really creative and attached fruit baskets to the wall so children could display their clay creatures. What are some other ways you have seen programs display three dimensional art creations?

3D_display_lab school









Creative Arts. (n.d.). Retrieved May 26, 2016, from http://www.highscope.org/Content.asp?ContentId=295

Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner is an Early Childhood Coordinator with Iowa State University Extension & Outreach. Melissa has over 10 years of experience with the Environment Rating Scales as an assessor for research projects and Iowa's Quality Rating System and now as the ERS Training project coordinator. Melissa loves hearing success stories about providers who have made great strides to improve the quality of care within their program. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, camping, and house projects.

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