Recycling is child’s play

Recycling is child’s play

Sophia Schlipalius was one of a group of children who had to look at themselves and the environment around them and create appropriate clothing for dolls. Photograph - Toby Hussey.

Children at the Curtin University Early Childcare Centre have been using recyclable materials to create art to help them learn about complex topics such as hypotheticals and identity.

Currently on display at the John Curtin Gallery, the university’s Emergence exhibition contains work created by young children that required them to learn about themselves, the environment and develop key skills like maths, focus and fine motor skills.

CEUCC Art Specialist Sibylla Hogg said the project had a range of benefits for their future development.

“The children have produced some of the most incredibly sophisticated artworks, working with a dedicated teacher to develop their own creativity, style and artistic talents,” she said.

Sophia Schlipalius made one such piece.

Sophia turned four-years-old this week and was tasked with creating clothing for dolls using natural or recycled materials.

Her doll is tightly wrapped in paperbark, its head in fur and its feet in small leather shoes, a construction that required her to tackle a range or educational challenges to complete.

“The work introduced the hypothetical – children had to think about what the weather was like now and how their dolls would dress,” Ms Hogg said.

“This was about problem solving, clothing and design.”

It took them several weeks to complete their works, which were done with the help of other children.

They were required to think of how much material and glue they would need before attempting to clothe their dolls as well as which materials would be best suited to keep them warm and comfortable in Winter.

One of the children in the project had to wear glasses to help her vision, and she made glasses for her doll to wear as well.

“There’s a little bit of a lot of children in there,” Ms Hogg said.

“The project helped support development of fine motor skills and focus.

“It increases concentration and patience.”

Another piece, a tree made from recycled poster tubes and coloured to teach about patterns, took months to complete

“It’s about planning and doing complex organising,” she said.

“There are direct maths implications for later life.”

The free exhibition will run until August 20.

The John Curtin Gallery is located at Building 200A at the university’s Bentley campus.

It is open 11am to 5pm weekdays and 12pm to 4pm Sundays.